Hillary Clinton: Describing Islam as 'radical' is like 'declaring war on a religion'

U.S. Democratic presidential candidate and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton delivers the keynote address at the Brookings Institution Saban Forum at the Willard Hotel in Washington on Dec. 6, 2015.Reuters

Like U.S. President Barack Obama, Democratic presidential frontrunner Hillary Clinton has refused to use the term "radical Islamic terrorism" even after the horrific attacks on public places launched by the jihadist group Islamic State (ISIS) in Paris that killed over 120 people.

In an interview on ABC's "This Week," the former US Secretary of State explained why exactly she will not say these words, despite criticisms being hurled towards her.

Clinton said using the term "radical Islam" will only promote further antagonism against Islam, and would "sound like we are declaring war against a religion."

"It doesn't do justice to the vast number of Muslims in our country and around the world who are peaceful people," the Republican presidential aspirant said, as quoted by CNN.

Clinton further said that describing Islam as "radical" may even benefit the ISIS' cause.

"It helps to create this clash of civilisations that is actually a recruiting tool for ISIS and other radical jihadists who use this as a way of saying, 'We are in a war against the West—you must join us,'" she said.

The Republican candidate nevertheless said she expects President Obama to announce an "intensification of the existing strategy" against ISIS militants any time soon.

She also emphasised the need not only for airstrikes and ground combat operation but also for online vigilance to defeat the ISIS.

"We're going to need help from Facebook and from YouTube and from Twitter," Clinton said.

The former State Secretary noted that the ISIS is using online platforms to increase its numbers

"They cannot permit the recruitment and the actual direction of attacks of the celebration of violence by the sophisticated Internet user," she said. "They're going to have to help us take down these announcement and appeals, particularly as they get up."