President Obama is cautioning Americans against stereotyping all Muslims based on the actions of those who use the faith to justify violence, like the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS).
“Terrorists like ISIL are trying to divide us along lines of religion and background,” Obama said in his weekly address Saturday, using an alternate acronym for the terrorist group. “That’s how they stoke fear. That’s how they recruit.
“And just as Muslims around the world have to keep rejecting any twisted interpretation of Islam, all of us have to reject bigotry – in all of its forms,” he added.
“I’ll say it again — prejudice and discrimination helps ISIL and it undermines our national security.”
The president reassured Americans that the fight against ISIS has never been stronger in the wake of the San Bernardino, Calif., terrorist attack.
“Our airstrikes are hitting ISIL harder than ever, in Iraq and Syria,” he said. “We’re taking our more of their fighters, their weapons, their oil tankers.”
Obama encouraged Americans to remain vigilant and to report any suspicious activity to authorities.
“First, as always, we have to stay vigilant,” he said. “If you see something that seems suspicious, say something to law enforcement. Over the years, plots have been uncovered because someone saw something and spoke up.”
The president said he will visit the Pentagon and the National Counterterrorism Center in the coming week in order to review the military campaign against ISIS.