POLITICS
08/21/2015 04:15 pm ET Updated Aug 21, 2015

Scott Walker Says There Are A 'Handful Of Reasonable, Moderate Followers Of Islam'

There are more than a handful.

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R) admitted Friday that not every Muslim in the world is a terrorist, saying there are a "handful" of "reasonable" people out there.

An attendee at Walker's event in Derby, New Hampshire, noted that President Barack Obama's administration tends to avoid characterizing the fight against terrorism as a fight against Islam.

"If you're fighting a war, you've got to identify who the enemy is loud and clear," said Walker. "We've said it repeatedly: It's radical Islamic terrorism."

"It is a war against not only America and Israel, it's a war against Christians, it's a war against Jews, it's a war against even the handful of reasonable, moderate followers of Islam who don't share the radical beliefs that these radical Islamic terrorists have."

The Council on American-Islamic Relations, the nation's largest Muslim civil liberties and advocacy organization, quickly condemned Walker's remarks Friday afternoon.

"These types of inaccurate statements reflect a lack of understanding of Islam and Muslims that is, frankly, not presidential," CAIR Government Affairs Manager Robert McCaw said. "If Mr. Walker believes only a 'handful' of Muslims are moderate or reasonable, then he is ignoring the very clear reality that violent extremists murder more Muslims than they do people of any other faith."

Walker spokeswoman AshLee Strong said in a statement to HuffPost that the governor understands that "the majority of ISIS's victims are Muslims."

"Muslims who want to live in peace -- the majority of Muslims -- are the first target of radical Islamic terrorists," she said. "Under the Obama-Clinton foreign policy doctrine, we’ve been abandoning our traditional Muslim allies in the Middle East and allowing ISIS, al Qaeda, and Iran to fill the void.”

In February, Obama told CNN that while there is "a particular problem that has roots in Muslim communities," "we do ourselves a disservice in this fight if we are not taking into account the fact that the overwhelming majority of Muslims reject this ideology." 

This story has been updated with a comment from Walker's spokeswoman.


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