President Obama told United Nations delegates Wednesday, in what has become a recurring theme, that Islamic terrorism really isn’t Islamic, and Muslims aspire to live with others in peace.
In an address only days after he ordered missile strikes on key ISIS targets, he also slammed Israel and criticized America for its racial problems.
“We have reaffirmed that the United States is not and never will be at war with Islam,” he said.
“Islam teaches peace. Muslims the world over aspire to live with dignity and a sense of justice. And when it comes to America and Islam, there is no us and them – there is only us, because millions of Muslim Americans are part of the fabric of our country.”
The comments came only days after he, on the eve of the 13th anniversary of the Sept. 11 terror attacks, insisted that the Islamic State terrorists “are not Islamic.”
“Now let’s make two things clear: ISIL is not Islamic,” he said at the time, speaking from the state floor of the White House residence. “No religion condones the killing of innocents, and the vast majority of ISIL’s victims have been Muslim.”
He said ISIL “is certainly not a state.”
“It was formerly al-Qaida’s affiliate in Iraq, and has taken advantage of sectarian strife and Syria’s civil war to gain territory on both sides of the Iraq-Syrian border. It is recognized by no government, nor the people it subjugates. ISIL is a terrorist organization, pure and simple. And it has no vision other than the slaughter of all who stand in its way.”
Meanwhile, a blog that monitors violence perpetrated in the name of Islam, The Religion of Peace, reported there have been 23,902 deadly terror attacks carried out by Islamic terrorists since the Sept. 11 attacks on the U.S. In just the week of Sept. 13-19, there were 58 jihad attacks around the world, with 419 victims.
The Answering Islam website explains the attacks are representative of the instructions given to Muslims.
“Muhammad used to send letters to the kings and leaders of the surrounding countries and tribes, inviting them to surrender to his authority and to believe in him as the messenger of Allah,” the site said. “He always ended his letters with the following two words: ‘Aslim, Taslam!’ Although these two words are derived from the same infinitive Salama which is the root of Salam, i.e. ‘Peace,’ neither one of them implies the meaning of ‘peace.’ The sentence means ‘surrender and you will be safe,’ or in other words, ‘surrender or face death.'”
The Quran and other Islamic books, the site says, “are full of evidence which proves that had it not been for violence, Islam wouldn’t have existed or wouldn’t have survived until today.”
Obama, at Wednesday’s U.N. General Assembly, described a world in which extremist Islamic groups were systematically taking over and killing and raping at will.
He said it’s a symptom of a broader problem, the “failure of our international system to keep pace with an interconnected world.”
His comments came shortly after he ordered airstrikes launched against ISIS, mostly aimed at the northern Iraqi city of Raqqa, where Muslim jihadists have ruled for months.
On Wednesday, Obama described the “nightmarish” vision of the Islamic jihadists, who would “divide the world into adherents and infidels, killing as many innocent civilians as possible.”
“I have made it clear that America will not base our entire foreign policy on reacting to terrorism. Rather, we have waged a focused campaign against al-Qaida and its associated forces – taking out their leaders and denying them the safe-havens they rely upon,” he said.
He said the world’s future is threatened by “the cancer of violent extremism that has ravaged so many parts of the Muslim world.”
Obama called on all member nations to fight extremism and said a lethal group of terrorists “have perverted one of the world’s great religions.”
Saying America “has plenty of problems within in our own borders,” he cited the racial violence in Ferguson, Missouri.
“So yes, we have our own racial and ethnic tensions,” he said, according to prepared text. “And like every country, we continually wrestle with how to reconcile the vast changes wrought by globalization and greater diversity with the traditions that we hold dear.”
And he told the U.N. too many in Israel are ready “to abandon the hard work of peace.”
“And that’s something worthy of reflection within Israel,” he said.
Reacting to the speech, former U.N. Ambassador John Bolton told Fox News it was “stunningly abstract and ethereal.”
The speech, Bolton said, touched “on reality only occasionally, and nowhere was that better demonstrated than in his … explanation of Islamic extremism.”
“What was stunning was that, having laid out the problem, his recommendation was that the solution to Islamic was negotiation and understanding and generational change,” he said.
Officials from Syria, where the U.S. sent its airstrikes against ISIS, liked most of Obama’s speech.
According to the Business Insider, Syrian ambassador Bashar Jaafari said the speech was “good as a whole.”
“The approach used by President Obama was a rather constructive one except in the small part where he contradicted himself by saying USA, I mean his administration, would support what he called ‘the Syrian opposition’ to fight ISIS, and ISIL and Jabhat al Nusra in Syria,” said Jaafari. “He shouldn’t have said that in this way.”
Delia M. Arias De Leon, a WND contributor at the U.N., contributed to this report.