President Obama has called on the international community to come together and listen to the grievances of terrorists, during an address at the State Department on Thursday morning.
He rejected the idea of ‘islamic extremism’, saying “The notion that the West is at war with Islam is an ugly lie. And all of us, regardless of our faith, have a responsibility to reject it“.
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Mirroring remarks made by his administration throughout the three-day Summit on Countering Violent Extremism held in Washington, DC this week, President Obama said during an address at State Department headquarters Thursday morning that the international community should come together to prevent differences in religion and other factors from further breeding extremism, specifically those exhibited by the militant organization that calls itself the Islamic State (IS, also known as ISIS, or ISIL), both regionally and across the globe.
Referring to sectarian conflicts as “magnets for violent extremism,” Obama said the world at large must renounce propaganda that has perpetuated the ideology that the US and the West wholly embrace anti-Muslim sentiments, the likes of which is believed to be a driving factor in recruiting new members to IS and similar terrorist organizations opposed to America and its allies.
“The notion that the West is at war with Islam is an ugly lie. And all of us, regardless of our faith, have a responsibility to reject it,” the president said, mirroring remarks that the White House has increasingly gone on the record to say in the wake of other apparent religious-based attacks, both in the US and abroad.
“We must acknowledge that groups like Al-Qaeda and ISIL are deliberately targeting their propaganda to Muslim communities,” Obama said. “Muslim communities, including scholars and clerics, therefore have a responsibility to push back.”
Yet as the Middle East and North African continues to strive for economic stability, Obama said, poverty has also played a pivotal role with regards to breeding extremism, especially in modern day Iraq following years of devastating war.
“We must address the grievances that terrorist exploit, including economic grievances,” Obama said.