WASHINGTON — During his last State of the Union address of his presidency, Barack Obama again condemned what he called the “lie” that the barbaric terror group ISIS is representative of the Islamic religion.
While speaking on a variety of issues during his Tuesday night speech before members of Congress, the U.S. Supreme Court, representatives of the U.S. Department of Defense and other members of his cabinet, Obama addressed what he called a “dangerous time” in American history.
“Priority number one is protecting the American people and going after terrorist networks,” he said. “Both al Qaeda and now ISIL pose a direct threat to our people, because in today’s world, even a handful of terrorists who place no value on human life, including their own, can do a lot of damage.”
Obama acknowledged that groups such as ISIS, which the president referred to as ISIL, “use the Internet to poison the minds of individuals” within America’s own borders. However, he rejected assertions that the terror group is ushering in a third world war.
“But as we focus on destroying ISIL, over-the-top claims that this is World War III just play into their hands,” Obama stated. “Masses of fighters on the back of pickup trucks and twisted souls plotting in apartments or garages pose an enormous danger to civilians and must be stopped. But they do not threaten our national existence. That’s the story ISIL wants to tell; that’s the kind of propaganda they use to recruit.”
In addition to rebuffing the notion of World War III, he again used the opportunity to contend as he has done several times during his presidency that ISIS is not Islamic. He said that the nation should not echo what he called the “lie” that ISIS is representative of the Islamic religion.
“We don’t need to build [ISIL] up to show that we’re serious, nor do we need to push away vital allies in this fight by echoing the lie that ISIL is representative of one of the world’s largest religions,” Obama declared, resulting in a standing ovation. “We just need to call them what they are — killers and fanatics who have to be rooted out, hunted down, and destroyed.”
“For more than a year, America has led a coalition of more than 60 countries to cut off ISIL’s financing, disrupt their plots, stop the flow of terrorist fighters, and stamp out their vicious ideology,” he continued. “With nearly 10,000 air strikes, we are taking out their leadership, their oil, their training camps, and their weapons. We are training, arming, and supporting forces who are steadily reclaiming territory in Iraq and Syria.”
He called for Congress to authorize the use of further military force, and vowed to hunt down terrorists and those who seek to harm Americans.
“If you doubt America’s commitment — or mine — to see that justice is done, ask Osama bin Laden,” Obama stated. “Ask the leader of al Qaeda in Yemen, who was taken out last year, or the perpetrator of the Benghazi attacks, who sits in a prison cell. When you come after Americans, we go after you. It may take time, but we have long memories, and our reach has no limit.”
As previously reported, in a 2014 interview on the Russia Today program “Worlds Apart,” London-based imam Anjem Choudary cited the Koran in acknowledging that terrorism is part of the Islamic faith.
“I would first invite the people to think about and embrace Islam, but those who are already Muslim must know that Allah mentions in the Koran—in fact if you look in chapter 8 verse 60, he said, ‘Prepare as much as you can steeds of war to terrorize the enemy,’” he explained. “So terrorizing the enemy is in fact part of Islam. I mean, this is something that we must embrace and understand as far as jurisprudence of Islam is concerned.”