President Barack Obama delivered a call to the peaceful Muslim world to be more forceful in countering the violent extremism of the Islamic State and Al Qaeda.
President Barack Obama speaks during the 69th session of the United Nations General Assembly in New York, Sept. 24, 2014. (AFP PHOTO/Saul LOEB)
“It is time for the world – especially Muslim communities – to explicitly, forcefully, and consistently reject the ideology of Al Qaeda and ISIL,” Obama said Wednesday before the United Nations General Assembly. “It is the task of all great religions to accommodate devout faith with a modern, multicultural world. No children – anywhere – should be educated to hate other people.”
The United States this week expanded airstrikes against the Islamic State from Iraq into Syria, with help from Arab countries including Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.
Obama reaffirmed during his remarks that the United States "is not and never will be at war with Islam” and said Muslims are part of the fabric of America.
“There should be no more tolerance of so-called clerics who call upon people to harm innocents because they are Jewish, Christian or Muslim,” Obama said. “It is time for a new compact among the civilized peoples of this world to eradicate war at its most fundamental source, the corruption of young minds by violent ideology.”
“That means cutting off the funding that fuels this hate. It’s time to end the hypocrisy of those who accumulate wealth through the global economy, and then siphon funds to those who teach children to tear it down,” Obama said. “That means contesting the space that terrorists occupy – including the Internet and social media. Their propaganda has coerced young people to travel abroad to fight their wars, and turned students into suicide bombers. We must offer an alternative vision.”
Obama said people of different faiths should come together to speak out against this worldview.
He stressed that there is no way to negotiate with the Islamic State, which he told the gathering of world leaders murders innocent children, rapes women and young girls, starves religious minorities to death and beheads hostages on camera.
Obama said more than 40 nations have joined to combat the terror network either through direct military aid or financial assistance.
“No God condones this terror. No grievance justifies these actions. There can be no reasoning – no negotiation – with this brand of evil. The only language understood by killers like this is the language of force,” Obama said. “So the United States of America will work with a broad coalition to dismantle this network of death.”