Updated 08:04 p.m. Moscow Time
UNITED NATIONS, September 24 (RIA Novosti) - US President Barack Obama said at the 69th session of the UN General Assembly on Wednesday that Islam as a religion teaches peace and that the United States is not and will never be at war with Islam.
"We reaffirm that the US is not and never will be at war with Islam. ... Islam teaches peace. ... When it comes to America and Islam, there is no us and them, there is only us," Obama said, adding that America will not focus its entire foreign policy on reacting to terrorist claims.
"Belief in permanent religious war is the misguided refuge of extremists who cannot build or create anything, and therefore peddle only fanaticism and hate," he added. "We must take concrete steps to address the danger posed by religiously motivated fanatics, and the trends that fuel their recruitment."
The US president pointed out that Islam originally teaches peace and has nothing to do with the violent form of extremism, adopted by the Islamic State (IS) "fanatics." The statement came as the United States together with its allies are conducting a campaign to defeat the IS in Iraq and Syria.
The IS, also known as the Islamic State of Iraq and Greater Syria (ISIS) or the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), is a Sunni group that has been fighting the Syrian government since 2012. In June 2014, the group launched attacks in northern and western Iraq, announcing the establishment of a caliphate on the territories under its control.
Earlier this month, the United States unveiled its strategy to defeat the jihadist group establishing a multinational coalition against the IS. On Tuesday, the US-led coalition performed the first series of airstrikes targeting IS positions in Syria.