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No War With Islam

President Barack Obama speaking to participants of White House Summit on Violent Extremism.

“We are not at war with Islam. We are at war with people who have perverted Islam.”

Speaking at a conference in Washington aimed at countering violent extremism, President Barack Obama stressed that in the fight against Al-Qaeda and ISIL, “We are not at war with Islam. We are at war with people who have perverted Islam:”

No War With Islam
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“They try to portray themselves as religious leaders, holy warriors in defense of Islam…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.”

President Obama said that Al-Qaeda and ISIL, drawing selectively from Islamic texts, depend on the misperception that they speak for the Muslim faith, and that “there is some sort of clash of civilizations:”

“Of course, the terrorists do not speak for over a billion Muslims who reject their hateful ideology.”

As for a clash of civilizations, Mr. Obama noted that “in America, Islam has been woven into the fabric of our country since its founding:”

“Generations of Muslim immigrants came here and went to work as farmers and merchants and factory workers, helped to lay railroads and build up America… Muslim Americans protect our communities as police officers and firefighters and first responders…In cemeteries across our country, including at Arlington, Muslim American heroes rest in peace having given their lives in defense of all of us.”

“That’s the story extremists and terrorists don’t want the world to know,” said President Obama, “Muslims succeeding and thriving in America. Because when that truth is known, it exposes their propaganda as the lie it is.”

President Obama also urged Americans not to forget the story of Muslims in the United States, because such a story “reminds us all that hatred and bigotry and prejudice have no place in our country. It is not just counterproductive. It doesn’t just aid terrorists,” he said. “It’s wrong. It’s contrary to who we are.”