US President Barack Obama says the US is “not at war with Islam – we are at war with the people who have perverted Islam,” the BBC reports.
He was speaking to representatives from 60 nations attending a three-day event on extremism that follows attacks in Denmark and France.
Mr Obama said the world had to confront the ideologies that radicalise people.
He said those heading groups like Islamic State and al-Qaeda were not religious leaders but terrorists.
Mr Obama said associating Islamic State or al-Qaeda with Islam would be buying into the propaganda of those groups, challenging critics who have questioned him for not describing recent attacks as the work of “Islamic radicals”.