The administration is so focused on countering the threat of violent extremism that it purposely downplays the ideologies that motivate extremists.
In Cameron’s view, violence is a symptom of a problem, but is not itself the problem. The problem is the rejection of liberal values by a substantial number of recent immigrants to liberal societies, and by their children and grandchildren. Terrorism manifests that rejection, but even when terrorism is contained by effective police work, the challenge remains intact.
The Obama administration repudiates this view. The Obama administration believes the problem is violent extremism. Of course it’s wrong, in this view, to kill cartoonists who caricature Muhammad. But wishing such cartoons suppressed by non-violent means does not present a similarly-urgent threat. Indeed, those who wish such cartoons suppressed by means short of violence may be our best allies in the struggle against violence, precisely because they have the most credibility with the people who might otherwise turn to violence.