Obama: "Violent Extremism" Has "Metastasized" But "I Do Not Consider It An Existential Threat"


PRESIDENT OBAMA: We've been very active in trying to resolve a tragic situation in Syria diplomatically through humanitarian efforts, through the removal of the chemical weapons from Syria that had been so deadly. And now as ISIL has moved forward, we've been very active in degrading their capabilities inside of Syria, even as we're working with partners to make sure that the foreign fighter situation is resolved.

But I think David [Cameron]'s point is the key one. This phenomenon of violent extremism, the ideology, the networks, the capacity to recruit young people, this has metastasized and it is widespread and it has penetrated communities around the world. I do not consider it an existential threat, as David said, it is one that we will solve. We are stronger. We are representing values that the vast majority of Muslims believe in -- in tolerance and in working together to build rather than to destroy.

And so this is a problem that causes great heart ache and tragedy and destruction but it is one that ultimately we're going to defeat. But we can't just defeat it through weapons. One of the things that we spoke about is how do we lift up those voices that represent the vast majority of the Muslim world so that that counter narrative against this nihilism is put out there as aggressively and as nimbly as the messages coming out from these fanatics.

How do we make sure that we are working with local communities and faith leaders and families, whether in a neighborhood in London or a neighborhood in Detroit, Michigan? So that we are we are inoculating ourselves against this kind of ideology. And that's going to be slow plotting systemic work. But it's work that I'm confident we're going to be able to accomplish, particularly when we've strong partners like the United Kingdom doing it.

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