At today's Capital Hill Hearing on extremisim, despite Rep. Dan Lungren's instance, assistent secratary of the Department of Defense, Paul Stockton made it clear that Islam was not the enemy and that saying so simply feeds al Qaeda's narrative.
LUNGREN: Sec. Stockton, are we at war with violent Islamist extremism?
STOCKTON: No, sir. We are at war with al Qaeda, it’s affiliates, and adherents --
LUNGREN: My question is, is violent Islamic extremism at war with us?
STOCKTON: No, sir. We are being attacked by al Qaeda and it’s allies.
LUNGREN: Al Qaeda – can it be described as a component of violent Islamic extremism?
STOCKTON: Al Qaeda are murderers with an ideological agenda --
LUNGREN: That’s not what I’m asking. My question was ‘Is al Qaeda acting out violent Islamist extremism?
STOCKTON: Al Qaeda is a violent organization dedicated to overthrowing the values that we intend to advance –
LUNGREN: Yes or no?
STOCKTON: Can I hear the question again?
LUNGREN: [awkward pause][disgusted look]
STOCKTON: I’ll make it as clear as I can: We are not at war with Islam.
LUNGREN: I didn’t ask that. I did not ask that, sir. I asked if we’re at war with violent Islamist extremism. That’s my question.
STOCKTON: No. We’re at war with al Qaeda and its affiliates.
LUNGREN: How does al Qaeda define itself? Are they dedicated to violent Islamist extremism?
STOCKTON: Al Qaeda would love to convince Muslims around the world that the United States is at war with Islam. That’s a prime propaganda tool, and I’m not going to aid and abet that effort to advance their propaganda goals.