President Barack Obama will deliver the keynote address Wednesday at a summit in Washington on combating and preventing violent extremism.
The summit comes as the United States and its allies are struggling with the rapid, bloody rise of the extremist group Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, and recent terrorist attacks in Australia, Canada, France, and Denmark.
In an opinion piece published Wednesday in the Los Angeles Times, Obama said groups like ISIL (IS) and al Qaida « exploit the anger that festers when people feel that injustice and corruption leave them with no chance of improving their lives. The world has to offer today’s youth something better. »
But the administration has been careful not to put the focus of this week’s summit solely on Islamic extremism, but on all forms of extremism, a strategy that has drawn criticism from conservative Republicans.
Vice President Joe Biden opened the White House summit Tuesday touting the success of youth outreach programs in Boston, Los Angeles and Minneapolis, each with large population of immigrants.
« Societies have to provide an affirmative alternative for immigrant communities, a sense of opportunity, a sense of belonging that discredits the terrorist’s appeal to fear, isolation, hatred, resentment, » said Biden.
The vice president said he believes the United States has a lot more experience in integrating minority youths into society than European nations.
Officials from 60 countries, as well as spiritual leaders and police officials from across the United States, are attending the White House summit.
Some material for this report came from AP.