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In Obama’s Address to the Nation, A Call Not to Confuse Muslims With Terrorists

Tonight, President Barack Obama addressed the nation on the eve of 9/11 and laid out a four-pronged strategy to work with other nations and defeat ISIL.

Here are some highlights from his plan to “degrade and ultimately destroy the terrorist group known as ISIL.”

First, he said, “we will conduct a systematic campaign of airstrikes against these terrorists” and hunt down terrorists that threaten the American people.

Second, an additional 475 ground troops will be deployed as support to those already engaged in the region, although he pointed out that it was not a combat mission, but rather a support mission.

Third, working with international partners, he said counter-terrorism efforts would be strengthened.

Finally, the President noted humanitarian assistance will be provided to Muslim, Christians and all civilians in the region impacted by the on-going crisis and who are currently in grave risk.

Yet, even as he talked about the terrorist threat against America and her people, he also called for the nation not to confuse ISIL with the Muslim faith and brand all Islamic persons ‘terrorists.’

“Now let’s make two things clear: ISIL is not ‘Islamic.’ No religion condones the killing of innocents, and the vast majority of ISIL’s victims have been Muslim,” the President said, directly answering those in the far-right who have turned the events in the Middle East as a reason for Muslim-bashing.

Later on, he stressed that working with the Muslim communities of the world was in fact part of America’s mission and has been for some time.

“It is America that helped remove and destroy Syria’s declared chemical weapons so they cannot pose a threat to the Syrian people – or the world – again” the President said. “And it is America that is helping Muslim communities around the world not just in the fight against terrorism, but in the fight for opportunity, tolerance, and a more hopeful future.”

He concluded by calling on Americans to join with him to fight against ISIL to make the world better for all persons, not just Americans, insisting American has a burden an opportunity to lead and bring about change.

“That is the difference we make in the world,” he said, encouraging the nation to support his plan to stamp out ISIL and provide aid to those in need of all faiths. “And our own safety – our own security – depends upon our willingness to do what it takes to defend this nation, and uphold the values that we stand for – timeless ideals that will endure long after those who offer only hate and destruction have been vanquished from the Earth.”

Photo Credit: Screenshot

Full video of President’s speech below:

About the author

Tamar is a New York based freelance writer and photographer whose work has appeared in over 15 publications. You can catch her work regularly on Issue Hawk, Latest, Jspace, and MediaGlobal.