The war against the Islamic State is not a religious one, clarified US President Barack Obama once again, when addressing a three-day summit on countering extremism.
The world is at war with those who have "perverted Islam," he said, while calling upon the American Muslim communities to help counter the threat by reaching out to young people most at risk of being recruited by radical groups.
The White House has been accused by critics, especially among Republicans, of shying away from tying extremism to Islam.
Following shootings by Islamic militants in Paris and Copenhagen and the recent executions of Egyptian Christians, the pressure has mounted on the US administration to directly address the threat from Muslim radicals.
"No religion is responsible for terrorism, people are responsible for violence and terrorism," Obama said during his address.
Extremist groups have improved their online presence with the Isis successfully recruiting members over the Internet.
Obama told American Muslims that they have a responsibility to fight groups "desperate for legitimacy" and warned them about the militants luring prospective recruits from impoverished families with promises of a good salary and "twisted" interpretations of their religious beliefs.
The US president has often stressed the point that an overwhelming majority of Muslims reject the twisted ideology of their faith.
"Muslim leaders need to do more to discredit the notion that our nations are determined to suppress Islam," Obama said, referring to the popular notion perpetrated by Islamic militants that Western nations are in a war against Islam.
The three-day international summit on extremism comes after deadly gun attacks in Copenhagen and Paris.
On Sunday, a video showed IS jihadists beheading 21 Egyptian Christians in Libya.
As many as 150 Americans have attempted to travel to Syria to fight with the Islamic militants, U.S. intelligence officials have said.
While the administration has been reaching out to the Muslim communities, the community has reacted unenthusiastically owing to the fact that the community outreach attempts were coming from the department of homeland security and justice department.
"It blurs the line between community outreach and intelligence gathering," Jaylani Hussein, executive director of Council on American-Islamic Relations of Minnesota, said on Tuesday.