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Obama: If We Make Terrorism a War Between the U.S. and Islam, We Will Lose More Lives

Tuesday in Tampa, FL at MacDill Air Force Base, President Barack Obama said warned against the stigmatization of “good patriotic Muslims” and that it would feed the “terrorist narrative.”

Obama said, “We are fighting terrorists who claim to fight on behalf of Islam. but they do not speak for over a billion Muslims around the world. And they do not speak for American Muslims, including many who wear the uniform of the United States of America’s military. If we stigmatize good patriotic Muslims, that just feeds the terrorist narrative. It fuels the same false grievances that they use to motivate people to kill.”

“If we act like this is a war between the United States and Islam, we’re not just going to lose more Americans to terrorist attacks, but we’ll also lose sight of the very principles we claim to defend,” he continued. “So let me final words to you as your commander in chief, be a reminder of what it is you’re fighting for, what it is that we are fighting for. The United States of America is not a country that imposes religious tests as a price for freedom. We’re a country that was founded so that people could practice their faiths as they choose. The United States of America is not a place where some citizens have to withstand greater scrutiny or carry a special ID card or prove that they’re not an enemy from within.”

“We’re a country that has bled and struggled and sacrificed against that kind of discrimination and arbitrary rule, here in our own country and around the world,” Obama added. “We’re a nation that believes freedom can never be taken for granted, and that each of us has a responsibility to sustain it. The universal right to speak your mind and to protest against authority. To live in a society that’s open and free. That can criticize a president without retribution. A country where you’re judged by the content of your character rather than what you look like, or how you worship, or what your last name is, or where your family came from. That’s what separates us from tyrants and terrorists.”

Follow Pam Key on Twitter @pamkeyNEN

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