National Security

Obama: Ideologies like Islamic State’s Are Not Defeated With Guns But With Better Ideas

President Obama said Monday afternoon that hateful ideologies such as those of Islamic State "are not defeated with guns" but rather with a "more attractive and more compelling vision."

Defeating the terrorist group, Obama said at the Pentagon, would "require us to discredit their ideology" and partner with Muslim communities with the expectation that they would step up against hateful ideologies, "particularly when it comes to what we're teaching young people."

"This broader challenge of countering violent extremism is not simply a military effort," he said. "Ideologies are not defeated with guns, they are defeated by better ideas and more attractive and more compelling vision. So the United States will continue to do our part by working with partners to counter ISIL's hateful propaganda, especially online. We'll constantly reaffirm through words and deeds that we will never be at war with Islam. We're fighting terrorists who distort islam and whose victims are mostly Muslims."

Full remarks:

PRESIDENT OBAMA: This broader challenge of countering violent extremism is not simply a military effort. Ideologies are not defeated with guns, they are defeated by better ideas and more attractive and more compelling vision. So the United States will continue to do our part by continuing to counter ISIL's hateful propaganda, especially online. We'll constantly reaffirm through words and deeds that we will never be at war with Islam. We are fighting terrorists who distort islam and its victims are mostly Muslims.

But around the world, we're also going to insist on partnering with Muslim communities as they seek the prosperity and dignity they observe. And we're going to expect those communities to step up in terms of pushing back as hard as they can in conjunction with other people of good will against these hateful ideologies, particularly when it comes to what we're teaching young people.