Fox News presenter Bill O’Reilly declares a 'holy war' against Isis during Talking Points segment

Presenter has been criticised for terminology

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The Independent Online

Fox News presenter Bill O'Reilly has declared the West is embroiled in a global “holy war” against Isis as he criticised President Barack Obama for refusing to lead the fight “against the jihad”.

O’Reilly used the recent beheading of 21 Coptic Christians to blast the “reluctant warrior” President Obama’s unwillingness to “engage the Isis savages on the ground” in his daily Talking Points broadcast.

In his hyperbolic address, he claimed the only way to defeat ‘jihad’ is to have the world unite against it, saying Mr Obama would be remembered for making “an enormous mistake” by failing to engage troops on the ground in Iraq.

Syria, Iraq, northern Pakistan, eastern Nigeria, Iran and other countries have become terrorist safe havens as a result, he warned.

His comments were criticised for legitimising Isis’s propaganda by declaring a ‘holy war’ against the group, which attempts to present militants as waging a religious battle against the West.

“The utter brutality that faces this country and the world today has to be confronted,” O’Reilly said. “And somebody has to lead that effort. It certainly won’t be the Chinese leader or Putin or Merkel or David Cameron in Great Britain. The first three don’t have the will, Cameron doesn’t have the power.

“There is only one leader with the cache to lead the fight – that reluctant warrior, Barack Obama. This is now a so-called holy war between radical jihadists and everybody else including peaceful Muslims.

“The Holy War is here and unfortunately it seems the President will be the last one to acknowledge it.”

The network came under fire recently for claiming that areas of Paris are “no-go zones” forbidden to non-Muslims in the aftermath of the Charlie Hebdo massacres.

Paris authorities threatened to sue over its claims that eight areas are allegedly subject to Sharia and non-Muslims are unwelcome. It made a similar suggestion about Birmingham, which was also named as an example of a no-go zone in Europe.