you very much. Good afternoon. I am honored to be in the timeless
city of Cairo, and to be hosted by two remarkable institutions. For
over a thousand years, Al—Azhar has stood as a beacon of
Islamic learning; and for over a century, Cairo University has been
a source of Egypt's advancement. And together, you represent the
harmony between tradition and progress. I'm grateful for your
hospitality, and the hospitality of the people of Egypt. And I'm
also proud to carry with me the goodwill of the American people, and
a greeting of peace from Muslim communities in my country: Assalaamu
meet at a time of great tension between the United States and
Muslims around the world — tension rooted in historical forces
that go beyond any current policy debate. The relationship between
Islam and the West includes centuries of coexistence and
cooperation, but also conflict and religious wars. More recently,
tension has been fed by colonialism that denied rights and
opportunities to many Muslims, and a Cold War in which
Muslim—majority countries were too often treated as proxies
without regard to their own aspirations. Moreover, the sweeping
change brought by modernity and globalization led many Muslims to
view the West as hostile to the traditions of Islam.
extremists have exploited these tensions in a small but potent
minority of Muslims. The attacks of September 11, 2001 and the
continued efforts of these extremists to engage in violence against
civilians has led some in my country to view Islam as inevitably
hostile not only to America and Western countries, but also to human
rights. All this has bred more fear and more mistrust.
long as our relationship is defined by our differences, we will
empower those who sow hatred rather than peace, those who promote
conflict rather than the cooperation that can help all of our people
achieve justice and prosperity. And this cycle of suspicion and
discord must end.
come here to Cairo to seek a new beginning between the United States
and Muslims around the world, one based on mutual interest and
mutual respect, and one based upon the truth that America and Islam
are not exclusive and need not be in competition. Instead, they
overlap, and share common principles — principles of justice
and progress; tolerance and the dignity of all human beings.
do so recognizing that change cannot happen overnight. I know
there's been a lot of publicity about this speech, but no single
speech can eradicate years of mistrust, nor can I answer in the time
that I have this afternoon all the complex questions that brought us
to this point. But I am convinced that in order to move forward, we
must say openly to each other the things we hold in our hearts and
that too often are said only behind closed doors. There must be a
sustained effort to listen to each other; to learn from each other;
to respect one another; and to seek common ground. As the Holy Koran
tells us, "Be conscious of God and speak always the truth."
That is what I will try to do today — to speak the truth as
best I can, humbled by the task before us, and firm in my belief
that the interests we share as human beings are far more powerful
than the forces that drive us apart.
part of this conviction is rooted in my own experience. I'm a
Christian, but my father came from a Kenyan family that includes
generations of Muslims. As a boy, I spent several years in Indonesia
and heard the call of the azaan at the break of dawn and at the fall
of dusk. As a young man, I worked in Chicago communities where many
found dignity and peace in their Muslim faith.
a student of history, I also know civilization's debt to Islam. It
was Islam — at places like Al-Azhar — that carried the
light of learning through so many centuries, paving the way for
Europe's Renaissance and Enlightenment. It was innovation in Muslim
communities — it was innovation in Muslim communities that
developed the order of algebra; our magnetic compass and tools of
navigation; our mastery of pens and printing; our understanding of
how disease spreads and how it can be healed. Islamic culture has
given us majestic arches and soaring spires; timeless poetry and
cherished music; elegant calligraphy and places of peaceful
contemplation. And throughout history, Islam has demonstrated
through words and deeds the possibilities of religious tolerance and
also know that Islam has always been a part of America's story. The
first nation to recognize my country was Morocco. In signing the
Treaty of Tripoli in 1796, our second President, John Adams, wrote,
"The United States has in itself no character of enmity against
the laws, religion or tranquility of Muslims." And since our
founding, American Muslims have enriched the United States. They
have fought in our wars, they have served in our government, they
have stood for civil rights, they have started businesses, they have
taught at our universities, they've excelled in our sports arenas,
they've won Nobel Prizes, built our tallest building, and lit the
Olympic Torch. And when the first Muslim American was recently
elected to Congress, he took the oath to defend our Constitution
using the same Holy Koran that one of our Founding Fathers —
Thomas Jefferson — kept in his personal library.
I have known Islam on three continents before coming to the region
where it was first revealed. That experience guides my conviction
that partnership between America and Islam must be based on what
Islam is, not what it isn't. And I consider it part of my
responsibility as President of the United States to fight against
negative stereotypes of Islam wherever they appear.
that same principle must apply to Muslim perceptions of America.
Just as Muslims do not fit a crude stereotype, America is not the
crude stereotype of a self-interested empire. The United States has
been one of the greatest sources of progress that the world has ever
known. We were born out of revolution against an empire. We were
founded upon the ideal that all are created equal, and we have shed
blood and struggled for centuries to give meaning to those words —
within our borders, and around the world. We are shaped by every
culture, drawn from every end of the Earth, and dedicated to a
simple concept: E pluribus unum — "Out of many, one."
much has been made of the fact that an African American with the
name Barack Hussein Obama could be elected President. But my
personal story is not so unique. The dream of opportunity for all
people has not come true for everyone in America, but its promise
exists for all who come to our shores — and that includes
nearly 7 million American Muslims in our country today who, by the
way, enjoy incomes and educational levels that are higher than the
freedom in America is indivisible from the freedom to practice one's
religion. That is why there is a mosque in every state in our union,
and over 1,200 mosques within our borders. That's why the United
States government has gone to court to protect the right of women
and girls to wear the hijab and to punish those who would deny it.
let there be no doubt: Islam is a part of America. And I believe
that America holds within her the truth that regardless of race,
religion, or station in life, all of us share common aspirations —
to live in peace and security; to get an education and to work with
dignity; to love our families, our communities, and our God. These
things we share. This is the hope of all humanity.
course, recognizing our common humanity is only the beginning of our
task. Words alone cannot meet the needs of our people. These needs
will be met only if we act boldly in the years ahead; and if we
understand that the challenges we face are shared, and our failure
to meet them will hurt us all.
we have learned from recent experience that when a financial system
weakens in one country, prosperity is hurt everywhere. When a new
flu infects one human being, all are at risk. When one nation
pursues a nuclear weapon, the risk of nuclear attack rises for all
nations. When violent extremists operate in one stretch of
mountains, people are endangered across an ocean. When innocents in
Bosnia and Darfur are slaughtered, that is a stain on our collective
conscience. That is what it means to share this world in the 21st
century. That is the responsibility we have to one another as human
this is a difficult responsibility to embrace. For human history has
often been a record of nations and tribes — and, yes,
religions — subjugating one another in pursuit of their own
interests. Yet in this new age, such attitudes are self-defeating.
Given our interdependence, any world order that elevates one nation
or group of people over another will inevitably fail. So whatever we
think of the past, we must not be prisoners to it. Our problems must
be dealt with through partnership; our progress must be shared.
that does not mean we should ignore sources of tension. Indeed, it
suggests the opposite: We must face these tensions squarely. And so
in that spirit, let me speak as clearly and as plainly as I can
about some specific issues that I believe we must finally confront
first issue that we have to confront is violent extremism in all of
Ankara, I made clear that America is not — and never will be —
at war with Islam. We will, however, relentlessly confront violent
extremists who pose a grave threat to our security — because
we reject the same thing that people of all faiths reject: the
killing of innocent men, women, and children. And it is my first
duty as president to protect the American people.
situation in Afghanistan demonstrates America's goals, and our need
to work together. Over seven years ago, the United States pursued al
Qaeda and the Taliban with broad international support. We did not
go by choice; we went because of necessity. I'm aware that there's
still some who would question or even justify the events of 9/11.
But let us be clear: Al Qaeda killed nearly 3,000 people on that
day. The victims were innocent men, women and children from America
and many other nations who had done nothing to harm anybody. And yet
al Qaeda chose to ruthlessly murder these people, claimed credit for
the attack, and even now states their determination to kill on a
massive scale. They have affiliates in many countries and are trying
to expand their reach. These are not opinions to be debated; these
are facts to be dealt with.
make no mistake: We do not want to keep our troops in Afghanistan.
We see no military — we seek no military bases there. It is
agonizing for America to lose our young men and women. It is costly
and politically difficult to continue this conflict. We would gladly
bring every single one of our troops home if we could be confident
that there were not violent extremists in Afghanistan and now
Pakistan determined to kill as many Americans as they possibly can.
But that is not yet the case.
that's why we're partnering with a coalition of 46 countries. And
despite the costs involved, America's commitment will not weaken.
Indeed, none of us should tolerate these extremists. They have
killed in many countries. They have killed people of different
faiths — but more than any other, they have killed Muslims.
Their actions are irreconcilable with the rights of human beings,
the progress of nations, and with Islam. The Holy Quran teaches that
whoever kills an innocent is as — it is as if he has killed
all mankind. And the Holy Quran also says whoever saves a person, it
is as if he has saved all mankind. The enduring faith of over a
billion people is so much bigger than the narrow hatred of a few.
Islam is not part of the problem in combating violent extremism —
it is an important part of promoting peace.
we also know that military power alone is not going to solve the
problems in Afghanistan and Pakistan. That's why we plan to invest
$1.5 billion each year over the next five years to partner with
Pakistanis to build schools and hospitals, roads and businesses, and
hundreds of millions to help those who've been displaced. That's why
we are providing more than $2.8 billion to help Afghans develop
their economy and deliver services that people depend on.
me also address the issue of Iraq. Unlike Afghanistan, Iraq was a
war of choice that provoked strong differences in my country and
around the world. Although I believe that the Iraqi people are
ultimately better off without the tyranny of Saddam Hussein, I also
believe that events in Iraq have reminded America of the need to use
diplomacy and build international consensus to resolve our problems
whenever possible. Indeed, we can recall the words of Thomas
Jefferson, who said: "I hope that our wisdom will grow with our
power, and teach us that the less we use our power the greater it
America has a dual responsibility: to help Iraq forge a better
future — and to leave Iraq to Iraqis. And I have made it clear
to the Iraqi people that we pursue no bases, and no claim on their
territory or resources. Iraq's sovereignty is its own. And that's
why I ordered the removal of our combat brigades by next August.
That is why we will honor our agreement with Iraq's democratically
elected government to remove combat troops from Iraqi cities by
July, and to remove all of our troops from Iraq by 2012. We will
help Iraq train its security forces and develop its economy. But we
will support a secure and united Iraq as a partner, and never as a
finally, just as America can never tolerate violence by extremists,
we must never alter or forget our principles. Nine-eleven was an
enormous trauma to our country. The fear and anger that it provoked
was understandable, but in some cases, it led us to act contrary to
our traditions and our ideals. We are taking concrete actions to
change course. I have unequivocally prohibited the use of torture by
the United States, and I have ordered the prison at Guantanamo Bay
closed by early next year.
America will defend itself, respectful of the sovereignty of nations
and the rule of law. And we will do so in partnership with Muslim
communities which are also threatened. The sooner the extremists are
isolated and unwelcome in Muslim communities, the sooner we will all
second major source of tension that we need to discuss is the
situation between Israelis, Palestinians and the Arab world.
strong bonds with Israel are well known. This bond is unbreakable.
It is based upon cultural and historical ties, and the recognition
that the aspiration for a Jewish homeland is rooted in a tragic
history that cannot be denied.
the world, the Jewish people were persecuted for centuries, and
anti-Semitism in Europe culminated in an unprecedented Holocaust.
Tomorrow, I will visit Buchenwald, which was part of a network of
camps where Jews were enslaved, tortured, shot and gassed to death
by the Third Reich. Six million Jews were killed — more than
the entire Jewish population of Israel today. Denying that fact is
baseless, it is ignorant, and it is hateful. Threatening Israel with
destruction — or repeating vile stereotypes about Jews —is
deeply wrong, and only serves to evoke in the minds of Israelis this
most painful of memories while preventing the peace that the people
of this region deserve.
the other hand, it is also undeniable that the Palestinian people —
Muslims and Christians — have suffered in pursuit of a
homeland. For more than 60 years they've endured the pain of
dislocation. Many wait in refugee camps in the West Bank, Gaza, and
neighboring lands for a life of peace and security that they have
never been able to lead. They endure the daily humiliations —
large and small — that come with occupation. So let there be
no doubt: The situation for the Palestinian people is intolerable.
And America will not turn our backs on the legitimate Palestinian
aspiration for dignity, opportunity, and a state of their own.
decades then, there has been a stalemate: two peoples with
legitimate aspirations, each with a painful history that makes
compromise elusive. It's easy to point fingers — for
Palestinians to point to the displacement brought about by Israel's
founding, and for Israelis to point to the constant hostility and
attacks throughout its history from within its borders as well as
beyond. But if we see this conflict only from one side or the other,
then we will be blind to the truth: The only resolution is for the
aspirations of both sides to be met through two states, where
Israelis and Palestinians each live in peace and security.
is in Israel's interest, Palestine's interest, America's interest,
and the world's interest. And that is why I intend to personally
pursue this outcome with all the patience and dedication that the
task requires. The obligations — the obligations that the
parties have agreed to under the road map are clear. For peace to
come, it is time for them — and all of us — to live up
to our responsibilities.
must abandon violence. Resistance through violence and killing is
wrong and it does not succeed. For centuries, black people in
America suffered the lash of the whip as slaves and the humiliation
of segregation. But it was not violence that won full and equal
rights. It was a peaceful and determined insistence upon the ideals
at the center of America's founding. This same story can be told by
people from South Africa to South Asia; from Eastern Europe to
Indonesia. It's a story with a simple truth: that violence is a dead
end. It is a sign neither of courage nor power to shoot rockets at
sleeping children, or to blow up old women on a bus. That's not how
moral authority is claimed; that's how it is surrendered.
is the time for Palestinians to focus on what they can build. The
Palestinian Authority must develop its capacity to govern, with
institutions that serve the needs of its people. Hamas does have
support among some Palestinians, but they also have to recognize
they have responsibilities. To play a role in fulfilling Palestinian
aspirations, to unify the Palestinian people, Hamas must put an end
to violence, recognize past agreements, recognize Israel's right to
the same time, Israelis must acknowledge that just as Israel's right
to exist cannot be denied, neither can Palestine's. The United
States does not accept the legitimacy of continued Israeli
settlements. This construction violates previous agreements and
undermines efforts to achieve peace. It is time for these
settlements to stop.
Israel must also live up to its obligation to ensure that
Palestinians can live and work and develop their society. Just as it
devastates Palestinian families, the continuing humanitarian crisis
in Gaza does not serve Israel's security; neither does the
continuing lack of opportunity in the West Bank. Progress in the
daily lives of the Palestinian people must be a critical part of a
road to peace, and Israel must take concrete steps to enable such
finally, the Arab states must recognize that the Arab Peace
Initiative was an important beginning, but not the end of their
responsibilities. The Arab—Israeli conflict should no longer
be used to distract the people of Arab nations from other problems.
Instead, it must be a cause for action to help the Palestinian
people develop the institutions that will sustain their state, to
recognize Israel's legitimacy, and to choose progress over a
self-defeating focus on the past.
will align our policies with those who pursue peace, and we will say
in public what we say in private to Israelis and Palestinians and
Arabs. We cannot impose peace. But privately, many Muslims recognize
that Israel will not go away. Likewise, many Israelis recognize the
need for a Palestinian state. It is time for us to act on what
everyone knows to be true.
many tears have been shed. Too much blood has been shed. All of us
have a responsibility to work for the day when the mothers of
Israelis and Palestinians can see their children grow up without
fear; when the Holy Land of the three great faiths is the place of
peace that God intended it to be; when Jerusalem is a secure and
lasting home for Jews and Christians and Muslims, and a place for
all of the children of Abraham to mingle peacefully together as in
the story of Isra, when Moses, Jesus, and Mohammed, peace be upon
them, joined in prayer.
third source of tension is our shared interest in the rights and
responsibilities of nations on nuclear weapons.
issue has been a source of tension between the United States and the
Islamic Republic of Iran. For many years, Iran has defined itself in
part by its opposition to my country, and there is in fact a
tumultuous history between us. In the middle of the Cold War, the
United States played a role in the overthrow of a democratically
elected Iranian government. Since the Islamic Revolution, Iran has
played a role in acts of hostage—taking and violence against
U.S. troops and civilians. This history is well known. Rather than
remain trapped in the past, I've made it clear to Iran's leaders and
people that my country is prepared to move forward. The question now
is not what Iran is against, but rather what future it wants to
recognize it will be hard to overcome decades of mistrust, but we
will proceed with courage, rectitude, and resolve. There will be
many issues to discuss between our two countries, and we are willing
to move forward without preconditions on the basis of mutual
respect. But it is clear to all concerned that when it comes to
nuclear weapons, we have reached a decisive point. This is not
simply about America's interests. It's about preventing a nuclear
arms race in the Middle East that could lead this region and the
world down a hugely dangerous path.
understand those who protest that some countries have weapons that
others do not. No single nation should pick and choose which nation
holds nuclear weapons. And that's why I strongly reaffirmed
America's commitment to seek a world in which no nations hold
nuclear weapons. And any nation — including Iran —
should have the right to access peaceful nuclear power if it
complies with its responsibilities under the nuclear
Non-Proliferation Treaty. That commitment is at the core of the
treaty, and it must be kept for all who fully abide by it. And I'm
hopeful that all countries in the region can share in this goal.
fourth issue that I will address is democracy.
know there has been controversy about the promotion of democracy in
recent years, and much of this controversy is connected to the war
in Iraq. So let me be clear: No system of government can or should
be imposed by one nation by any other.
does not lessen my commitment, however, to governments that reflect
the will of the people. Each nation gives life to this principle in
its own way, grounded in the traditions of its own people. America
does not presume to know what is best for everyone, just as we would
not presume to pick the outcome of a peaceful election. But I do
have an unyielding belief that all people yearn for certain things:
the ability to speak your mind and have a say in how you are
governed; confidence in the rule of law and the equal administration
of justice; government that is transparent and doesn't steal from
the people; the freedom to live as you choose. These are not just
American ideas; they are human rights. And that is why we will
support them everywhere.
there is no straight line to realize this promise. But this much is
clear: Governments that protect these rights are ultimately more
stable, successful and secure. Suppressing ideas never succeeds in
making them go away. America respects the right of all peaceful and
law-abiding voices to be heard around the world, even if we disagree
with them. And we will welcome all elected, peaceful governments —
provided they govern with respect for all their people.
last point is important because there are some who advocate for
democracy only when they're out of power; once in power, they are
ruthless in suppressing the rights of others. So no matter where it
takes hold, government of the people and by the people sets a single
standard for all who would hold power: You must maintain your power
through consent, not coercion; you must respect the rights of
minorities, and participate with a spirit of tolerance and
compromise; you must place the interests of your people and the
legitimate workings of the political process above your party.
Without these ingredients, elections alone do not make true
MEMBER: Barack Obama, we love you!
OBAMA: Thank you. The fifth issue that we must address together is
has a proud tradition of tolerance. We see it in the history of
Andalusia and Cordoba during the Inquisition. I saw it first-hand as
a child in Indonesia, where devout Christians worshiped freely in an
overwhelmingly Muslim country. That is the spirit we need today.
People in every country should be free to choose and live their
faith based upon the persuasion of the mind and the heart and the
soul. This tolerance is essential for religion to thrive, but it's
being challenged in many different ways.
some Muslims, there's a disturbing tendency to measure one's own
faith by the rejection of somebody else's faith. The richness of
religious diversity must be upheld — whether it is for
Maronites in Lebanon or the Copts in Egypt. And if we are being
honest, fault lines must be closed among Muslims, as well, as the
divisions between Sunni and Shia have led to tragic violence,
particularly in Iraq.
of religion is central to the ability of peoples to live together.
We must always examine the ways in which we protect it. For
instance, in the United States, rules on charitable giving have made
it harder for Muslims to fulfill their religious obligation. That's
why I'm committed to working with American Muslims to ensure that
they can fulfill zakat.
it is important for Western countries to avoid impeding Muslim
citizens from practicing religion as they see fit — for
instance, by dictating what clothes a Muslim woman should wear. We
can't disguise hostility towards any religion behind the pretence of
fact, faith should bring us together. And that's why we're forging
service projects in America to bring together Christians, Muslims,
and Jews. That's why we welcome efforts like Saudi Arabian King
Abdullah's interfaith dialogue and Turkey's leadership in the
Alliance of Civilizations. Around the world, we can turn dialogue
into interfaith service, so bridges between peoples lead to action —
whether it is combating malaria in Africa, or providing relief after
a natural disaster.
sixth issue that I want to address is women's rights.
know, I know — and you can tell from this audience, that there
is a healthy debate about this issue. I reject the view of some in
the West that a woman who chooses to cover her hair is somehow less
equal, but I do believe that a woman who is denied an education is
denied equality. And it is no coincidence that countries where women
are well educated are far more likely to be prosperous.
let me be clear: Issues of women's equality are by no means simply
an issue for Islam. In Turkey, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Indonesia,
we've seen Muslim—majority countries elect a woman to lead.
Meanwhile, the struggle for women's equality continues in many
aspects of American life, and in countries around the world.
am convinced that our daughters can contribute just as much to
society as our sons. Our common prosperity will be advanced by
allowing all humanity — men and women — to reach their
full potential. I do not believe that women must make the same
choices as men in order to be equal, and I respect those women who
choose to live their lives in traditional roles. But it should be
their choice. And that is why the United States will partner with
any Muslim—majority country to support expanded literacy for
girls, and to help young women pursue employment through
micro—financing that helps people live their dreams.
I want to discuss economic development and opportunity.
know that for many, the face of globalization is contradictory. The
Internet and television can bring knowledge and information, but
also offensive sexuality and mindless violence into the home. Trade
can bring new wealth and opportunities, but also huge disruptions
and changing communities. In all nations – including America –
this change can bring fear. Fear that because of modernity we will
lose of control over our economic choices, our politics, and most
importantly our identities – those things we most cherish
about our communities, our families, our traditions, and our faith.
I also know that human progress cannot be denied. There need not be
contradiction between development and tradition. Countries like
Japan and South Korea grew their economies while maintaining
distinct cultures. The same is true for the astonishing progress
within Muslim—majority countries from Kuala Lumpur to Dubai.
In ancient times and in our times, Muslim communities have been at
the forefront of innovation and education.
this is important because no development strategy can be based only
upon what comes out of the ground, nor can it be sustained while
young people are out of work. Many Gulf States have enjoyed great
wealth as a consequence of oil, and some are beginning to focus it
on broader development. But all of us must recognize that education
and innovation will be the currency of the 21st century, and in too
many Muslim communities there remains underinvestment in these
areas. I am emphasizing such investment within my country. And while
America in the past has focused on oil and gas when it comes to his
part of the world, we now seek a broader engagement.
education, we will expand exchange programs, and increase
scholarships, like the one that brought my father to America. At the
same time, we will encourage more Americans to study in Muslim
communities. And we will match promising Muslim students with
internships in America; invest in online learning for teachers and
children around the world; and create a new online network, so a
teenager in Kansas can communicate instantly with a young person in
economic development, we will create a new corps of business
volunteers to partner with counterparts in Muslim—majority
countries. And I will host a Summit on Entrepreneurship this year to
identify how we can deepen ties between business leaders,
foundations and social entrepreneurs in the United States and Muslim
communities around the world.
science and technology, we will launch a new fund to support
technological development in Muslim—majority countries, and to
help transfer ideas to the marketplace so they can create more jobs.
We'll open centers of scientific excellence in Africa, the Middle
East and Southeast Asia, and appoint new science envoys to
collaborate on programs that develop new sources of energy, create
green jobs, digitize records, clean water, and grow new crops.
Today, I'm announcing a new global effort with the Organization of
the Islamic Conference to eradicate polio. And we will also expand
partnerships with Muslim communities to promote child and maternal
these things must be done in partnership. Americans are ready to
join with citizens and governments, community organizations,
religious leaders, and businesses in Muslim communities around the
world to help our people pursue a better life.
issues that I have described will not be easy to address. But we
have a responsibility to join together on behalf of the world that
we seek – a world where extremists no longer threaten our
people, and American troops have come home; a world where Israelis
and Palestinians are each secure in a state of their own, and
nuclear energy is used for peaceful purposes; a world where
governments serve their citizens, and the rights of all God's
children are respected. Those are mutual interests. That is the
world we seek. But we can only achieve it together.
know there are many – Muslim and non-Muslim – who
question whether we can forge this new beginning. Some are eager to
stoke the flames of division, and to stand in the way of progress.
Some suggest that it isn't worth the effort – that we are
fated to disagree, and civilizations are doomed to clash. Many more
are simply skeptical that real change can occur. There is so much
fear, so much mistrust that has built up over the years. But if we
choose to be bound by the past, we will never move forward. And I
want to particularly say this to young people of every faith, in
every country – you, more than anyone, have the ability to
reimagine the world, to remake this world.
of us share this world for but a brief moment in time. The question
is whether we spend that time focused on what pushes us apart, or
whether we commit ourselves to an effort – a sustained effort
– to find common ground, to focus on the future we seek for
our children, and to respect the dignity of all human beings.
easier to start wars than to end them. It's easier to blame others
than to look inward. It's easier to see what is different about
someone than to find the things we share. But we should choose the
right path, not just the easy path. There's one rule that lies at
the heart of every religion – that we do unto others as we
would have them do unto us. This truth transcends nations and
peoples – a belief that isn't new; that isn't black or white
or brown; that isn't Christian, or Muslim or Jew. It's a belief that
pulsed in the cradle of civilization, and that still beats in the
hearts of billions around the world. It's a faith in other people,
and it's what brought me here today.
have the power to make the world we seek, but only if we have the
courage to make a new beginning, keeping in mind what has been
Holy Quran tells us, "O mankind! We have created you male and a
female; and we have made you into nations and tribes so that you may
know one another."
Talmud tells us: "The whole of the Torah is for the purpose of
Holy Bible tells us, "Blessed are the peacemakers, for they
shall be called sons of God."
people of the world can live together in peace. We know that is
God's vision. Now, that must be our work here on Earth. Thank you.
And may God's peace be upon you. Thank you very much. Thank you.