U.S. to fight extremists who slander Islam: president
U.S. president said during a speech at Cairo University that Muslims must combine efforts against extremists who slander Islam and present it from the standpoint of terrorism, BBC reported.
"And I consider it part of my responsibility as President of the United States to fight against negative stereotypes of Islam wherever they appear. Islamic culture has given us majestic arches and soaring spires; timeless poetry and cherished music; elegant calligraphy and places of peaceful contemplation," he said.
He said extremists use centuries-old tension between Muslims and West which has led to current conflicts. "One should remember that the U.S. has never competed with Islamic world."
"But 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."
Obama said no single speech will solve centuries-old problems between Muslims and West. But if sides show tolerance and self-esteem and listen to each-other, trust between Muslims and U.S. will be restored.
Obama cited the words of the Holy Qur'an - "Believe in Allah and always speak the truth" which should be in the dialogue of Muslims and the U.S. today.
As to peace process in the Middle East, Obama once again supported establishment of independent Palestinian state and said Israel must help in this regard and stop building Jews settlements and added that U.S-Israel relations must be stabile.
Obama called on Hamas to recognize Israel's right to existence whereas Israel must understand that existence of Palestinian state is crucial to ceasefire.
"Hamas does have support among some Palestinians, but they also have responsibilities. To play a role in fulfilling Palestinian aspirations, and to unify the Palestinian people, Hamas must put an end to violence, recognize past agreements, and recognize Israel's right to exist."
"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."
There is also one rule that lies at the heart of every religion - that we do unto others as we would have them do unto us he said.
Sunnites and Shiites must end inter-religious enmity to ensure stability and peace in Iraq and other Muslim countries, president said and added that common human values of all religions will help the U.S. and Muslims to eliminate differences.