Someone must have seen that Iraqi comedian making fun of us for not being able to call ISIS "Islamic," and decided they needed to push back really hard.
So now George W. Bush is the spokesman for the Democratic Party? On the right attitude towards the war?
People can't seem to distinguish between the following claims:
1) "ISIS is essentially Islamic."
2) "Islam is essentially like ISIS."
Claim 1 is demonstrably, empirically true. ISIS -- like a number of other Islamic organizations to include Hizb-ut Tahrir and of course al Qaeda -- is founded for no other reason than to realize a particular vision of Islamic law on earth. They have put a tremendous amount of work into developing their visions. Many of their leaders are lifelong religious students. ISIS leader Baghdadi was a cleric before he became a revolutionary. These organizations have published decades' worth of material explaining exactly how their vision aligns with sha'riah law and the life of the Prophet and his companions.
Furthermore -- whether you like it or not -- their interpretations of sha'riah law are not absurd. They are often the most obvious readings of those laws.
Claim 2 is not obviously true.
For one thing, there are a lot of different schools of sha'riah law. Most of the Islamic world doesn't live under any interpretation similar to this, however obvious these interpretations may be, and haven't historically. That makes perfect sense. Catholics have the Bible, and we also have the Summa Theologica by Thomas Aquinas -- a huge series of densely-argued Aristotelian philosophy about how to interpret the Bible, as well as a long history of earlier Catholic philosophers. The results they come up with are not always the most obvious readings of the Bible. Some Protestant schools prefer more obvious and literal readings. That doesn't make Protestants un-Christian, nor Catholics either.
Jews, by the same token, have on the one hand the Torah; and on the other, a vast collection of Rabbinical scholarship that tries to interpret and understand. Islam, for its own sake, has a similar tradition in its history. One of Thomas Aquinas' chief sources was Averroes, also known as Ibn Rushd, who was an Islamic law judge as well as a philosopher and whose reading of Islamic law was fairly humane (especially in his treatment of women).
So, are we at war with Islam? No. Are we at war with a radical Islamic group? Yes. Are they Muslims? Yes. Are all Muslims them? No. Is ISIS Islamic? Yes, essentially so. Is Islam like ISIS? Not all of it, not by far. Does Islam have anything to do with ISIS? Yes, obviously.
Speak the truth.