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During a speech in Washington, D.C., today, President Obama fired back at those who have criticized him for failing to use the phrase "radical Islam."

"What exactly would using this label accomplish? What exactly would it change?" Obama asked. "Calling a threat by a different name does not make it go away."

He said the whole debate over the words "radical Islam" is merely a "political distraction."

"There's no magic to the phrase 'radical Islam,'" Obama said. "It's a political talking point, not a strategy."

He asserted that extremist groups like Al Qaeda and ISIS want to make it a war between Islam and the West, so his language is carefully calculated to not play into that.

"They want us to validate them ... That they speak for Islam. That's their propaganda. That's how they recruit," Obama said. "If we fall into the trap of painting all Muslims with a broad brush and imply that we are at war with an entire religion, then we are doing the terrorists' work for them."

Watch Obama's remarks above.

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