President Barack Obama on Wednesday sought to rally the world and especially Muslim countries to join the American fight against ISIS militants — a “network of death” that he said must be destroyed.
Speaking at the United Nations, two days after the United States escalated its campaign against the militants with a barrage of airstrikes in Syria, Obama called on countries to counter the extremism and sectarian conflict that allow terrorism to flourish.
“No God condones this terror,” he told the General Assembly in New York. “No grievance justifies these actions. There can be no reasoning — no negotiation — with this brand of evil.”
“The only language understood by killers like this is the language of force,” he went on. “So the United States of America will work with a broad coalition to dismantle this network of death.”
The Obama administration has said that more than 40 countries have joined a coalition to fight the militants, including five Arab countries that took part in the first round of airstrikes in Syria.
Other countries have been vague about their commitments, though, and analysts have said that the administration must build broad support in the Middle East to give its operation legitimacy.
“Today I ask the world to join in this effort,” the president said. Using a different acronym for the militants, he said: “Those who have joined ISIL should leave the battlefield while they can.”
He said that Muslims especially should “explicitly, forcefully and consistently reject” the ideology of ISIS and al Qaeda.
Specifically, he urged countries to stop the “hypocrisy” of accumulating wealth in a global economy and then funneling money to “those who teach children to tear it down.”
He said countries must also contest the militants on social media, bring people of different faiths together, stop cycles of sectarian conflict, make women full participants in society and improve education and economic opportunity.
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