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article imageWhite House summit to discuss extremist threats

By Murray Newlands     Feb 18, 2015 in Politics
Washington D.c. - This week’s White House summit hopes to develop strategies for dealing with extremists, according to officials involved in the planning of the event.
This week’s White House summit hopes to develop strategies for dealing with extremists, according to officials involved in the planning of the event. However, President Barack Obama consistently avoided pointing out Islamic extremists as the central focus of the meeting, instead focusing on all types of violent extremists.
According to officials, extremism exists in almost every culture and religion, which is why the summit will not focus solely on one type of extremist faction. Officials have repeatedly called violent attackers terrorists and not pointed out that they are members of any particular religion.
The Summit on Countering Violent Extremism opened Tuesday, February 18, with Vice-President Joe Biden meeting with officials from various United States cities who have set up pilot programs designed to fight extremists in their areas. Officials from Boston, Minneapolis and Los Angeles will discuss their programs with the Biden and others. President Obama is scheduled to speak at the gathering on Wednesday.
Despite the fact that the White House is downplaying the meeting as a way to address growing threats from Islamic extremist groups like ISIS, officials say that there is growing concern about such groups recruiting American citizens. However, officials also said that extremist groups of “all shapes and sizes” are a growing problem in the world, which is why the focus cannot be on one religious group or culture.
At the opening session, Biden reminded those in attendance that the United States was a nation of immigrants, pointing out that “our strength is that we are a melting pot.” He said that the United States may be avoiding attacks such as those that occurred recently in France and Denmark because the country had historically welcomed immigrants.
Critics say that the summit is partnering with an organization that has ties to terrorist activities. The Islamic Society of Boston and their political organization, the Muslim American Society, may have connections to at least a dozen extremist organizations who have been connected to known terrorist activities, including aiding the Tsarnaev brothers who allegedly carried out the Boston Marathon bombings in 2013.
By partnering with the group, the White House believes that it can better counter violent extremism as the group will focus on all types of violent extremists, not just those in the Islamic community. The hope is that addressing all extremism will eliminate unnecessary fear, discrimination and reporting to law enforcement that is unjustified.
More about President barack obama, White House Summit, extremist threats
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