In the wake of the tragic attacks last week, the second Democratic presidential debate in Des Moines, Iowa shifted its focus from domestic policy issues like the economy to foreign policy and terrorism. When important news breaks unexpectedly, it’s important to note how presidential candidates handle themselves in these situations. Front-runner Hillary Clinton noticeably had difficulty responding to Sanders' and O’Malley’s critiques on her policy. They cautiously attacked the former Secretary of State on her ties to Wall Street and her foreign policy decisions in Libya and Iraq, which they claim led to the growth of ISIL. All three candidates, however, agreed on the United States’ “moral responsibility” to welcome Syrian refugees fleeing the terrorist group and war. On the question of defeating ISIL, however, the debate re-focused on discussing the terminology used to discuss terrorism. Democratic leaders are often criticized by their Republican counterparts for not using the term “radical Islam.” In clarifying their position, the Democratic candidates affirmed that the United States is in fact not at war with Islam. Clinton suggested we reach out to Muslim countries “to have them be part of our coalition.” In calling for additional Muslim support, O’Malley called American Muslims to be the country’s “first line of defense,” saying that American Muslims “understand that this brutal and barbaric group is perverting the name of a great world religion.” In contrast, most of the Republican candidates continue to aggressively refer to ISIL’s attacks as religiously-motivated when in fact they should refer to the attacks by what they are: acts of violence driven by a nihilistic worldview.