President Barack Obama said on Wednesday that Islam is not the cause of the Islamic State’s (ISIS) brutality.
“No religion is responsible for terrorism — people are responsible for violence and terrorism,” Obama said at the White House Summit on Countering Violent Extremism.”
Obama added, “They are not religious leaders. They are terrorists. We are not at war with Islam — we are at war with people who have perverted Islam.”
Obama has come under fire for his refusal to call the Islamic State Islamic extremists.
The president said the battle against ISIS “is a generational challenge” but cautioned that “there is no one profile of a violent extremist or terrorist.”
Obama added, “There’s no way to predict who will become radicalized.”
The president said he believes attaching religious identification to Muslim terrorists offers legitimacy to their claims.
“Al Qaeda and ISIL and groups like it are desperate for legitimacy. They try to portray themselves as religious leaders, holy warriors in defense of Islam,” said Obama. “We must never accept the premise that they put forth because it is a lie.”