Ali Gharib in The Guardian:
The distended Republican presidential field’s response to the terror attacks in Paris is a conglomeration of policy proposals that look something like this: a ground invasion of Syria and Iraq that will explicitly be less careful about killing civilians, combined with a policy of relief for refugees only if they’re Christians. One can almost see the Islamic State’s top ideologues and propagandists celebrating. And why not? Muslims the world over, which Isis views (wrongly) as a sea of potential recruits, could be forgiven for viewing the Republican rhetoric as a declaration of holy war against their co-religionists. I wish my thumbnail descriptions of Republicans’ talking points were a joke, but they’re not. And the policies described by the candidates line up almost exactly with the image of America that Isis seeks to portray in its propaganda. The target for Isis’s messaging was made abundantly clear in a statement last month from the group: “Islamic youth everywhere, ignite jihad against the Russians and the Americans in their crusaders’ war against Muslims,” said Isis spokesman Abu Mohammad al-Adnani.
Florida senator and Republican presidential hopeful Marco Rubio might as well have had this very idea in mind when he said, repeatedly, of the fight against Isis: “This is a clash of civilizations.” Rubio relished in his identification of Isis as an “Islamic” group – a notion President Barack Obama disavowed yet again on Monday morning:
When I hear folks say that, well, maybe we should just admit the Christians, but not the Muslims … when I hear political leaders suggesting that there would be a religious test for which a person who’s fleeing from a war-torn country is admitted, when some of those folks themselves come from families who benefited from protection when they were fleeing political persecution, that’s shameful.
Florida governor Jeb Bush, who has otherwise taken to defending his brother’s legacy, however ahistorically, even disavowed George W Bush’s proclamations that the “global war on terror” wasn’t “against Islam, or against faith practiced by the Muslim people”.