New York - Following the San Bernardino mass shooting last week that has terrorized the U.S., President Barack Obama addressed the nation from the Oval Office on Sunday night on “keeping the American people safe.”
New York – Following the San Bernardino mass shooting last week that has terrorized the U.S., President Barack Obama addressed the nation from the Oval Office on Sunday night on “keeping the American people safe.”
Obama began his address by remembering the fourteen lives that were taken during the attack. “Each of them a public servant. All of them a part of our American family”, he called them.
While the FBI is still investigating the San Bernardino attacks, Obama shared the latest findings on the tragedy.
“We have no evidence that the killers were directed by a terrorist organization overseas, or that they were part of a broader conspiracy here at home. But it is clear that these killers had embraced a perversion of Islam, stockpiled assault weapons, and committed an act of terrorism,” he stressed.
Obama sent a reassuring message to the American people, “The threat of terrorism is real, but we will overcome it. We will destroy ISIL and any other organization that tries to harm us” and outlined a 4-step strategy to achieve it.
“First, our military will continue to hunt down terrorist plotters in any country where it is necessary, using air strikes to take out ISIL leaders and their infrastructure in Iraq and Syria,” Obama said.
“Second, we will continue to provide training and equipment to Iraqi and Syrian forces fighting ISIL on the ground so that we take away their safe havens,” he added.
“Third, we are leading a coalition of 65 countries to stop ISIL’s operations by disrupting plots, cutting off their financing, and preventing them from recruiting more fighters.”
“Fourth, with American leadership, the international community has established a process and timeline to pursue cease-fires and a political resolution to the Syrian civil war,” the President described as the final step.
He continued his speech by urging the U.S. Congress “to make sure that no one on a No Fly List is able to buy a gun.”
He also called for “stronger screening for those who come to America without a visa so that we can know if they’ve traveled to war zones,” adding that Congress “should vote to authorize the continued use of military force against these terrorists.”
The second portion of his address was about the actions “we should not take” in the fight against terrorism and stated this is not an issue between Americans and Muslims.
“We cannot turn against one another by letting this fight become a war between America and Islam. That, too, is what groups like ISIL want. ISIL does not speak for Islam. They are thugs and killers, and account for a tiny fraction of more than a billion Muslims around the world who reject their hateful ideology.”
To defeat terrorism, Obama believes Muslim communities should be seen “as our strongest allies in rooting out misguided ideas that lead to radicalization.”
“It is the responsibility of all Americans — of every faith — to reject discrimination. It is our responsibility to reject religious tests on who we admit into this country. It is our responsibility to reject language that encourages suspicion or hate,” he added.
He concluded his speech with a moving statement reminding the American people that “We were founded upon a belief in human dignity — the idea that no matter who you are, or where you come from, or what you look like, or what religion you practice, you are equal in the eyes of God and equal in the eyes of the law.”