Islamic State can only be defeated if, in addition to its military losses, the terrorist organization is denied by other Muslims a foothold in all aspects of life, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said in New Zealand on Tuesday, according to the Washington Examiner.
"Defeating them on the battlefield will not end this," Tillerson said. "We have to win this fight in the ideological sense as well, and that means getting into the social media space, getting into the mosque, getting into the majlis (councils), getting into the conversation."
The secretary of state stressed that "Now, only the Muslim faith can handle this. And in the discussions with the Muslim countries in Riyadh, this was one of the commitments we asked, and there was a center created to counter extremism."
Tillerson said a sign of the Muslim world actually starting to do what is necessary happened after the terrorist attack in London, when some imams in the English capital said they would not perform prayer services at the funerals of the terrorists, which the secretary of state said means they are “condemning their souls."
During his visit, Tillerson also praised New Zealand for its military participation in Iraq to help defeat Islamic State and discussed counter-terrorism strategies, the New Zealand Herald reported.
The Southland Times reported that Prime Minister Bill English acknowledged that the United States also had asked Wellington to increase its military personnel deployed in Afghanistan in the fight against extremist Islamic forces there.
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