Outrage after Obama compares ISIS to the Crusades in comments at National Prayer Breakfast
By RYAN GORMAN
President Barack Obama set off a firestorm Thursday morning by comparing ISIS barbarity to the Crusades.
Obama recalled the savagery carried out nearly 1,000 years ago in the name of Christ while speaking at the National Prayer Breakfast in Washington, D.C., but his equivocation fell on outraged ears.
The president railed against the Islamic State, calling it "a brutal, vicious death cult" that slaughters and enslaves innocents all in the name of religion.
His next comments, which recalled "terrible deeds ... including slavery" that happened during the Crusades and were "justified in the name of Christ."
Pres denounces use of faith by ISIS - calling it "a brutal, vicious death cult"...perpetrating evil in the name of religion.- Mark Knoller (@markknoller) February 5, 2015
Pres Obama also reminds that terrible deeds during the Crusades - and slavery - all too often justified in the name of Christ.- Mark Knoller (@markknoller) February 5, 2015
He then said: "We are summoned to push back against those who would distort our religion for their nihilistic ends."
By "our religion," Obama meant any religion, veteran White House reporter Mark Knoller noted on Twitter, but several people took exception to the remark, wondering aloud on Twitter which religion the president was referring to.
"Our nation is stronger when people of all faiths feel they are welcome," Obama continued. "So humility is needed."
Reaction to the remarks was swift and fierce. Conservative firebrand Michelle Malkin led the charge.
"ISIS chops off heads, incinerates hostages, kills gays, enslaves girls. Obama: Blame the Crusades," she wrote on Twitter.
Another conservative pundit, Dereck Hale, also vented his outrage on Twitter.
"I am shocked, shocked that the guy who sat in Jeremiah Wright's church for 20 years would defend Islamic violence by attacking Christianity," tweeted Hale.
"So Obama's not interested in fighting radical Islam today because of stuff Christians did in the 11th Century," conservative media watchdog Matt Philbin tweeted.
Several people also pointed out the Crusades were in response to violence perpetrated by Muslims.
"Yes, let's all pretend Islam had nothing to do with the Crusades," J.R. Holmstead angrily wrote on Twitter.
"Did the [president] happen to mention the reason for those crusades," another person asked.
Several people pointed out the Crusades happened 800-1,000 years ago.
"When you have to go back that far for an example, you've made the point that Christianity doesn't engage in such behavior," R.D. Brewer tweeted.
Obama may or may not address the reaction to his controversial comparison, but that likely will not keep conservatives from hammering him for it.
"I have had [it] with equivocating," tweeted Stacey Lennox. "SERIOUSLY had it."