Hillary Clinton speaks at the Council on Foreign Relations in New York,  Nov. 19, 2015

Hillary Clinton speaks at the Council on Foreign Relations in New York, Nov. 19, 2015

Hillary Clinton sees zero connection between Islamic terrorist networks seeking to create a “would-be caliphate,” the “radical jihadism” they preach, and Islam.

The Democrat front-runner for her party’s 2016 presidential nomination said Friday, “Let’s be clear: Islam is not our adversary. Muslims are peaceful and tolerant people and have nothing whatsoever to do with terrorism.”

The former secretary of state made the comment while speaking before the Council on Foreign Relations in New York on Thursday.

The free WND special report “ISIS Rising,” by Middle East expert and former Department of Defense analyst Michael Maloof, will answer your questions about the jihadist army threatening the West.

“It is time to begin a new phase and intensify and broaden our efforts to smash the would-be caliphate and deny ISIS control of territory in Iraq and Syria,” Clinton told an audience of her plan to defeat the Sunni terror group.

Clinton said she would essentially duplicate President Obama’s efforts against ISIS, but with a more aggressive posture.

“To be successful, airstrikes will have to be combined with ground forces actually taking back more territory from ISIS,” the former secretary of state said, the New York Times reported. She also advocated for a no-fly zone and greater usage of airstrikes.

What do YOU think? Since the Paris terror attacks, are you being more cautious? Sound off in today’s WND poll

Clinton repeatedly referred to “radical jihadism” in her prepared comments, but said acknowledging a connection between worldwide Islamic terror networks and Islam should not be done. She said doing so “gives these criminals, these murderers, more standing than they deserve, and it actually plays into their hands by alienating partners we need by our side.”

The Democrat’s positions stand in stark contrast to Republican front-runner Donald Trump. The businessman has surged in polls since the Islamic terror attacks in Paris, France, that killed 129 and injured more than 350.

Trump has said he would “strongly consider” finding ways to close down mosques linked with terrorism and has taken a hard stance against accepting migrants from the Middle East and North Africa.

“I’m putting the people here on notice that are coming here from Syria as part of this mass migration that if I win, if I win, they’re going back,” Trump said at a New Hampshire rally Oct. 1. “They’re going back. I’m telling you, they’re going back.”

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Three new polls released this week show the billionaire enjoying a comfortable lead with his nearest rival, retired neurosurgeon Dr. Ben Carson.

WND reported Tuesday:

  • A five-day rolling poll by Reuters showed Trump winning 36 percent of Republican primary voters to Carson’s 14.6 percent.
  • A University of Massachusetts survey tallied the two at 31 percent and 22 percent respectively.
  • A Morning Consult poll released Tuesday gave found the real-estate mogul pulling in 38 percent to Carson’s 19 percent.

Trump’s message is also resonating with Democrats.

“He’s telling it as it is. He’s not mincing any words,” 71-year-old Glenn Matlosz told Reuters on Tuesday. The Audubon, New Jersey, Democrat added, “There is no gobbledygook there. Everybody else is squawking.”

Hillary Clinton Muslims

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