Speed Reads

Things that make you go hmmm

Stephen Bannon earns a place on the front page of al Qaeda's newspaper

Al Qaeda is using White House chief strategist Stephen Bannon to recruit potential terrorists to its cause, ThinkProgress reports. The latest issue of the al Qaeda-affiliated newspaper Al Masra features a large photo of Bannon and refers to comments he has made against Islam.

"Congrats #SteveBannon for being [the] lead story with [the] headline 'the war is with Islam as religion,'" Dr. Elisabeth Kendall, a senior research fellow in Arabic and Islamic Studies at Oxford University, sarcastically tweeted.

Experts have criticized the Trump administration for helping to create radical propaganda. "If you are serious about defeating ISIS, the last thing you want to do is portray the fight as Islam vs. the West," ISIS: A History author Fawaz Gerges told CNN.

On Tuesday, President Trump's national security adviser, Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster, argued that the president should not use the phrase "radical Islamic terrorism" or "radical Islam" in his address to Congress on Tuesday night but was overruled. McMaster considers the term "unhelpful," according to reports.

"Trump has created an upsurge in militant jihadist attention on America  —  it was previously on America but also on many other targets like Shiites in Yemen, Iraq, and even Syria  —  but this has really refocused attention on America itself," Kendall told ThinkProgress.