As the nation marked the 13th anniversary of 9/11 with somber ceremonies to remember the victims, ongoing terrorism concerns dominated public attention. In his address to the nation, President Obama outlined an expanded strategy to combat the militant group known as ISIS or ISIL. But he stressed this should not be viewed as a battle against Islam.
PRESIDENT OBAMA: ISIL is not Islamic. No religion condones the killing of innocents, and the vast majority of ISIL’s victims have been Muslim.
A broad coalition of US Muslim leaders came together to underscore their condemnation of terrorism and extremism. They outlined new efforts to ensure that ISIS and other groups do not gain footholds among young American Muslims.
AZHAR AZEEZ, Islamic Society of North America: We will continue to reiterate that the actions of these groups has no basis in the teachings of Islam. Terrorism, in all its forms, is un-Islamic.
Meanwhile, religious freedom activists held a summit in Washington to raise concerns about the persecution of Christians across the Middle East by ISIS and others. The top leaders of some of the region?s ancient churches described what they called the ethnic and religious cleansing taking place against their people.
BISHOP ANGAELOS, Coptic Orthodox Church of Alexandria: As an international community, as those who have any faith, any sense of morals, any sense of ethics, any sense of right or wrong, we cannot by any means sit by and just look.
Watch our conversation with Haris Tarin, Washington office director of the Muslim Public Affairs Council, about the US response to ISIS and the efforts of American Muslims to respond to potential future threats.