Davos: Calling on the world to join hands to defeat terror groups, US Secretary of State John Kerry Friday said this fight would ultimately be decided in classrooms and not in battlefields, as he recalled Mumbai while listing out places where terror strikes have taken place since 9/11.
Referring to ISIL by its Arabic acronym DAESH throughout his speech here at the WEF Annual Meeting, Kerry said the place to begin is quite simply by defeating this group.
"DAESH pretends to be presiding over a paradise for Muslims. In fact, the areas under its control are languishing. Promise of path to paradise is in fact road to nowhere," he said.
The world must see ISIL for what it is and not for what it claims to be, Kerry said and added, ""We have launched some 2,000 airstrikes against Daesh."
"ISIL is guilty of deceptive advertising: its path to paradise, like that promised by similar groups, is a road to nowhere... Recent atrocities can never be rationalised; they can never be excused; they must be opposed; and they must be stopped," Kerry said.
Since September, he said that carefully-crafted, comprehensive strategy is being pursued to weaken DAESH.
"We will not defeat our foes by vilifying potential partners or by suppressing the very freedoms that terrorists try to destroy... We can't shy away from reality that terror networks are operating with near impunity in some parts of the world," Kerry noted.
Kerry also mentioned Mumbai terror attacks, while listing out the numerous places where terror strikes have taken place since attack on World Trade Centre towers.
Observing that religions don't call for "blowing up people", Kerry said that it is individuals who are responsible for it.
"People join extremist groups for various reasons but there are no grounds that will ever justify killing of children. These kinds of actions can never be excused. They have to be opposed by every fibre of our being," he said.
Recently, many school children were killed in a terror attack in Pakistan.
"Today we are witnessing nothing more than a form of criminal anarchy," he added.
Noting that in Iraq, people have come together to move towards a new future, Kerry said that unless "we direct our energies in the right direction we may fuel the fires we want to put out".
Before his speech, Kerry paid condolences on the passing away of Saudi King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz and recalled that he had spent many hours with him starting as a young senator.
""I am here today to speak about countering violent extremism and King Abdullah had long been a brave partner in that effort," Kerry said.