President Obama told a conference of world leaders at the United Nations that Muslims should never be targeted as perpetrators of violent extremism simply because of their faith.
“Remember that violent extremism is not unique to any one faith,” he said, “So no one should be profiled or targeted simply because of their faith.”
Obama made his remarks during the UN Summit on Countering ISIL and Violent Extremism held in New York City today.
Obama acknowledged, however, that Muslim youth were specifically being targeted and recruited by ISIS, especially those who were “disillusioned, confused, or wrestling with their own identities.”
He argued that people of all faiths and all world leaders should work together to counter radicalization of disaffected people within communities.
“It is up to all of us,” he said. “We have to commit ourselves to build diverse, tolerant, inclusive, societies that reject anti-Muslim and anti-immigrant bigotry that creates the divisions, the fear, and the resentments upon which extremists can prey.”
Obama also called for economic prosperity in the Middle East, saying poverty was a key component of the ISIS radicalization efforts.
While promoting military efforts that the United States was using to degrade ISIS, Obama said it wasn’t enough to defeat the organization on the battled field.
“Ideologies are not defeated with guns,” Obama claimed, referring to ISIS. “They are defeated by better ideas.”