Washington: In remarks aimed at presidential candidate Donald Trump, US President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden have cautioned against those "fomenting division" by exploiting fear among people in the wake of the recent terror attacks around the world.
Obama said the intent of the terrorists was to "weaken our faith" and lead people to turn their backs on those who are most in need of help and refuge.
"These attacks can foment fear and division. They can tempt us to cast out the stranger, strike out against those who don't look like us, or pray exactly as we do. And they can lead us to turn our backs on those who are most in need of help and refuge.
That's the intent of the terrorists, is to weaken our faith, to weaken our best impulses, our better angels," he said at the Easter Prayer Breakfast yesterday.
"Around the world, we have seen horrific acts of terrorism, most recently Brussels, as well as what happened in Pakistan -- innocent families, mostly women and children, Christians and Muslims. And so our prayers are with the victims, their families, the survivors of these cowardly attacks," he said.
Biden who was also present on the occasion, said that though fear among people in the wake of the terror attacks in Brussels Turkey and Pakistan, was understandable, exploiting that fear is absolutely unacceptable.
"I know there's a lot of fear and unease around the world. The President and I travel around the world a lot, and all you got to do is just look at the recent attacks in Belgium and Turkey and Pakistan. And while fear is understandable, exploiting that fear is absolutely unacceptable. When innocent people are ostracized simply because of their faith, when we turn our backs on the victims of evil and persecution, it's just wrong," Biden said.
His remarks were seen as a dig on the recent comments made by the Republican presidential candidates, in particular by front-runner Donald Trump who had suggested a blanket ban on the entry of Muslims into the US.
"So it's up to us -- and you've been the leaders in this country -- to recognize that fear, but also try to allay that fear, and to help people understand that what unites us is a lot more than what divides us. And it's embodied in just not what we believe but what we say," Biden said.