Evangelist Franklin Graham has expressed his disappointment in the Obama administration for its handling of the recent terror attacks in Minnesota, New York City and New Jersey and continued refusal to use the term "Islamic terrorism".
"Why is it so hard for our president and his administration to call Islamic terrorism what it is?" the 64-year-old leader of Samaritan's Purse said in a Facebook post.
He voiced particular frustration that President Obama called the stabbing of eight people in a Minnesota shopping mall by an attacker who yelled "Allahu Akbar" during the assault a mere "potential act of terrorism" and said he saw "no connection" between the Minnesota attack and the incidents in New York and New Jersey.
"Potential? The Islamic State already proudly claimed credit - how much more 'potential' do you need?" Graham asked. "He didn't call the New York and New Jersey bombings terrorism, just calling these deliberate attacks 'explosions.'"
White House Press Secretary, Josh Earnest, also refused to describe the attacks in New York City and New Jersey as terrorism: "What I can tell you is that we are, when it comes to ISIL, we are in a fight, a narrative fight with them, a narrative battle," he said.
Simply referring to terrorist attacks as "a narrative battle" minimizes the pain thousands of people have experienced at the terrorists, Graham argued.
"Tell that to the families of the over 5000 U.S. service men and women who lost their lives fighting terror since 9/11. And tell it to the victims of terror who suffer every day after having been shot, stabbed, burned horribly, or lost limbs," he wrote.
Graham concluded: "My prayer is that the next president of the United States will not be ashamed to say the truth and identify Islamic terrorists for what they are."
This is not the first time Billy Graham's son has criticized the Obama administration for failing to use the term "Islamic extremism". After Omar Mateen, a Muslim who pledged allegiance to ISIS moments, opened fire on an openly gay nightclub, killing 49 people wounding 53 more wounded, the president refused to acknowledge that the shooter claimed to have been inspired by radical Islamic ideology.
"[Why] didn't he say it was an act of radical Islamic terrorism?" Graham asked at the time. "Mr. President, with all due respect, don't forget Fort Hood; don't forget the Boston Marathon; don't forget San Bernardino; and don't forget 9/11. What do they all have in common? They were all Islamic terrorists carrying out their treachery in the name of their religion. "
Last year, he told former Fox News host Greta Van Susteren that Obama, whose "entire life" was shaped by Islam, cannot accept the evil in front of him and apparently is trying to "protect Islam,"
"We have to understand who we're dealing with and you have to deal with it accordingly," he said during an On the Record interview. "The president is ignoring the fact that these are Islamic extremists, these are terrorists, and ISIS is a terrorist organization and they are bent on destroying the West. They've already said they want the flag of Islam to fly over the White House."
Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump's communications director Jason Miller also criticized the Obama administration following the recent slew of attacks.
"When the White House says we are in a 'narrative fight' against ISIS just days after a series of apparent terror attacks on US soil we should all be very concerned," Miller said, adding that "[f]or the US troops in Iraq and Syria who are on the frontlines against ISIS, it's a real fight where we've lost real lives."