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Obama: ‘we are not at war with Islam’

Obama added that terrorists 'do not speak' for one billion Muslims

Published: Updated:

President Barack Obama on Wednesday warned that the war on terror would take years and urged Western and Muslim leaders to unite to defeat the “false promises of extremism."

"No religion is responsible for terrorism - people are responsible for violence and terrorism," the U.S. leader told delegates at the White House Summit on Countering Violent Extremism.

"We are not at war with Islam - we are at war with people who have perverted Islam," he said.

He urged Western and Muslim leaders to unite to defeat the “false promises of extremism,” saying they must jointly reject the premise that militant groups represent Islam.

“The terrorists do not speak for over a billion Muslims,” Obama told the conference on countering radicalism, saying nations must not accept there is a “clash of civilizations.”

Obama told delegates at the three-day conference that the fight against extremism could not be won with military might alone.

He earlier said that Muslims in America had become “afraid” after the recent series of violent incidents against their community, as extremism takes root in the United States inspired by terrorism overseas.

(With AFP, Reuters)