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Obama Explains Why Islam, Terrorism Are Not Connected

WASHINGTON – Facing huge criticism for refusing to use the controversial term “Islamic” terrorism, American President Barack Obama has stressed that terrorist groups are distorting the true essence of Islam, using it as an excuse for their attacks.

“There is no doubt, and I’ve said repeatedly, where we see terrorist organizations like al Qaeda or ISIL — They have perverted and distorted and tried to claim the mantle of Islam for an excuse for basically barbarism and death,” Obama said at a CNN presidential town hall on Wednesday, CNN reported on September 29.

“These are people who’ve killed children, killed Muslims, take sex slaves, there’s no religious rationale that would justify in any way any of the things that they do,” he said.

“But what I have been careful about when I describe these issues is to make sure that we do not lump these murderers into the billion Muslims that exist around the world, including in this country, who are peaceful, who are responsible, who, in this country, are fellow troops and police officers and fire fighters and teachers and neighbors and friends.”

Obama has taken a lot of criticism over the past months from political opponents over his rhetoric when it comes to terrorism.

The issue came out during Wednesday’s town hall in Fort Lee military base in Virginia when a Gold Star mother questioned his refusal to link terrorism to Islam.

“My son gave his life for acts of terrorism,” audience member Tina Houchins told Obama at the town hall moderated by CNN’s Jake Tapper.

“Do you still believe that the acts of terrorism are done for the self-proclaimed Islamic religious motive? And if you do, why do you still refuse to use the term … Islamic terrorist?”

Calling her question a “sort of manufactured” issue, Obama compared using the term to if a Christian were a murderer but claiming their religion in their actions.

“If you had an organization that was going around killing and blowing people up and said, ‘We’re on the vanguard of Christianity.’ As a Christian, I’m not going to let them claim my religion and say, ‘you’re killing for Christ.’ I would say, that’s ridiculous,” Obama said.

“That’s not what my religion stands for. Call these folks what they are, which is killers and terrorists,” he added.

Obama added that the danger of using the term is when “a president or people aspiring to become president get loose with this language.”

Tapper interjected: “You were clearly talking about the Republican nominee Donald Trump just then –”

“No, I wasn’t,” Obama said. “It’s not unique to the Republican nominee. Look, I’m trying to be careful, we’re on a military base, I don’t insert partisan politics into this.”

“I think that there have been a number of public figures where you start hearing commentary that is dangerous. Because what it starts doing is it starts dividing us up as Americans.”