News broke Sunday (Feb. 15) that 21 Coptic Christians had died from ISIS violence in a mass beheading. In response, President Obama spoke about terrorism at the White House Summit on Countering Violent Extremism, arguing that the war was not against the Islamic religion.
In his speech, Obama said, "We are not at war with Islam. We are at war with people who have perverted Islam."
"No religion is responsible for terrorism – people are responsible for violence and terrorism," he continued.
The President has been criticized for refusing to refer to ISIS as a group of “radical Muslims,” simply calling them “terrorists” instead. A senior White House official told reporters before the conference, "You can call them what you want; we are calling them terrorists. We are not treating these people [as] part of a religion.”
Christian Today reports that the killing of the 21 Christians has unified Egypt.
Andrea Zaki, vice president of the Protestant Churches of Egypt, said that Egyptian people have become united in their grief and outrage.
“There has been a very strong response of unity and sympathy. People are describing Copts as Egyptians, first and foremost, and with their blood they are unifying Egypt,” she said.
Publication date: February 19, 2015