Obama blasts Trump's anti-Muslim rhetoric - "not the America we want"

US President Barack Obama on Tuesday blasted Republicans who have accused him of being reluctant to directly address the terrorist threat and criticized Donald Trump for his proposal to ban Muslim immigrants.

Republicans have criticized Obama for not using the phrase "radical Islam" when discussing terrorism. Obama called the discussion over his refusal to use the phrase a "political distraction" that would not change the US fight against terrorism.

"There's no magic to the phrase radical Islam. It's a political talking point, it's not a strategy," Obama said after meeting with his national security team to discuss the fight against Islamic State militants.

Obama insisted he had been clear that extremists had perverted Islam and that his goal was to be clear that the United States was not targeting all Muslims.

He said "loose talk and sloppiness" had led to proposals by Trump to ban all Muslims and implicating entire communities in violence.

"Do Republican officials actually agree with this? Because that's not the America we want," Obama said.

Giving into calls to single out Muslims would be an abandonment of US values and allow the terrorists to win, he said. "We would have betrayed the very things we are trying to protect."

A terrorist attack on a gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida, has prompted a round of finger pointing on US terrorism policy, with Trump renewing calls Monday for a ban on Muslim immigration in order to prevent potential terrorists from entering the country. The gunman in Sunday's attack was a US-born citizen whose parents had come to the country from Afghanistan.

Last update: Tue, 28/06/2016 - 17:25
Author: 

More from World

Jammeh looted state coffers before leaving Gambia, say officials

Former Gambian leader Yahya Jammeh emptied the country’s state coffers before relinquishing power, a member of the...

Trump invites Netanyahu to meeting as new settlement action weighed

US President Donald Trump has invited Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to meet him at the White House next...

Trump's senior staff sworn in at White House

About 30 officials who will serve as advisers and assistants to President Donald Trump were were sworn in Sunday at...

Dozens killed in clashes in south-west Yemen

ozens of people have been killed in clashes in war-torn Yemen's south-west, a source in the Yemeni military told dpa...

Iran hands down 5-year prison sentence to British woman for spying

A court in Tehran has sentenced a British woman, who has already been held in custody in Iran for 10 months, to five...