Skip to comments.Obama's Special Envoy to Monitor and Combat Anti-Semitism speaks out against "Islamophobia"
Posted on 07/01/2010 3:07:18 PM PDT by Cindy
SNIPPET - quote:
Obama's Special Envoy to Monitor and Combat Anti-Semitism speaks out against "Islamophobia"
If Hannah Rosenthal really wants to end "Islamophobia," here is an easy way. She can call upon Muslims to:
1. Focus their indignation on Muslims committing violent acts in the name of Islam, not on non-Muslims reporting on those acts.
2. Renounce definitively not just "terrorism," but any intention to replace the U.S. Constitution (or the constitutions of any non-Muslim state) with Sharia even by peaceful means. In line with this, clarify what is meant by their condemnations of the killing of innocent people by stating unequivocally that American and Israeli civilians are innocent people.
3. Teach Muslims the imperative of coexisting peacefully as equals with non-Muslims on an indefinite basis.
4. Begin comprehensive international programs in mosques all over the world to teach against the ideas of violent jihad and Islamic supremacism.
5. Actively work with Western law enforcement officials to identify and apprehend jihadists within Western Muslim communities.
If Muslims do those five things, voila! "Islamophobia" will no longer hold sway among Westerners!
(Excerpt) Read more at jihadwatch.org ...
NOTE The following text is a quote:
Combating Intolerance and Discrimination Against Muslims
Special Envoy to Monitor and Combat Anti-Semitism
Session 1: OSCE High-Level Conference on Tolerance and non-Discrimination
June 29, 2010
As the United States governments Special Envoy to Monitor and Combat Anti-Semitism, I would like to thank the OSCE and the government of Kazakhstan for hosting this conference and bringing attention to these important issues.
We welcome the opportunity to speak here today, as the problem of intolerance and discrimination against Muslims is an issue across the OSCE region. The United States strongly supports combating all forms of discrimination and intolerance against Muslims and is taking efforts to build mutual respect between people of all faiths. The U.S. government works continuously to ensure that person of all faiths, including Muslims, can freely enjoy the fundamental freedom of religion. We raise these concerns with our Allies, partners, and others both within the OSCE and without. The U.S. Governments Annual Report on International Religious Freedom addresses these concerns in detail within the OSCE region and around the world.
In the OSCE region, for example, the free practice of Islam is severely constrained in different ways from overt prejudices to non-support for structures that allow religious observance. In some participating States, Muslim communities have great difficulty operating mosques not controlled or sanctioned by the state, sometimes resulting in problematic penalties for this activity. In some states, in fact, one cant even build a mosque. In some states, registration systems often disproportionately burden small Muslim religious communities, and some countries legal systems ban personal religious expressionrestrictions which inevitably limit freedoms we all hold dear.
But I am not here today to name and shame. Rather, I would like to talk about how the United States has changed its entire framework for engagement with Muslim communities, and for the need to move beyond mere tolerance to partnerships based on mutual respect.
Just over one year ago in a speech in Cairo, President Obama articulated the United States commitment to a new relationship with Muslims around the world based on mutual respect, mutual interest, and mutual responsibility; a shared commitment to universal values; and comprehensive engagement with governments and people alike.
The President pledged that the United States would make a sustained effort to engage people, as well as governments, and to listen. Since then, our government has worked tirelessly to fulfill this Presidential priority. The United States has held thousands of events and town halls with students, civil society groups, faith leaders and entrepreneurs in the United States and around the world. Secretary Clinton and I have also held roundtables, webchats, “townterviews,” and town hall meetings to engage people worldwide, with a particular focus on engaging the next generation of Muslims around the world. Our engagement at this people-to-people level is becoming a matter of course, and what we have heard has informed our policy.
We recognize that there is not one Muslim community, but rather many different communities, each with their own nuances. Thanks to the internet and new technologies, those communities are now more interconnected than ever before. As we learned in Denmark, what happens in Copenhagen affects what happens in Kabul.
We are using the strength of the U.S. government to be a facilitator among and an intellectual partner with Muslim communities. We are bringing people to the table who do not usually come to the table. In particular, we are trying to reach out to the 45% of the worlds population that is under 30 the youth of our societies to build lasting partnerships for the long-term. And we are identifying the best ideas and matching them with each other and the resources they need.
Fulfilling the Presidents vision requires a long-term effort, and there remains much to be done. While our framework may have changed, the urgency of anti-Muslim discrimination and greater engagement with Muslims everywhere has not.
And we cannot do it alone. We urge our allies and partners, and all participating States which are willing, to reach out and work with us towards our shared goals. Additionally, we continue to support the work of the Chair-in-Office Personal Representatives, High Commissioner on National Minorities, and ODIHR Tolerance Unit and welcome opportunities to assist their work in this area. I am very happy to be here in Astana today and look forward to the conferences dialogue about our and others efforts to engage Muslim communities, to move beyond tolerance to mutual respect and understanding.
Later today, Special Representative Pandith and I will co-host a lunchtime session to launch our ART Initiative, promoting Acceptance, Respect and Tolerance. This is now taking place on the sixth floor. Six international NGOs — representing Bosnia and Herzegovina, Georgia, Russia, Ukraine, the United Kingdom, and the United States will share their organizations mandates and best practices to successfully combat intolerance, particularly among youth. The discussion will focus on new and innovative initiatives that pro-actively promote pluralism, and highlight best practices of NGOs with programs that advance Acceptance, Respect, and Tolerance. The overall goal of the ART Initiative is to present successful and easily adapted approaches to combat intolerance and discrimination by involving interfaith, inter-ethnic youth and young adults.
We will be circulating information from this side event widely enhancing the message and encouraging others to use these best practices in their communities and countries. We will post the video on the Department of State website and will provide transcripts of the session to all OSCE governments and interested NGOs. We hope to build on this event in Astana and these best practices to expand the ART Initiative with new and more innovative examples in follow up meetings and conferences, working through interfaith and inter-ethnic activities and efforts.
To date, there have been over 10 OSCE events or conferences with a focus on anti-Semitism, and more than 10 publications focusing on issues ranging from monitoring and reporting on anti-Semitic hate crimes and Holocaust remembrance to hate crimes legislation and tolerance education. We are here in Astana today to build on this body of work and to promote tolerance and non-discrimination for all. The OSCEs status as the world’s largest regional security organization gives us the
platform to take a courageous stand. It is my hope that years from now, we will look back on this conference as a time when we seized the moment and met great problems with even greater resolve.
Jews cannot fight anti-Semitism alone. Muslims cannot fight Islamophobia alone. Roma cannot fight alone. The LGBT community cannot fight alone. And the list goes on. Hate is hate, but we can overcome it together.
May I invite all of you to join us at our side event right after this session. Thank you, Mr. Moderator.
Choose you this day whom you will serve.
Obama’s Special Envoy to Monitor and Combat Anti-Semitism speaks out against “Islamophobia”
The list, ping
The fact that the overwhelming majority of Muslims haven’t done any of that in all this time should make it clear that they never will.
A look at more propaganda.
stepping back in time...
“Islamophobia began with end of Cold War, OSCE meeting hears”
(AFP) Oct 9, 2007
SNIPPET: “CORDOBA, Spain (AFP) Islamophobia gathered pace in the West with the end of the Cold War, long before the September 11, 2001 attacks against the US, participants at a two-day OSCE conference that began in Spain Tuesday said.”
SNIPPET: “Cordoba was chosen as the host for the conference as the city, with its eighth century mosque, is a symbolic venue of centuries of coexistence in the Iberian peninsula between Christians, Jews and Muslims.
The city hosted a similar OSCE conference on anti-Semitism in 2005.”
She’s supposed to be talking about anti-semitism and she’s spewing this islamophobia spittle? What the hell is the whole world gone crazy?
OFF THREAD TOPIC, but interesting.
Speaking of Cordoba (Post no. 6):
“Mysterious Group Buys Building Next to Ground Zero For Mosque”
Hudson New York Institute via GatewayPundit.FirstThings ^ | December 16, 2009 | by Youssef M. Ibrahim
Posted on December 16, 2009 11:28:23 AM PST by Steelfish
CNS NEWS.com: "ISLAMIC AND ARAB STATES SHOULD HAVE SECURITY COUNCIL SEATS, SAY PAKISTAN" by Patrick Goodenough (SNIPPET: "Pakistan's ambassador, Abdullah Hussain Haroon, told a closed meeting at U.N. headquarters in New York this week that the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) and the Arab League "have clear demands for representation in an enlarged council," according to reports in Pakistani media.") (June 30, 2010)
CNS NEWS.com: "PAKISTAN'S WEB CENSORSHIP GUIDELINES GO BEYOND BLASPHEMY" by Patrick Goodenough (SNIPPET: "The new measures take to a new level Pakistans response to the dissemination online of information many Muslims regard as offensive. Beyond its borders, Pakistan is a leading force in the campaign at the United Nations -- an effort led by the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) -- to have such material outlawed across the globe. The Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) announced that seven major Internet Web sites -- Google, Yahoo, YouTube, Hotmail, MSN, Amazon and Bing -- would face ongoing scanning and that any offensive material would be blocked. At the same time, 17 much smaller sites are to be blocked entirely.") (June 30, 2010)JIHAD WATCH.org (REUTERS): Geneva - "MUSLIM STATES WANT UN TO TAKE TOUGH ACTION AGAINST 'ISLAMOPHOBIA' IN THE WEST" (SNIPPET: "And Pakistan, speaking for the 57-nation Organisation of the Islamic Conference (OIC), said the council's special investigator into religious freedom should look into such racism "especially in Western societies". Acting for the OIC, Pakistan has tabled a resolution at the council instructing its special investigator on religious freedom "to work closely with mass media organisations to ensure that they create and promote an atmosphere of respect and tolerance for religious and cultural diversity".") (June 16, 2010)
YNET NEWS.com (AFP): "'ISLAMIC CONFERNCE' TO ARAB STATES: RECONSIDER YOUR RELATIONS WITH ISRAEL" (Published June 7, 2010, 10:52)
THE GLOBAL MUSLIM BROTHERHOOD DAILY REPORT: 'ISNA HOLDS HONORS QATARI INTERFAITH CENTER; U.S. OIC ENVOY IN ATTENDANCE" (May 20, 2010)
ISRAEL NATIONAL NEWS - ARUTZ SHEVA: "U.S. JOINS PRO-MUSLIM 'ALLIANCE OF CIVILIZATIONS'" by Hana Levi Julian (SNIPPET: "The Obama administration has announced the United States will join the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations, another openly anti-Israel organization." SNIPPET: "However, the Alliance has been anything but cooperative when it comes to improving understanding of issues relating to the security of Israel's and United States' civilians.") (Lat update: May 20, 2010, 12:07 pm)
MAAN NEWS.net: "OIC: Israeli occupation of Golan Heights threat to global security" (Updated May 20, 2010, 20:21)
CORNER.NationalReview.com - THE CORNER: "THE U.S. SHOULD NOT JOIN THE 'ALLIANCE OF CIVILIZATIONS'" by Brett D. Schaefer (SNIPPET: "Unfortunately, the AoC agenda has been largely driven by Muslim nations and the OIC, to the detriment of its ostensible purpose. For instance, the body has echoed the anti-Israel sentiments of the OIC...") (May 13, 2010)
THE GLOBAL MUSLIM BROTHERHOOD DAILY REPORT: "U.S. PREPARING TO JOIN THE ALLIANCE OF CIVILIZATIONS" (SNIPPET: "In April, U.S. President Barack Obama attended an annual forum of the AOC in Istanbul.") (May 13, 2010)
Link (Note: Photo included.)
Whitehouse.gov: Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center Washington, D.C. - "Remarks by the President at the Presidential Summit on Entrepreneurship" (SNIPPET: ""We're advancing global health, including our partnership with the Organization of the Islamic Conference, to eradicate polio. This is just one part of our broader engagement with the OIC, led by my Special Envoy, Rashad Hussain, who joins us here tonight. Where's Rashad?") (April 26, 2010)JPOST.com: "MAJOR MUSLIM GROUP SETS UP HUMAN RIGHTS DIVISION" by Rachelle Kliger/The Media Line [Note: OIC] (SNIPPET: "The Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) has announced it is setting up a special division that will deal with human rights." SNIPPET: "The OIC spans 57 countries over four continents, making it the second-largest inter-governmental organization after the United Nations.") (April 23, 2010, 03:48)
CNS NEWS.com: "WANING SUPPORT FOR DEFAMATION OF RELIGION RESOLUTION UNDERMINES DEFENSE OF ISLAM, OIC CHIEF SAYS" by Patrick Goodenough (April 16, 2010)
MIDDLE EAST ONLINE: Geneva - "UN RIGHTS BODY PASSES ISLAMOPHOBIA RESOLUTION" (SNIPPET: "...Putting forward the resolution on behalf of the Organisation of the Islamic Conference, Pakistan's ambassador Zamir Akram said that the specific references to Islam, the only religion mentioned in the text...") (March 25, 2010)
JIHAD WATCH.org: "OBAMA'S ENVOY TO OIC ADMITS HE DEFENDED JIHAD TERROR LEADER" (Posted February 20, 2010, 11:26 am)
INVESTIGATIVE PROJECT.org - For The Record - blog: "HOW ARE THESE NOT CONSIDERED LIES?" (SNIPPET: "It turns out Rashad Hussain, the new White House envoy to the Organization of the Islamic Conference, does remember...") (February 20, 2010, 10:17 am)
stepping back in time...INVESTIGATIVE PROJECT.org: "AL-ARIAN's 'ACTIVE ARM'" (April 7, 1991) [Note: Video included.]
JIHAD WATCH.org (FRONTPAGE MAGAZINE.com: "RASHAD HUSSAIN'S SAMIGATE: What Did Obama Know, and When Did He Know It?" (February 17, 2010)
INVESTIGATIVE PROJECT.org - IPT News: "QUESTIONS FOR AMERICA'S NEW OIC ENVOY" (February 18, 2010)
TOWNHALL.com: "Who Is Rashad Hussain?" -Column by Cal Thomas (February 18, 2010)
CNS NEWS.com: "EVENT ATTENDED BY OBAMA'S MUSLIM ENVOY WAS HELD BY GROUP WITH TROUBLING VIEWS, TIES" by Patrick Goodenough (February 18, 2010)
CNS NEWS.com: "OBAMA'S NEW OIC ENVOY DEFENDED ACTIVIST WHO AIDED TERRORIST GROUP" by Patrick Goodenough (February 15, 2010)
JIHAD WATCH.org: "NEW OBAMA ENVOY TO OIC HAS LONG HISTORY OF DALLIANCES WITH MUSLIM BROTHERHOOD" (February 15, 2010)
THE GLOBAL MUSLIM BROTHERHOOD DAILY REPORT: "BREAKING NEWS: NEW OBAMA ENVOY HAS HISTORY OF ENGAGEMENT WITH U.S. MUSLIM BROTHERHOOD; CALLED AL-ARIAN CASE "POLITICALLY MOTIVATED PERSECUTION"" (February 14, 2010)
JIHAD WATCH.org: "Obama names special envoy to the Organization of the Islamic Conference, the chief enemy of free speech in the world today" (February 13, 2010)
WHITEHOUSE.gov: Washington - "President Obama Announces Special Envoy to the Organization of the Islamic Conference" (SNIPPET: "President Obama said, "I'm proud to announce today that I am appointing my Special Envoy to the OIC--Rashad Hussain. As an accomplished lawyer and a close and trusted member of my White House staff, Rashad has played a key role in developing the partnerships I called for in Cairo. And as a hafiz of the Qur'an, he is a respected member of the American Muslim community, and I thank him for carrying forward this important work.") (February 13, 2010)
JIHAD WATCH.org: "ISRAEL REFUTES UN's DESPICABLE OIC-FUNDED GOLDSTONE REPORT" (February 14, 2010)
NY DAILY NEWS.com - Opinion: "BIG ANSWERS TO BIG LIES: Israel Refutes UN's Despicable Goldstone Report" (February 14, 2010), 4:00 am)
THE MEMRI BLOG.org ("Source: Today's Zaman (Turkey), January 29, 2010"): "ISLAMIC THINK-TANKS GATHER IN ISTANBUL" (Posted January 30, 2010)
THE TERROR FINANCE BLOG: "A 'RIGHT' TO FINANCE TERRORISM?" by Aaron Eitan Meyer (December 14, 2009, 09:00)
CNS NEWS.com: "OIC SLAMS 'DEMONIC' PORTRAYAL OF ISLAM, BUT SUPPORT FOR RELIGIOUS 'DEFAMATION' MEASURES CONTINE TO ERODE" by Patrick Goodenough (December 21, 2009)
JIHAD WATCH.org: "SPENCER ON FREE SPEECH at Restoration Weekend" (Note Video Included.) (December 21, 2009)
CREEPING SHARIA - blog (AP): Geneva - "MUSLIM COUNTRIES COULD GET ISLAMIC SHARIA BLASPHEMY LAW PASSED AT UN" (SNIPPET: "The countries that form the 56-member Organization of the Islamic Conference are currently lobbying...") (November 19, 2009, 4:47 pm)Google.com - Hosted News (AP): Geneva - "AP EXCLUSIVE: MUSLIM COUNTRIES SEEK BLASPHEMY BAN" by Frank Jordans (SNIPPET: "Failure to agree on a treaty would boost extremists in the Arab world, said Jazairy, a former envoy to Washington now considered a key player in the U.N.'s human rights forum. "If we keep hitting this glass wall and say there's nothing you can do about Islamophobia -- you can do something about anti-Semitism but Islamophobia is out of bounds -- you give an ideal platform for recruitment of suicide bombers," he said.") (November 19, 2009, 4 hrs ago)
WASHINGTON TIMES.com: "A DEMAND FOR 'RESPECT' Islamic Conference fosters drive for Shariah" -Commentary by Deborah Weiss (SNIPPET: "The OIC comprises 57 states with Muslim majorities, and is expected to expand to 60 states. It is the second-largest nongovernmental organization, surpassed only by the United Nations. It is without exception the most powerful Muslim organization in the world, often voting as a bloc on international issues. In his claim to power, Secretary-General Ekmeleddin Insanoglu enjoys expansive authority to speak on behalf of the OIC, conferred to him by the OIC charter. He boasts of speaking as the voice of the Muslim world, representing 1.5 billion Muslims. "We have an edge on all Islamic movements, and enjoy respect from all of them" he noted.") (October 30, 2009)
JIHAD WATCH.org (AL JAZEERA, October 28, 2009): "AH, THAT EXPLAINS IT: OIC INITIATED THE GOLDSTONE REPORT" (October 29, 2009)
JIHAD WATCH.org (WASHINGTON TIMES.com, October 19, 2009): "THE U.N. SIDES WITH THE JIHAD" (Posted October 18, 2009)
INTELLIGENCE and TERRORISM INFORMATION CENTER: "Palestinian, Iranian and International reactions to the Human Rights Council's decision to endorse the findings of the Goldstone Report (Update No. 1)" (October 18, 2009)CS MONITOR.com: "ISLAMIC COUNTRIES PUSH A GLOBAL 'BLASPHEMY' LAW" (SNIPPET: "Symbolism no longer satisfies the sponsor of these resolutions - the Organization of the Islamic Council. Under the leadership of Pakistan, the 57-nation OIC wants to give the religious antidefamation idea legal teeth by making it part of an international convention, or legally binding treaty. Members of the UN Human Rights Council are passionately debating that idea in Geneva this week. The United States under Barack Obama recently joined the UNHRC, maligned for years as the mouthpiece for countries that are themselves flagrant human rights abusers.") (October 27, 2009)
TRUTHUSA.com: "A Look at More Than Cartoons"
WHITEHOUSE.gov: Washington, DC - Remarks of President and Barack Obama: "RAMADAN MESSAGE" (SNIPPET: "We are also moving forward in partnering with the OIC and OIC member states to eradicate polio...") (August 21, 2009)
CNS NEWS.com: "ISLAMIC BLOC CHIEF URGES APPOINTMENT OF NEW U.S. ENVOY, BUT IS THIS IT?" by Patrick Goodenough (June 26, 2009)
CNS NEWS.com: "ISLAMIC BLOC COOL TO OBAMA'S PROPOSED '57-STATE SOLUTION'" by Patrick Goodenough (May 27, 2009)
INTERNATIONAL FREE PRESS SOCIETY.org (CITY JOURNAL): "INHUMAN RIGHTS: THREATS TO SPEECH FROM UNHRC AND OIC" by Ibn Warraq and Michael Weiss (May 19, 2009)
FreeRepublic.com - Discussion Forum (JERUSALEM POST): "AN ISLAMIST 'NEW WORLD ORDER'" (Posted April 22, 2009)
TRUTHUSA.com: A Look at More Than Cartoons
CNS NEWS.com: "BOYCOTT-HIT RACISM CONFERENCE GETS UNDERWAY" by Patrick Goodenough (SNIPPET: "Ahead of the 2009 gathering, a difficult and drawn-out preparatory process has been dominated by a OIC-instigated focus on Israel and attempts by the Islamic bloc to limit criticism of Islam -- or what it calls "defamation of religion."") (April 20, 2009)
FRONTPAGE MAGAZINE.com: "THE UN's JIHAD AGAINST FREE SPEECH" by Robert Spencer (April 3, 2009)
JIHAD WATCH.org (AFP): "ORGANIZATION OF THE ISLAMIC CONFERENCE (OIC) SLAMS WARRANT FOR SUDAN'S BESHIR" (March 28, 2009)
CNS NEWS.com: "OBAMA EXPECTED TO ENGAGE IN FENCE-MENDING WITH ISLAMIC NATIONS AT MEETING IN TURKEY" by Patrick Goodenough (SNIPPET: "Some critics see in the AoC's attempts to shape media coverage parallels with a "defamation of religion" campaign long promoted by the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC), the bloc of Islamic states at the U.N.") (March 27, 2009)
JIHAD WATCH.com (AP): Geneva - "UN PASSES RESOLUTION CALLING FOR CRIMINALIZATION OF CRITICISM OF ISLAM" (March 26, 2009)
AMERICAN THINKER.com: "ISLAMIC STATES PUSH TO CRIMINALIZE 'DEFAMATION OF ISLAM'" by Peter C. Glover (SNIPPET: "Though the 57 nations of the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC), a bloc which also dominates UN's Human Rights Council, have been lobbying for the move since 1999...") (March 25, 2009)
JIHAD WATCH.org: "UN HUMAN RIGHTS COUNCIL: SILENCING CRITICS OF MUSLIM ANTISEMITISM" (March 15, 2009)
JIHAD WATCH.org (WorldNetDaily.com, March 4, 2009): "UN MAY MAKE BAN ON CRITICIZING ISLAM MANDATORY, MAKING IT A CRIMINAL OFFENSE IN THE U.S." (Note: CNN Video included.) (March 5, 2009)
FRONTPAGE MAGAZINE.com: "SAVED FROM DURBAN II" by Joseph Klein (March 2, 2009)
JIHAD WATCH.org (NEW YORK DAILY NEWS, February 26, 2009): "WHY IS THE U.S. STILL ENTERTAINING DURBAN II?" (SNIPPET: "For one, Obama is making new friends. The administration's decision last week to participate in planning meetings for Durban II was very well received by the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC)") (February 27, 2009)
CNS NEWS.com: "OIC WELCOMES U.S. SHIFT ON DURBAN II; DENIES ANTI-SEMITIC INTENT" by Patrick Goodenough (February 24, 2009)
CNS NEWS.com: "OBAMA'S POLICY SHIFT ON DURBAN RACISM CONFERENCE DRAWS CONCERN, CRITICISM" by Patrick Goodenough (SNIPPET: "Arguing that "Islamophobia" is a "contemporary form of racism," the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) is using Durban II to further its campaign to have religious "defamation" outlawed -- a drive which critics say is designed to prevent criticism of Islam and practices associated with it.") (February 16, 2009)
FRONTPAGE MAGAZINEcom: "A UN VICE FOR ISLAM'S CRITICS" by Nat Hentoff (February 9, 2009)
CNS NEWS.com: "ADDRESS 'ROOT CAUSES' OF TERRORISM, MUSLIM ENVOYS URGE OBAMA" by Patrick Goodenough (February 5, 2009)
JIHAD WATCH.org (WASHINGTON TIMES, February 2, 2009): "They don't want to limit free speech, they just want to kill it" (February 3, 2009)
JIHAD WATCH.org (AFP): "OBAMA COZIES UP TO THE PRINCIPAL ENEMY OF FREE SPEECH IN THE WORLD TODAY" (February 1, 2009)
THE MEMRI BLOG.org ("Source: Shahab News, Iran, January 19, 2009"): "IRANIAN MAJLIS DISCUSSES BILL TO ESTABLISH 'ISLAMIC WORLD ARMY'" (SNIPPET: "It was proposed that this army would be part of the Organization of the Islamic Conference.") (Posted January 22, 2009)
JIHAD WATCH.org: "ISESCO (OIC) propagates Dialogue & Judeophobia in two books -- even quoting Nazi forgeries about Benjamin Franklin -- while celebrating the 60th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in the UN-Geneva" (January 16, 2009)
JIHAD WATCH.org: "THE OIC CALLS ON THE MEDIA TO SUPPRESS THE TRUTH" (December 20, 2008)
JIHAD WATCH.org (REUTERS): "OIC CHIEF: "Attempts to equate Islam with terrorism should be stopped. Stereotyping and demonization of Muslims should be combated"" (December 20, 2008)
COUNTERTERRORISM BLOG.org: "OIC's 'DEFAMATION' DECLARATION COULD BE USED BY JIHADI TERROR NETWORKS" by Walid Phares (December 19, 2008)
FRONTPAGE MAGAZINE.com: "DON'T CALL IT ISLAMOPHOBIA" by Joel J. Sprayregen (December 10, 2008)
JIHAD WATCH.org: "HATE AND BIAS" (December 5, 2008)
JIHAD WATCH.org (ORGANISATION OF THE ISLAMIC CONFERENCE, December 2, 2008): "Islam a religion of peace -- daily headlines notwithstanding!" (December 4, 2008)
ATLAS SHRUGS - blog: "NUTS! UN'S DEATH KNELL FOR FREE SPEECH" (November 25, 2008)
CNS NEWS.com: "'DEFAMATION' OF ISLAM RESOLUTION TO SET TO PASS, BUT LOSING GROUND" by Patrick Goodenough (November 25, 2008)
JIHAD WATCH.org (WEA, November 15, 2008): "INTERNATIONAL ISLAMIC ORGANIZATION ATTEMPTS TO CRIMINALIZE CRITICISM OF ISLAM AT THE UN" (November 20, 2008)
FRONTPAGE MAGAZINE.com: "JIHAD AGAINST FREE SPEECH" by Deborah Weiss (November 6, 2008)
JIHAD WATCH.org (TODAYS ZAMAN): "OIC CHIEF: ISLAMOPHOBIA IS A NEW FORM OF RACISM, EXCEPT IT'S EVEN WORSE THAN RACISM" (October 31, 2008)
FOX NEWS.com: "U.N. ANTI-BLASPHEMY RESOLUTION CURTAILS FREE SPEECH, CRITICS SAY" by Jennifer Lawinski (ARTICLE SNIPPET: "Religious groups and free-speech advocates are banding together to fight a United Nations resolution they say is being used to spread Sharia law to the Western world and to intimidate anyone who criticizes Islam.") (October 3, 2008)
JIHAD WATCH.org (BERNAMA.com, September 25, 2008): New York - "MALAYSIA PROPOSES CONVENTION ON ISLAMOPHOBIA IN U.S." (ARTICLE SNIPPET: "Malaysia has proposed that a large-scale international convention sponsored by the Organisation of the Islamic Conference (OIC) be held as early as next year to tackle the anti-Islam movement...") (September 28, 2008)
WASHINGTON TIMES.com (UNITED STATES CENTRAL COMMAND RED TEAM - UNCLASSIFIED): "FREEDOM OF SPEECH IN JIHAD ANALYSIS: DEBUNKING THE MYTH OF OFFENSIVE WORDS" (August 21, 2008)
ACLJ.org: "PETITION OPPOSING THE ORGANIZATION OF THE ISLAMIC CONFERENCE"
WorldNetDaily.com: "U.N. SCHEME TO MAKE CHRISTIANS CRIMINALS Sharia-following Islamic nations demanding anti-'defamation' law" by Bob Unruh (July 10, 2008)
JIHAD WATCH.org (REUTERS): Amman - "JORDAN CHARGES GEERT WILDERS WITH 'BLASPHEMY AND CONTEMPT OF MUSLIMS'; OIC 'DEEPLY ANNOYED' AT DUTCH DECISION NOT TO PROSECUTE HIM" (July 1, 2008)
HUMAN EVENTS.com: "GEORGE ORWELL MEETS THE OIC" by Robert Spencer (June 25, 2008)
FRONTPAGE MAGAZINE.com: "FREE SPEECH DIES AT THE UN" by Robert Spencer (June 25, 2008)
COUNTERTERRORISM BLOG.org: "JIHAD AGAINST FREEDOM OF SPEECH AT THE UNITED NATIONS" by Jeffrey Imm (June 19, 2008)
JIHAD WATCH.org (REUTERS): "OIC: LACK OF PUNISHMENT FOR CARTOONS WILL LEAD TO MORE 'ISLAMOPHOBIA'" (June 24, 2008)
TRUTHUSA.com: "A Look at More Than Cartoons"
JIHAD WATCH.org: "OIC: COMBATING 'ISLAMOPHOBIA' TOP PRIORITY, WORKING WITH WESTERN GOVERNMENTS TO RESTRICT FREE SPEECH" (June 23, 2008)
CNS NEWS.com: "ISLAMIC NATIONS EYE UN SECURITY COUNCIL SEATS" by Patrick Goodenough (June 23, 2008)
JIHAD WATCH.org: "ITALIAN PM AND MUSLIM CONVERT TO CHRISTIANITY TARGETS OF JIHADIST DEATH THREATS; ISLAMIC CONFERENCE DECRIES 'ISLAMOPHOBIA'" (June 18, 2008)
JIHAD WATCH.org (KUWAIT NEWS AGENCY): "'INTERNATIONAL ISLAMIC CONFERENCE ON INTER-FAITH DIALOGUE' CALLS FOR ACTION AGAINST 'CULTURE OF HATRED AMONG NATIONS'" (June 8, 2008)
JIHAD WATCH.org (TODAY'S ZAMAN): "OIC TO DECLARE A 'MEMORIAL DAY' FOR MASSACRES AGAINST MUSLIMS" (May 17, 2008)
JIHAD WATCH.org (TODAYS ZAMAN.com): "ISLAMIC NATIONALS LAUNCH 'ISLAMOPHOBIA OBSERVATORY'" (May10, 2008)
JIHAD WATCH.org (ISLAMIC REPUBLIC NEWS AGENCY): "OIC CONDEMNS FITNA 'IN THE STRONGEST TERMS'" (March 29, 2008)
WTOP NEWS.com (AP): Geneva - "UN OKs ISLAMIC TEXT AGAINST DEFAMATION" (March 27, 2008, 11:40 pm)
HOT AIR.com - blog: "NEW JIHAD WATCH: DEFAME ISLAM, GET SUED" (March 24, 2008)
Video - Link
ASSIST NEWS SERVICE: "OIC: ELIMINATING 'DEFAMATION' OF ISLAM - an examination of the Organisation of Islamic Conference's Observatory Report on Islamophobia" by Elizabeth Kendal (March 24, 2008)
CNS NEWS.com: "OIC DENOUNCES TERROR, BUT FIGHTING 'OCCUPATION' STILL EXEMPTED" by Patrick Goodenough (March 18, 2008)
JIHAD WATCH.org (AFP): Dakar - "INDONESIAN PRESIDENT: "ISLAM HAS BEEN UNJUSTLY ASSOCIATED WITH VIOLENCE'" (March 15, 2008)
JIHAD WATCH.org: "FITZGERALD: THE OIC's REBRANDING GAME" (March 15, 2008)
JIHAD WATCH.org: "OIC: 'COMBATING ISLAMOPHOBIA IS AND WILL CONTINUE TO BE ONE OF THE BIGGEST CHALLENGES FACED BY THE MUSLIM WORLD'" (SNIPPET: "Well, Jihad Watch can offer a handy five-point plan for countering 'Islamophobia'...") (March 12, 2008)
CNS NEWS.com: "STATE DEPT INTRODUCES NEW ENVOY TO MUSLIM NATIONS" by Susan Jones (March 10, 2008)
COUNTERTERRORISM BLOG.org: "JIHAD, ISLAMISM, AND U.S. ENVOY TO OIC" by Jeffrey Imm (February 29, 2008)
WHITEHOUSE.gov - news release: Oval Office - "PRESIDENT BUSH MEETS WITH SPECIAL ENVOY TO THE ORGANIZATION OF THE ISLAMIC CONFERENCE" (February 27, 2008, 2:01 pm EST) (Note: This url has expired.)
RE CAIRO SPEECH as noted in post no. 2:
THE BRIEFING ROOM
THE WHITE HOUSE
Office of the Press Secretary
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE June 4, 2009
REMARKS BY THE PRESIDENT
ON A NEW BEGINNING
1:10 P.M. (Local)
PRESIDENT OBAMA: Thank 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 Egypts advancement. And together, you represent the harmony between tradition and progress. Im grateful for your hospitality, and the hospitality of the people of Egypt. And Im also proud to carry with me the goodwill of the American people, and a greeting of peace from Muslim communities in my country: Assalaamu alaykum. (Applause.)
We 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.
Violent 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.
So 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.
Ive 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.
I do so recognizing that change cannot happen overnight. I know theres 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. (Applause.) 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.
Now part of this conviction is rooted in my own experience. Im 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.
As a student of history, I also know civilizations 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 Europes Renaissance and Enlightenment. It was innovation in Muslim communities (applause) 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 racial equality. (Applause.)
I also know that Islam has always been a part of Americas 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, theyve excelled in our sports arenas, theyve 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. (Applause.)
So 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 isnt. And I consider it part of my responsibility as President of the United States to fight against negative stereotypes of Islam wherever they appear. (Applause.)
But that same principle must apply to Muslim perceptions of America. (Applause.) 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.
Now, much has been made of the fact that an African American with the name Barack Hussein Obama could be elected President. (Applause.) 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 American average. (Applause.)
Moreover, freedom in America is indivisible from the freedom to practice ones religion. That is why there is a mosque in every state in our union, and over 1,200 mosques within our borders. Thats 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. (Applause.)
So 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.
Of 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.
For 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. (Applause.) That is what it means to share this world in the 21st century. That is the responsibility we have to one another as human beings.
And 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. (Applause.)
Now, 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 together.
The first issue that we have to confront is violent extremism in all of its forms.
In Ankara, I made clear that America is not and never will be at war with Islam. (Applause.) 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.
The situation in Afghanistan demonstrates Americas 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. Im aware that theres 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.
Now, 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.
And thats why were partnering with a coalition of 46 countries. And despite the costs involved, Americas 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 Koran teaches that whoever kills an innocent is as it is as if he has killed all mankind. (Applause.) And the Holy Koran also says whoever saves a person, it is as if he has saved all mankind. (Applause.) 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.
Now, we also know that military power alone is not going to solve the problems in Afghanistan and Pakistan. Thats 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 whove been displaced. Thats why we are providing more than $2.8 billion to help Afghans develop their economy and deliver services that people depend on.
Let 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. (Applause.) 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 will be.
Today, 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 (applause) I have made it clear to the Iraqi people that we pursue no bases, and no claim on their territory or resources. Iraqs sovereignty is its own. And thats why I ordered the removal of our combat brigades by next August. That is why we will honor our agreement with Iraqs democratically elected government to remove combat troops from Iraqi cities by July, and to remove all of our troops from Iraq by 2012. (Applause.) 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 patron.
And 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. (Applause.)
So 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 be safer.
The second major source of tension that we need to discuss is the situation between Israelis, Palestinians and the Arab world.
Americas 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.
Around 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.
On 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 theyve 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. (Applause.)
For decades then, there has been a stalemate: two peoples with legitimate aspirations, each with a painful history that makes compromise elusive. Its easy to point fingers for Palestinians to point to the displacement brought about by Israels 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. (Applause.)
That is in Israels interest, Palestines interest, Americas interest, and the worlds interest. And that is why I intend to personally pursue this outcome with all the patience and dedication that the task requires. (Applause.) 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.
Palestinians 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 Americas founding. This same story can be told by people from South Africa to South Asia; from Eastern Europe to Indonesia. Its 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. Thats not how moral authority is claimed; thats how it is surrendered.
Now 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 Israels right to exist.
At the same time, Israelis must acknowledge that just as Israels right to exist cannot be denied, neither can Palestines. The United States does not accept the legitimacy of continued Israeli settlements. (Applause.) This construction violates previous agreements and undermines efforts to achieve peace. It is time for these settlements to stop. (Applause.)
And 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 Israels 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 progress.
And 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 Israels legitimacy, and to choose progress over a self-defeating focus on the past.
America 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. (Applause.) 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.
Too 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 (applause) as in the story of Isra, when Moses, Jesus, and Mohammed, peace be upon them, joined in prayer. (Applause.)
The third source of tension is our shared interest in the rights and responsibilities of nations on nuclear weapons.
This 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, Ive made it clear to Irans 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 build.
I 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 Americas interests. Its about preventing a nuclear arms race in the Middle East that could lead this region and the world down a hugely dangerous path.
I 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 thats why I strongly reaffirmed Americas commitment to seek a world in which no nations hold nuclear weapons. (Applause.) 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 Im hopeful that all countries in the region can share in this goal.
The fourth issue that I will address is democracy. (Applause.)
I know I 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.
That 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 doesnt 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. (Applause.)
Now, 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.
This last point is important because there are some who advocate for democracy only when theyre out of power; once in power, they are ruthless in suppressing the rights of others. (Applause.) 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 democracy.
AUDIENCE MEMBER: Barack Obama, we love you!
PRESIDENT OBAMA: Thank you. (Applause.) The fifth issue that we must address together is religious freedom.
Islam has a proud tradition of tolerance. We see it in the history of Andalusia and Cordoba during the Inquisition. I saw it firsthand 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 its being challenged in many different ways.
Among some Muslims, theres a disturbing tendency to measure ones own faith by the rejection of somebody elses faith. The richness of religious diversity must be upheld whether it is for Maronites in Lebanon or the Copts in Egypt. (Applause.) 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.
Freedom 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. Thats why Im committed to working with American Muslims to ensure that they can fulfill zakat.
Likewise, 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 cant disguise hostility towards any religion behind the pretence of liberalism.
In fact, faith should bring us together. And thats why were forging service projects in America to bring together Christians, Muslims, and Jews. Thats why we welcome efforts like Saudi Arabian King Abdullahs interfaith dialogue and Turkeys 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.
The sixth issue the sixth issue that I want to address is womens rights. (Applause.) I 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. (Applause.) And it is no coincidence that countries where women are well educated are far more likely to be prosperous.
Now, let me be clear: Issues of womens equality are by no means simply an issue for Islam. In Turkey, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Indonesia, weve seen Muslim-majority countries elect a woman to lead. Meanwhile, the struggle for womens equality continues in many aspects of American life, and in countries around the world.
I am convinced that our daughters can contribute just as much to society as our sons. (Applause.) 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. (Applause.)
Finally, I want to discuss economic development and opportunity.
I 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 change in communities. In all nations including America this change can bring fear. Fear that because of modernity we lose 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.
But I also know that human progress cannot be denied. There need not be contradictions between development and tradition. Countries like Japan and South Korea grew their economies enormously 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.
And 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 (applause) and in too many Muslim communities, there remains underinvestment in these areas. Im emphasizing such investment within my own country. And while America in the past has focused on oil and gas when it comes to this part of the world, we now seek a broader engagement.
On education, we will expand exchange programs, and increase scholarships, like the one that brought my father to America. (Applause.) 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 young person in Kansas can communicate instantly with a young person in Cairo.
On 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.
On 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. Well 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, grow new crops. Today Im 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 health.
All 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.
The 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 Gods children are respected. Those are mutual interests. That is the world we seek. But we can only achieve it together.
I 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 isnt 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. Theres 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.
All 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.
Its easier to start wars than to end them. Its easier to blame others than to look inward. Its 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. Theres one rule that lies at the heart of every religion that we do unto others as we would have them do unto us. (Applause.) This truth transcends nations and peoples a belief that isnt new; that isnt black or white or brown; that isnt Christian or Muslim or Jew. Its a belief that pulsed in the cradle of civilization, and that still beats in the hearts of billions around the world. Its a faith in other people, and its what brought me here today.
We 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 written.
The Holy Koran 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.
The Talmud tells us: The whole of the Torah is for the purpose of promoting peace.
The Holy Bible tells us: Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God. (Applause.)
The people of the world can live together in peace. We know that is Gods vision. Now that must be our work here on Earth.
Thank you. And may Gods peace be upon you. Thank you very much. Thank you. (Applause.)
2:05 P.M. (Local)
Definitely UNCLEAR ON THE CONCEPT.
"As we learned in Denmark, what happens in Copenhagen affects what happens in Kabul."
ON THE INTERNET:
What does Islamophobia have to do with “monitoring and combating” anti-semitism?
Hannah Rosenthal again. Thanks Cindy.
The jackal gets worse and worse. His hatefulness is intolerable.
You’re welcome SunkenCiv.
Thank you for pinging your list Nachum.
Important stuff. :)
If you are an Islamist, I am your enemy, period.
I learned all that I need to ever know, about all of those rag-heads.... on 911.
I didn’t hear from the “peaceful religion” soon after 911..... or in all the years since. I no longer care.