- – ISIS are terrorists not Muslims
- – we need to stay true to values of free and democratic societies
- – Terrorist groups believe change is only made through violence
- – Tackling ISIL takes time, need patient
- – Muslim leaders speak up in fight against extremism and terrorism
- – we know that military force alone cannot solve this problem
- – Groups like al Qaeda and ISIL promote a twisted interpretation of religion that is rejected by the overwhelming majority of the world’s Muslims
- – The world must continue to lift up the voices of Muslim clerics and scholars who teach the true peaceful nature of Islam
- – – we know that many Muslim Americans across our country are worried and afraid
- US President Obama speaks on extremism, “We must confront twisted ideology”
SHAFAQNA – Amid rising calls for actions against ISIS ideology, US President Barack Obama spoke at his summit on countering violent extremism this Wednesday.
While President Obama made clear that the US would continue to fight extremism wherever it may hide or lie, its fight was not with Islam itself.
“We are not at war with Islam. We are at war with people who have perverted Islam,” he emphasized, clearly directing his remarks to the American-Muslim community.
He added, “Muslim leaders need to do more to discredit the notion that our nations are determined to suppress Islam.”
President Obama’s comments were received with mild optimism by the American-Muslim community, with many individuals complaining that such calls for social cohesion, solidarity and tolerance would do little to curb the rise of Islamophobia across America.
Obama went to great lengths before the summit began to avoid linking extremism to the Muslim faith; his intent, aides say, “was to avoid giving credence to the ideologies of Islamic State or Al Qaeda terrorists.”
On Wednesday he said of ISIS and Al Qaeda, “They try to portray themselves as religious leaders, holy warriors in defense of Islam.”
Moreover, “We must never accept the premise that they put forward because it is a lie. Nor should we grant these terrorists the religious legitimacy that they seek. They are not religious leaders. They are terrorists.”
Moving on to the subject of radicalization, President Obama urged all members of the community, whether Muslims, Christians, Jews and otherwise to unite and stand together before the threat of radicalism.
Keen to oppose negative stereotype and emphasize on the dangers of extremism, the president noted, “We all know there is no one profile of a violent extremist or terrorist. There is no way to predict who will become radicalized,” he said. “We are here at this summit because of the urgent threat from groups like al Qaeda and ISIL and this week, we are focused on prevention.