Right-wing media falsely claim Holder "refuse[d] to say 'radical Islam' is a cause of terrorism"

››› ››› TOM ALLISON

Right-wing media have falsely claimed that Attorney General Eric Holder "refus[ed] to say 'radical Islam' is a cause of terrorism." In fact, Holder specifically mentioned "a radical version of Islam" as a possible motivation for Faisal Shahzad, a suspect in the attempted Times Square bombing.

Conservative media distort Holder's testimony at terrorism hearing

Breitbart.tv: "AG Holder Refuses to Say 'Radical Islam' Is a Cause of Terrorism Committed by Muslims." Breitbart.tv posted an edited exchange between Holder and Rep. Lamar Smith (R-TX) at a House Judiciary Committee hearing with the headline "AG Holder Refuses to Say 'Radical Islam' Is a Cause of Terrorism Committed by Muslims."

Townhall: "AG Holder Refuses to Tie Terrorism, 'Radical Islam.' " Townhall blogger Meredith Jessup wrote in a May 13 post: "In his testimony before the House Judiciary Committee today, Attorney General Eric Holder performed the administration's 'terrorism two-step' dance around the very notion of 'radical Islam' and its terrorist links." The headline of the post read: "AG Holder Refuses to Tie Terrorism, 'Radical Islam.' "

Hoft: Holder "refuses to use the term 'radical Islam' when discussing the motives behind the Times Square bomber." In a post titled "Attorney General Eric Holder Refuses to Say 'Radical Islam' When Pressed at Hearing on Faisal Shahzad," Jim Hoft wrote on his Gateway Pundit blog: "Unreal. Pressed during testimony before the House Judiciary Committee today, US Attorney General refuses to use the term 'radical Islam' when discussing the motives behind the Times Square bomber."

Steve Hayes: Holder's "refusal to say it" makes him look "foolish." During the May 13 edition of Fox News' Special Report, The Weekly Standard's Stephen Hayes commented: "Of course radical Islam is what connects those three attacks. That's what's driving the people who are attacking us. That's what's driving the network of people who are killing us. And the refusal to say it not only looks foolish for Eric Holder but I think raises real questions about how serious the Obama administration is and has been about understanding the enemy and defeating the enemy." An on-screen graphic read: "Holder Refuses To Attribute Terror Activity To Radical Islam."

Fox Nation: "WATCH: Holder Refuses to Say 'Radical Islam' " From Fox Nation, accessed May 13:

Holder included "a radical version of Islam" as motivation for terrorists

Holder: "[P]eople who espouse a radical version of Islam" may influence terrorists. During his May 13 testimony before the Judiciary Committee, Holder told Smith that "I certainly think that it's possible that people who espouse a radical version of Islam have had an ability to have an impact on people like Mr. Shahzad." This statement was included in the video posted by Breitbart, Townhall, Hoft, and Fox Nation. Holder also commented: "There are a variety of reasons why people do these things. Some of them are potentially religious-based." [C-SPAN, 5/13/10]

Holder specifically cited Anwar al-Awlaki. Holder also commented: "I'm saying that a person like Anwar Awlaki, for instance, who has a version of Islam that is not consistent with the teachings of it and who espouses a radical version" could have an influence on terrorists.

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