Obama Calls for Expansion of Human Rights to Combat Extremism

WASHINGTON — As he sought to rally the world behind a renewed attack on terrorism, President Obama argued on Thursday that force of arms was not enough and called on all nations to “put an end to the cycle of hate” by expanding human rights, religious tolerance and peaceful dialogue.

But the challenge of his approach was staring him right in the face. His audience of invited guests, putative allies in a fresh international counterterrorism campaign, included representatives from some of the world’s least democratic and most repressive countries.

Imam Mohamed Magid, at the All Dulles Area Muslim Society in Sterling, Va. The imam said he has persuaded several young men to abandon their plans to join extremists and fight overseas. U.S. Muslims Take On ISIS’ Recruiting Machine FEB. 19, 2015

Omar Abdel Hamid El-Hussein, who killed two people and wounded five police officers in Copenhagen. After Attacks, Denmark Hesitates to Blame IslamFEB. 19, 2015

Attendees during closing remarks by President Obama on Wednesday at the “Countering Violent Extremism” meeting. Faulted for Avoiding ‘Islamic’ Labels to Describe Terrorism, White House Cites a Strategic LogicFEB. 18, 2015

President Obama urged worldwide cooperation at a summit meeting Wednesday on countering violent extremism. Obama Urges Global United Front Against Extremist Groups Like ISISFEB. 18, 2015

Islam Yaken at a gym in Cairo, left, and as a fighter with the Islamic State extremist group in Syria, where he has been since 2013. From a Private School in Cairo to ISIS Killing Fields in Syria (With Video)FEB. 18, 2015

The three-day White House conference on violent extremism that Mr. Obama wrapped up on Thursday provided a case study in the fundamental tension that has bedeviled the American struggle with terrorism since the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. While Mr. Obama has concluded that radicalism is fueled by political and economic grievance, he has found himself tethered to some of the very international actors most responsible for such grievances, dependent on them for intelligence and cooperation to prevent future attacks.