Offensive Strike Targets Terrorists, Not Muslims

August 22, 1998

Source: The New York Times

A New York Times article on August 22, 1998 reports on President Clinton's important distinction as follows: "In explaining the decision to strike targets in Afghanistan and Sudan on Thursday, the Clinton administration has been careful to say that the United States was aiming at terrorist organizations and their bases, not at a religion with adherents worldwide. "I want the world to understand that our actions today were not aimed against Islam," President Clinton said Thursday, in remarks that were unusual in a speech on national security for their recognition of the broad importance of a religious faith, and for declaring that faith to lie beyond any goals of U.S. foreign policy. Instead, Clinton carefully distinguished between Muslims -- followers of what he called "a great religion" -- and radical groups that hold to "a horrible distortion of their religion to justify the murder of innocents."