September 19, 2014 – New York City, United States
Check Against Delivery
I welcome this meeting, and the active role the U.S. has played on this.
Ladies and gentlemen, I don’t need to explain to you what impact ISIL is having in Iraq and Syria.
I don’t need to persuade you that ISIL is evil and that it must be stopped before it becomes an even greater threat to global security.
The question we must answer today is how do we, as an international community of civilized nations, confront this dangerous and nihilistic force?
I believe that not only is terrorism the greatest challenge of our generation, but we need to face up to a new generation of terrorism.
ISIL is more of a terrorist army than the traditional image of an isolated cell of extremists.
It is the toxic mix of medieval ideology with modern weaponry.
And with that unusually high capability comes a high arrogance. A sense of invincibility.
They don’t hide their vile acts—they bask in them, and exploit the Internet to try to give them a disproportionate impact.
They think that the more brutal they are, the more cowed we will be.
They are wrong.
They wanted attention.
But now they have it, it is time to show them that they are more vulnerable than they realize.
We must also reject their nihilistic world view wherever we find it.
Sadly, their extremist ideology and bloodthirsty methods are shared by a growing number of other groups around the world.
I visited Iraq for myself a few weeks ago.
I talked to a Christian family who had five minutes to flee their home after their neighbours told ISIL fighters about them.
This rejection of religious freedom…
This severing of long-standing bonds and shared history…
This is not humanity. It is the law of the jungle.
No nation-state condones ISIL.
But as I stated in Paris at the start of this week, this is not somebody else’s problem.
We must work together, to each of our strengths and abilities.
For Canada’s part, we are supporting those in the front line against ISIL with the deployment of advisers and the delivery of equipment.
We are also funding regional efforts to stem the flow of foreign fighters.
And we are, of course, assisting with urgent humanitarian efforts to alleviate the suffering of those who have fled ISIL’s barbarity.
Ladies and gentlemen,
There is no question that ISIL and its ilk are a real danger to global stability and security.
These terrorists talk openly about wanting to establish a caliphate from India to south of Spain.
They stretch their delusional fantasies across generations, and across borders.
To confront them, we must rely on the forces that have shaped human history.
On defending the firm and unyielding principles of human liberty and dignity.
Principles that have withstood the tests of fascism, communism and now terrorism.
This is our test today.
And we cannot afford to fail it.
Media Relations Office
Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development Canada
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