VIDEO, REACTION: Obama Says We Must 'Reject Notion That ISIS Represents Islam'
President Obama spoke again this morning (video above) to close out the White House Summit to Counter Violent Extremism, repeating that he rejects the idea that ISIS represents Islam.
"These terrorists are desperate for legitimacy and all of us have a responsibility to refute the notion that groups like ISIL somehow represent Islam. Because that is a falsehood that embraces the terrorists' narrative," he said.
Obama said at the summit yesterday that ISIS terrorists have "perverted Islam" and sought to explain why the administration refuses to say "Islamic extremism."
"The notion that the West is at war with Islam is an ugly lie. And all of us, regardless of our faith, have a responsibility to reject it," Obama said today.
He said that "countering violent extremism begins with political, civic, and religious leaders rejecting sectarian strife."
Obama said world leaders must get serious about "confronting these economic grievances" that drive young people toward terrorist groups.
Obama said the U.S. must "remain unwavering in our fight against terrorist organizations," taking action against al Qaeda affiliates in Yemen, Somalia and the tribal areas of Pakistan.
Following the speech, we heard some reaction from Fox News military analyst Capt. Chuck Nash (Ret.).
Nash told Bill Hemmer that the president's words don't line up with the reality of what is taking place in the Middle East.
"The problem with this is that he's speaking about a world that does not exist. It's a fantasy world in his mind or his speechwriter's mind," said Nash, pointing out that "militant Islam" controls territory in Iraq and Syria.
Nash called Obama's stance a "willful disregard" for what is happening in the world and warned that there will be a "horrific price" for these policies.
Fox News contributor and former White House senior adviser Karl Rove then weighed in on "Happening Now."
Rove questioned why Obama cannot make a distinction between Islamic terrorists and Islam itself, calling that a "powerful tool" that President Bush used in the war on terror.
Rove said there were "laudable points" in today's speech, like promoting economic initiatives in the Middle East and working for the education of women.
But he pointed out that unless there is security, none of those goals can be achieved.
"Until the people are able to open a school without fear that they're going to be attacked by these radical Islamists, you cannot provide education. You cannot provide economic opportunity in Mosul - the second largest city in Iraq - when it falls into the hands of ISIL," said Rove, calling the president "stubborn and arrogant" for still refusing to say "Islamic terrorism."
Watch his full analysis below.