President Obama said Tuesday it’s important for Americans to “reach out” to Muslim communities to make them feel welcome and prevent the radicalization that leads to violence such as the terrorist attacks in Paris.
During a meeting with Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull at a summit in the Philippines, Mr. Obama said both leaders discussed “our collaboration in reaching out to the Muslim world” and working with Muslims to prevent extremism before it takes root.
“We’ve also had a chance to talk about how we can reach out to our own people and Muslim communities in order to ensure that they feel fully a part of American and Australian democracy,” Mr. Obama said.
The president said he and the newly elected Mr. Turnbull also discussed “the continuing need to ramp up pressure” on the Islamic State, which has claimed responsibility for the attacks that killed at least 129 people on Friday.
Mr. Obama has been criticized at home and abroad this week for saying he won’t alter his counter-terrorism strategy in the wake of the Paris attacks.
Australia is the second-largest contributor in the U.S.-led coalition fighting the Islamic State in Syria and Iraq. Mr. Turnbull told reporters that Australia won’t waver in the fight.
“We will continue, shoulder-to-shoulder, with the United States and our allies in the fight against this type of extremist violence, this type of terrorism,” he said. “We have a common purpose and a common strategy.”