President Obama termed his administration’s approach to the terror threat as the correct policy and repeated that groups like ISIS and Al Qaeda do not represent Islam. President Obama was speaking at the White House Summit on Countering Violent Extremism, Wednesday, Feb. 18, 2015, in the South Court Auditorium of the Eisenhower Executive Office Building on the White House Complex in Washington.
Addressing the audience on the second day of the summit, the US President made a fervent appeal to the international community to address to the grievances, both economic as well as political, which the terrorists exploit to find new recruits to their fold. He added that poverty alone is not the cause of terrorism but festering resentment when millions of people are impoverished acts as fodder for the growth of extremism.
Mr. Obama also stressed that no single religion is responsible for violence and terrorism. Mr. Obama said that he will add his voice to the voice of tolerance in the US and beyond.
Republican lawmakers and others however criticized the administration for failing to describe the threat as Islamic Terrorism. The State Department Spokeswoman Marie Harf also came under scathing criticism for suggesting that economic measures like more jobs will stem the rising tide of extremism.
Former Navy SEAL Team 6 member who claims to have fired the shot that killed Usama bin Laden, Rob O’Neill said to Fox News, “They get paid to cut off heads — to crucify children, to sell slaves and to cut off heads and I don’t think that a change in career path is what’s going to stop them.”
The President also called upon Muslim leaders to do more to remove the notion that the West is determined to suppress Islam and there is an impending clash of civilization.
Leaders from more than 60 countries as well as local community leaders from Boston, Minneapolis and Los Angeles traveled to Washington for the summit.