DHS Secretary Jeh Johnson Refuses To Call ISIS Fighters 'Islamic Terrorists'

Department of Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson refuses to refer to ISIS as "Islamic terrorists." Johnson actually went so far as to say it is "critical" not to use the word "Islamic" when referring to the terrorist group.

Jeh Johnson said that being careful not to refer to ISIS fighters and their supporters as Islamic terrorists will prevent the Islamic State from radicalizing Americans who reside in the United States. The DHS secretary scoffed at the suggestion that his terrorism terminology is merely an exercise in political correctness by the Obama administration.

"[ISIS] would like to be referred to as 'Islamic extremism' because it therefore concedes that what they are saying and what they are doing occupies legitimately some form of Islam," Johnson said during a national security meeting in Aspen, Colorado on Thursday. "The Muslims I know and that I've spent a lot of time with in this country believe just the opposite."

Johnson said nixing the Islamic terrorist phrase is an effort to "build trust" with Muslim community leaders. The Department of Homeland Security also claimed that choosing our words carefully in this manner is "fundamental" to the government's counter-terrorism efforts.

Johnson's comments come just several days after Mohammed Abdulazeez killed four Marine and a sailor in Chattanooga, Tennessee. Federal investigators are still searching through Abdulazeez's computer, social media, and cell phone to determine whether or not he was inspired by al-Qaeda or ISIS.

The DHS secretary reportedly sat down with up to 100 community members at any given time during multiple meetings with individuals from around the country gathered to discuss the radicalization of American citizens.

During the meeting Johnson said he heard Muslims stating time and time again that ISIS is "trying to hijack" their religion.

"And so if you call it 'Islamic anything,' we are dignifying this terrorist organization with occupying a part of the Islamic faith which Muslims in this country I know push back very strongly on," Johnson maintained. "If I went into these meetings calling it 'Islamic extremism,' I'd get nowhere."

The DHS secretary also had this to say about how ISIS fighters and supporters should be identified:

"I think it's critical that in order to build our relationships and build our level of cooperation with the Islamic communities here, we have to say to them 'Look, we understand that what this depraved terrorist organization is doing is no part of your religion.'"
What do you think about DHS head Jeh Johnson refusing to call ISIS sympathizers Islamic Terrorists or Radical Islamists, is he right or just being politically correct?

[Photo By Joe Raedle / Getty Imagaes]