Carter: Anti-IS fight is ‘not a fight with Muslims or Islam’

Ash Carter, Manohar Parrikar
Defense Secretary Ash Carter listens at left as Indian Defense Minister Manohar Parrikar speaks during their joint news conference Thursday, Dec. 10, 2015, at the Pentagon. (AP Photo/Cliff Owen)

WASHINGTON (AP) — Defense Secretary Ash Carter and his Indian counterpart are steering clear of directly criticizing Donald Trump’s call for a temporary ban on Muslims entering the United States.

But Carter and India’s Manohar Parrikar say the anti-Islamic State battle is aimed at violent extremists, not people of the Muslim faith.

Carter was asked at a Pentagon news conference Thursday about Trump’s proposal, and the defense secretary said he doesn’t comment on domestic politics.

He also said the battle against the Islamic State group is “not a fight with Muslims or Islam.” He said it’s a fight against an “extremist, violent movement which threatens America.”

Parrikar said the question had the potential to be a “nuclear bomb” for him. He then went on to say India doesn’t discriminate against any religious group.

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