US President Barack Obama on Thursday wrapped up a three-day White House summit on violent extremism calling on the nations to join in the fight to counter the fundamental tension that has gripped the world and suggesting ways to curb the violent ideologies of the terrorist groups.
The summit was attended by the Ministers from 60 nations and comes as the brutal attacks of the militant group IS is rapidly advancing, seizing large swathes of Syria and Iraq and posing a threat to Egypt, Ottawa, Paris and Copenhagen. Obama addressed an auditorium full of community activists, religious leaders and law enforcement officials. While his speech has significant relevance, certain parts of the address were conveniently left out. The speech mainly aimed at taking steps to stop the progress of terrorist groups like Islamic State, Al Qaida, Boko Haram and Al Shabab, in vulnerable communities across the world including Nigeria, Middle East and Asia. Obama called the idea that the West is at war with Islam an ‘ugly lie’ and said that violent terrorist networks does not represent Islamic faith. He stressed that the West was not in conflict with Islam but that they “are at war with people who have perverted Islam.” The notion since the September 11 attacks that the US was behind every attack was something to be rubbished off and that it was the terror groups that take advantage of the situation. The stigma is still being continued further worsening with the recent Charlie Hebdo attacks while Obama tried to erase off the false allegations that the West had unleashed against Islam.
He made appeals to young people around the world to counter violent extremism and terrorism, which were the problems affecting the communities at present and urged the governments to not fund irresponsible youths. Obama said that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad waged war against his own people and triggered sectarian tensions that fuelled the rise of IS adding that the concerned authorities should “address their differences through dialogue” and take steps to curb the Shia –Sunni conflicts persisting in the country. He also urged the countries to end the political suppression, human rights violations and the financial slump and cited instances of Digital communications hub mooted by UAE to tackle terrorism. But no statements were made about the alleged US-Israel alliance with the President calling Israel as a victim of terrorism. The rest of the international community had condemned the Zionist nation for its moves particularly, for its role in Gaza war. President of the advocacy group Human Rights First, Elisa Massimino and Western political analyst Marc Lynch pointed out that representatives of the governments attending the summit were themselves part of the problems faced and fighting alongside them would undermine the shared agenda of the nations in the matter. In such a case, the efforts in the direction of tackling insurgency and violent extremism would prove a futile exercise.