Obama: Muslim communities must push back against ’ugly lie’ that West is at war with Islam

President Barack Obama called on the world Thursday to confront efforts to use Islam to justify violence, saying Muslim communities in particular have a responsibility to push back on “twisted interpretations of Islam” and the belief that the West is at war with the religion.

WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama called on the world Thursday to confront efforts to use Islam to justify violence, saying Muslim communities in particular have a responsibility to push back on “twisted interpretations of Islam” and the belief that the West is at war with the religion.

With the Islamic State group spreading and terrorists gaining strength in the Mideast and Africa, Obama has sought to use a White House summit this week on violent extremism to urge the world to broaden its response far beyond military interventions. U.S. airstrikes have managed to blunt some of the militants’ gains in Iraq and Syria, but they don’t address the extreme ideologies that underpin deadly groups such as IS, al-Shabab and Boko Haram.

At the summit’s closing session at the State Department, U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said the United Nations system will work on a “comprehensive multi-stakeholder plan of action to prevent violent extremism” that will be presented to the General Assembly later this year. He said that as a first step, he will convene a special event in the next months “that will bring together faith leaders from all around the world to promote mutual understanding and reconciliation.”

In his speech, Obama vowed that “in Iraq and Syria, our coalition of some 60 nations, including Arab nations, will not relent in our mission to degrade and ultimately destroy ISIL,” referring to the Islamic State by one of its acronyms.

But he also urged delegates from 65 countries to “confront the warped ideology” espoused by terror groups.

“These terrorists are desperate for legitimacy and all of us have a responsibility to refute the notion that groups like ISIL somehow represent Islam, because that is a falsehood that embraces the terrorist narrative,” Obama said.

He also called the notion that the West is at war with Islam an “ugly lie” that extremists use to justify their violence.

“Muslim communities, including scholars and clerics, therefore have a responsibility to push back not just on twisted interpretations of Islam, but also on the lie that we are somehow engaged in a clash of civilizations,” Obama said.

Ban touched on similar themes.

The U.N. chief noted that the vast majority of victims of Islamic extremists “are Muslims, including women and subjected to rape, kidnapping, sexual slavery and ”other unspeakable horrors.“

“Violent extremism is not a North-South or East-West issue. It is not confined to a particular region or religion. It transcends borders and is present across the world,” Ban said.

Just Posted

Person airlifted to hospital after collision near Innisfail

One person was airlifted to hospital after a serious collision west of… Continue reading

Sunny weather improves farmers’ prospects

A harvester kicking up dust. It’s a picture that will bring a… Continue reading

Rural transit pilot project being considered

Penhold, Innisfail and Red Deer County councils to decide whether to go ahead with project

Red Deer fire station up for sale

Home sweet home at Fire Station 4

‘Stupid’ law preventing Canada’s re-engagement with Iran: retired envoy

OTTAWA — The real reason the Liberal government hasn’t been able to… Continue reading

Voters head to polls for BC municipal elections today

VANCOUVER — Voters in British Columbia will head to the polls today… Continue reading

All sharks tagged in N.S. expedition can now be tracked on Ocearch website

HALIFAX — All six of the sharks tagged in Nova Scotian waters… Continue reading

Memorial service for former PQ minister Lise Payette today in Montreal

MONTREAL — Mourners will gather to remember former Parti Quebecois cabinet minister… Continue reading

Immunotherapy scores a first win against some breast cancers

For the first time, one of the new immunotherapy drugs has shown… Continue reading

‘Mom I’m in trouble:’ Canadian, Brit face 10 years in jail for alleged graffiti

GRANDE PRAIRIE, Alta. — The mother of a Canadian who was arrested… Continue reading

Coyote on the prowl near Penhold

This coyote was out on the prowl in a field just west… Continue reading

Most Read