Friday 24 November 2017

West is not at war with Islam - Obama

U.S. President Barack Obama
U.S. President Barack Obama

Lesley Wroughton

US President Barack Obama urged countries to tackle violent Islamist militancy around the world and rejected as "an ugly lie" suggestions that the West was at war with Islam and embroiled in a clash of civilizations.

Mr Obama said there was a complicated history between the Middle East and the West and no one should be immune from criticism over specific policies. "But the notion that the West is at war with Islam is an ugly lie," he said. "And all of us, regardless of our faith, have a responsibility to reject it," he told a White House conference on countering extremism.

"Muslim communities, including scholars and clerics, therefore have a responsibility to push back not just on twisted interpretations of Islam, but also on the lie that we are somehow engaged in a clash of civilizations," Mr Obama said.

With violent groups like Isil, Boko Haram and al-Shabaab gaining strength in Africa and the Middle East, more than 60 countries and international organisations have gathered in Washington to come up with a plan for tackling the problem.

Mr Obama announced that the United States would join the United Arab Emirates to create a new digital communications hub to work with religions.

Irish Independent

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