(CNSNews.com) - Rep. Steve Chabot (R-Ohio) said he's among the Americans who were "shocked" to hear President Barack Obama tell the nation that the Islamic State is not Islamic.
"You know, they don't call themselves the Methodist State or the Episcopalian State or the Baptist State. They're the Islamic State, and I think for good reason," Chabot told Secretary of State John Kerry at a hearing of the House Foreign Affairs Committee.
"You know, when Christians, for example, are told to convert to Islam or die, that would seem to fly in the face of the president's insistence that the Islamic State is not the Islamic State. And an indication that he may not fully accept that radical Islam is indeed something that does exist and in fact is growing."
Kerry said the terrorists can call themselves anything they want to call themselves. "We shouldn't compound the sin by allowing them to get away with it, and calling them what they're not. They're not a state and they do not represent Islam," he insisted.
Kerry noted that Islamic leaders, including 21 clerics in Saudi Arabia, are "reclaiming legitimate Islam."
"And there's nothing in Islam that condones or suggests people should go out and rape women and sell off young girls or give them as gifts to jihadists, and you know, cut people's heads off and tie people's hands behind their backs, and put them on their knees and shoot them in the head. These are war crimes. And they're crimes against humanity. And we need to make clear that that is exactly what is the reality here."
Chabot told Kerry he agrees with what Kerry said. "But it's clear to me that their motivation is their -- their religious fervor, this fanaticism, however misguided it is. I mean, that's their motivation here."
"Well, I don't know," Kerry said. "They use that. I don't know if that is in truth -- it's part of it. The caliphate is certainly on the minds of many. But I think a lot of them are thugs and criminals and people who simply want to go out and maraud and take part in the success of -- vanquish and be opposed to modernity and a whole bunch of other things."
"And I certainly agree with you there," Chabot replied.
"There's a lot of stuff going on there," Kerry mused.
Chabot told Kerry that leaving a residual U.S. force in Iraq after the war ended might have prevented the current situation with ISIS/ISIL, but Kerry disagreed:
"[N]o one makes the judgment that what happened in Mosul (the ISIS advance) happened because noncombat troops weren't there. These guys (residual force) weren't going to be combat troops. What happened in Mosul happened because the troops there had no stake in fighting for Mosul. And the officers abandoned their posts. They had a greater allegiance to one person or to one sect than they did to Iraq. And that's the problem."