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99 APPENDIX B President Barack Obama’s Cairo Speech: Remarks on a New Beginning, June 4, 2009 Iam 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.Together, you represent the harmony between tradition and progress. I am grateful for your hospitality, and the hospitality of the people of Egypt. I am 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. We meet at a time of 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 theWest 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.This has bred more fear and mistrust. Imperial Designs_13448.indd 99 3/12/13 2:44 PM 100   APPENDIX B So long as our relationship is defined by our differences, we will empower those who sow hatred rather than peace, and who promote conflict rather than the cooperation that can help all of our people achieve justice and prosperity.This cycle of suspicion and discord must end. I have come here to seek a new beginning between the United States and Muslims around the world; one based upon 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. No single speech can eradicate years of mistrust, nor can I answer in the time that I have all the complex questions that brought us to this point. But I am convinced that in order to move forward,we must say openly 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 Quran tells us:“Be conscious of God and speak always the truth.”That is what I will try to do—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 am 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 [the Muslim call to prayer] at the break of dawn and 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 civilization’s debt to Islam. It was Islam—at places like Al-Azhar University—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 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...

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Additional Information

ISBN
9781612346250
Related ISBN
9781612346243
MARC Record
OCLC
967540720
Pages
208
Launched on MUSE
2017-01-05
Language
English
Open Access
No
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