"The notion that the West is at war with Islam is an ugly lie," Obama said. "And all of us -- regardless of our faith -- have a responsibility to reject it."
"We need to break the cycle of conflict, especially sectarian conflict, that have become magnets for violent extremism,” he added.
“These terrorists are desperate for legitimacy,” Obama said, which is why he said they target Muslim communities.
Obama said both wealthy and developing nations need to take steps to improve the economic situation around the world, though he said poverty alone does not prompt someone to become a terrorist.
Obama said many people in countries with small Muslim populations get a distorted impression from news coverage. He specifically called out groups like women and young people to help prevent potential recruits from joining terrorist groups.
“Young people are not tapped for hate, it doesn’t come naturally to them. We adults teach them,” he said.
Obama continued to say that everyone has to work to bring more positive attention to the Muslim community.
“Groups like al Qaeda and ISIL peddle the lie that some of our countries are hostile to Muslims,” he said, adding that “we can’t allow cycles of suspicion to tear at the fabric of our cultures."