On Lieutenant General H.R. McMaster’s first day on the job as National Security Adviser, he told his staff the phrase “Radical Islamic Terrorism” was not useful in describing the threat facing the United States.
McMaster reportedly said “Muslims who commit terrorist acts are perverting their religion,” and are “un-Islamic.”
The remarks are seen as a contrast between McMaster and his predecessor, Lieutenant General Michael Flynn, who made identifying the religious and specifically Islamic component of terrorism a fundamental aspect of his views on the Global War on Terror.
The use of the phrase “Radical Islamic Terrorism” was a key talking point in President Trump’s election campaign, drawing intense criticism from many who saw the comments as unfairly generalizing an entire religion.
Many national security experts also denounce the phrase, citing possible stigmatization of Muslim Americans and Muslim allies in the fight against terrorism around the world.
McMaster’s comments are more in line with the mainstream of the national security community.