By calling itself the “Islamic State,” the president said, ISIS “propagates the notion that America, and the West generally, is at war with Islam.”
“We must never accept the premise that they put forward because it is a lie,” Obama continued. “Nor should we grant these terrorists the legitimacy they seek. They are not religious leaders, they are terrorists,” he said to applause. “We are not at war with Islam. We are at war with people who have perverted Islam.”
The president went on to say that Muslim communities have a “responsibility” to reject the terrorists’ version of Islam. “They do depend upon the misperception around the world that they speak in some fashion for people of the Muslim faith, that Islam is somehow inherently violent,” Obama said of extremists.