Nice attacks: President Obama says ‘we cannot let ourselves be divided by religion'

He said the mass killing was ‘tragic’ and ‘appalling’


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The Independent US

President Barack Obama has said the US stands in solidarity with France after the mass killing in Nice and condemned other US politicians’ calls to monitor and deport Muslims.

Speaking at the White House, Mr Obama said the mass killing, carried out by one man behind the wheel of a lorry, was “tragic” and “appalling”.

“We will not be deterred. We will not relent,” he said.

“We will keep taking out Isil leaders and pushing them back in Syria and Iraq."

He described Islamic State as a “vile terrorist organization”.

“We are going to win this fight by building, by never giving up on diplomacy,” he said, adding the terrorist group is not related to Islam, a religion that promotes "peace and tolerance".

“We will win this fight by staying true to our values, the rule of law and diversity and freedoms, like the freedom of religion, freedom of speech and of assembly, the same freedoms that these people were celebrating last night on Bastille Day,” said the president.

His remarks come shortly after Mohamed Lahouaiej-Bouhlel, 31, injured 202 people, 52 of whom are in critical condition and 84 died outright, when he crashed a lorry onto a promenade on the Nice waterfront..

Both Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump agreed that the US is “at war” against terrorism.

The US president called out remarks made by former house speaker Newt Gingrich, who demanded that all American Muslims and refugees be “tested” as to whether they follow Shariah law and, if so, be deported.

“The very suggestion is repugnant and an affront to everything we stand for as Americans,” responded Mr Obama.

Security Stepped Up Across France Following Nice Attack

“We cannot let ourselves be divided by religion as that’s what the terrorists want. We should never do their work for them."

“We need to stand back and reflect on what we are doing to eliminate this kind of chronic violence,” continued Mr Obama.

“It’s been a difficult few weeks here in the US but the divide that exists is not between races and ethnicities and religions. It’s between people who recognize the common humanity of all people and […] those who do not."

“In a world of more than seven billion people, the hatred and the violence of the few is no match for the love, decency and hard work of people of good will and compassion, as long as we stand up for those values."