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Strong reaction to Obama statement: 'ISIL is not Islamic'

By Ashley Killough, CNN
updated 8:15 AM EDT, Thu September 11, 2014
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • President Barack Obama argued that ISIL does not represent Islam
  • In his remarks, he said: "ISIL is not Islamic"
  • But critics pointed out that ISIL stands for 'Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant"

(CNN) -- President Barack Obama was trying to make a broader point when he uttered "ISIL is not Islamic," but the four-word phrase could still come back to haunt him.

Critics on Twitter quickly fired off on the President for making the assertion, with many noting that ISIL in fact stands for the "Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant." (CNN refers to the group by the acronym ISIS in its news reports. The group recently started calling itself the Islamic State).

In full context, here's what Obama said in his prime-time speech Wednesday night:

"ISIL is not 'Islamic.' No religion condones the killing of innocents, and the vast majority of ISIL's victims have been Muslim. And ISIL is certainly not a state; it was formerly al Qaeda's affiliate in Iraq and has taken advantage of sectarian strife and Syria's civil war to gain territory on both sides of the Iraq-Syrian border. It is recognized by no government nor by the people it subjugates."

"ISIL is a terrorist organization, pure and simple, and it has no vision other than the slaughter of all who stand in its way."

Transcript: President Obama's ISIS speech

The reaction on Twitter was swift:

Others had different reactions:

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