Obama: ‘The Best Way to Fight Terrorism’ Is to Show that ‘We Don’t Suppress Islam’

‘The notion that America’s at war with Islam ignores the fact that the world’s religions are a part of who we are’

“I often hear it said we need more clarity in this fight. And the suggestion is somehow that if I would simply say these are all Islamic terrorists then we would actually have solved the problem by now, apparently. Well, I agree, we actually do need moral clarity. Let’s have moral clarity. Groups like ISIL are desperate for legitimacy. They try to portray themselves as religious leaders and holy warriors who speak for Islam. I refuse to give them legitimacy. We must never give them that legitimacy. (Applause) They’re not defending Islam. They’re not defending Muslims. The vast majority of the people they kill are innocent Muslim men, women and children. (Applause) And by the way, the notion that America’s at war with Islam ignores the fact that the world’s religions are a part of who we are. We can’t be at war with any other religion because the world’s religions are a part of the very fabric of the united States, our national character. (Applause) So the best way for us to fight terrorism is to deny these organizations legitimacy and to show that here in the United States of America we do not suppress Islam. We celebrate and lift up the success of Muslim Americans. That’s how we show the lie that they’re trying to propagate. We shouldn’t play into terrorist propaganda. And we can’t suggest Islam itself is at the root of the problem. That betrays our values. It alienates Muslim Americans, it’s hurtful to those kids who are trying to go to school, and remembers the boy scouts and are thinking about joining our military.”

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