خطاب أوباما للعالم الأسلامي – في جامعة القاهرة كاملا

خطاب أوباما للعالم الأسلامي – في جامعة القاهرة كاملا

بلوجاتي – Thu, 2009-06-04 13:24 By بلوجاتي
http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/06/04/obama.anewbeginning.pdf

THE WHITE HOUSEOffice of the Press Secretary(Cairo, Egypt)________________________________________________________________________Remarks of President Barack ObamaA New BeginningCairo, EgyptJune 4, 2009I am honored to be in the timeless city of Cairo, and to be hosted by two remarkableinstitutions. For over a thousand years, Al-Azhar has stood as a beacon of Islamiclearning, and for over a century, Cairo University has been a source of Egypt’sadvancement. Together, you represent the harmony between tradition and progress. I amgrateful for your hospitality, and the hospitality of the people of Egypt. I am also proud tocarry with me the goodwill of the American people, and a greeting of peace from Muslimcommunities 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. Therelationship between Islam and the West includes centuries of co-existence andcooperation, but also conflict and religious wars. More recently, tension has been fed bycolonialism that denied rights and opportunities to many Muslims, and a Cold War inwhich Muslim-majority countries were too often treated as proxies without regard to theirown aspirations. Moreover, the sweeping change brought by modernity and globalizationled 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 ofMuslims. The attacks of September 11th, 2001 and the continued efforts of theseextremists to engage in violence against civilians has led some in my country to viewIslam as inevitably hostile not only to America and Western countries, but also to humanrights. This has bred more fear and mistrust.So long as our relationship is defined by our differences, we will empower those whosow hatred rather than peace, and who promote conflict rather than the cooperation thatcan help all of our people achieve justice and prosperity. This cycle of suspicion anddiscord must end.I have come here to seek a new beginning between the United States and Muslims aroundthe world; one based upon mutual interest and mutual respect; and one based upon thetruth 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; toleranceand the dignity of all human beings.I do so recognizing that change cannot happen overnight. No single speech can eradicateyears of mistrust, nor can I answer in the time that I have all the complex questions thatbrought us to this point. But I am convinced that in order to move forward, we must sayopenly the things we hold in our hearts, and that too often are said only behind closeddoors. There must be a sustained effort to listen to each other; to learn from each other; torespect one another; and to seek common ground. As the Holy Koran tells us, “Beconscious of God and speak always the truth.” That is what I will try to do – to speak thetruth as best I can, humbled by the task before us, and firm in my belief that the interestswe 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 fathercame from a Kenyan family that includes generations of Muslims. As a boy, I spentseveral years in Indonesia and heard the call of the azaan at the break of dawn and the fallof dusk. As a young man, I worked in Chicago communities where many found dignityand peace in their Muslim faith.As a student of history, I also know civilization’s debt to Islam. It was Islam – at placeslike 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 inMuslim communities that developed the order of algebra; our magnetic compass andtools of navigation; our mastery of pens and printing; our understanding of how diseasespreads and how it can be healed. Islamic culture has given us majestic arches andsoaring spires; timeless poetry and cherished music; elegant calligraphy and places ofpeaceful contemplation. And throughout history, Islam has demonstrated through wordsand deeds the possibilities of religious tolerance and racial equality.I know, too, that Islam has always been a part of America’s story. The first nation torecognize my country was Morocco. In signing the Treaty of Tripoli in 1796, our secondPresident John Adams wrote, “The United States has in itself no character of enmityagainst the laws, religion or tranquility of Muslims.” And since our founding, AmericanMuslims have enriched the United States. They have fought in our wars, served ingovernment, stood for civil rights, started businesses, taught at our Universities, excelledin our sports arenas, won Nobel Prizes, built our tallest building, and lit the OlympicTorch. And when the first Muslim-American was recently elected to Congress, he tookthe oath to defend our Constitution using the same Holy Koran that one of our FoundingFathers – Thomas Jefferson – kept in his personal library.So I have known Islam on three continents before coming to the region where it was firstrevealed. That experience guides my conviction that partnership between America andIslam must be based on what Islam is, not what it isn’t. And I consider it part of myresponsibility as President of the United States to fight against negative stereotypes ofIslam wherever they appear.But that same principle must apply to Muslim perceptions of America. Just as Muslimsdo not fit a crude stereotype, America is not the crude stereotype of a self-interestedempire. The United States has been one of the greatest sources of progress that the worldhas ever known. We were born out of revolution against an empire. We were foundedupon the ideal that all are created equal, and we have shed blood and struggled forcenturies to give meaning to those words – within our borders, and around the world. Weare shaped by every culture, drawn from every end of the Earth, and dedicated to a simpleconcept: E pluribus unum: “Out of many, one.”Much has been made of the fact that an African-American with the name Barack HusseinObama could be elected President. But my personal story is not so unique. The dream ofopportunity for all people has not come true for everyone in America, but its promiseexists for all who come to our shores – that includes nearly seven million AmericanMuslims in our country today who enjoy incomes and education that are higher thanaverage.Moreover, freedom in America is indivisible from the freedom to practice one’s religion.That is why there is a mosque in every state of our union, and over 1,200 mosques withinour borders. That is why the U.S. government has gone to court to protect the right ofwomen and girls to wear the hijab, and to punish those who would deny it.So let there be no doubt: Islam is a part of America. And I believe that America holdswithin her the truth that regardless of race, religion, or station in life, all of us sharecommon aspirations – to live in peace and security; to get an education and to work withdignity; to love our families, our communities, and our God. These things we share. Thisis the hope of all humanity.Of course, recognizing our common humanity is only the beginning of our task. Wordsalone cannot meet the needs of our people. These needs will be met only if we act boldlyin the years ahead; and if we understand that the challenges we face are shared, and ourfailure to meet them will hurt us all.For we have learned from recent experience that when a financial system weakens in onecountry, prosperity is hurt everywhere. When a new flu infects one human being, all areat risk. When one nation pursues a nuclear weapon, the risk of nuclear attack rises for allnations. When violent extremists operate in one stretch of mountains, people areendangered across an ocean. And 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 inthe 21st century. That is the responsibility we have to one another as human beings.This is a difficult responsibility to embrace. For human history has often been a record ofnations and tribes subjugating one another to serve their own interests. Yet in this newage, such attitudes are self-defeating. Given our interdependence, any world order thatelevates one nation or group of people over another will inevitably fail. So whatever wethink of the past, we must not be prisoners of it. Our problems must be dealt with throughpartnership; 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 andplainly as I can about some specific issues that I believe we must finally confronttogether.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. Wewill, however, relentlessly confront violent extremists who pose a grave threat to oursecurity. Because we reject the same thing that people of all faiths reject: the killing ofinnocent men, women, and children. And it is my first duty as President to protect theAmerican people.The situation in Afghanistan demonstrates America’s goals, and our need to worktogether. Over seven years ago, the United States pursued al Qaeda and the Taliban withbroad international support. We did not go by choice, we went because of necessity. I amaware that some question or justify the events of 9/11. But let us be clear: al Qaeda killednearly 3,000 people on that day. The victims were innocent men, women and childrenfrom America and many other nations who had done nothing to harm anybody. And yetAl Qaeda chose to ruthlessly murder these people, claimed credit for the attack, and evennow states their determination to kill on a massive scale. They have affiliates in manycountries and are trying to expand their reach. These are not opinions to be debated; theseare facts to be dealt with.Make no mistake: we do not want to keep our troops in Afghanistan. We seek no militarybases there. It is agonizing for America to lose our young men and women. It is costlyand politically difficult to continue this conflict. We would gladly bring every single oneof our troops home if we could be confident that there were not violent extremists inAfghanistan and Pakistan determined to kill as many Americans as they possibly can. Butthat is not yet the case.That’s why we’re partnering with a coalition of forty-six countries. And despite the costsinvolved, America’s commitment will not weaken. Indeed, none of us should toleratethese extremists. They have killed in many countries. They have killed people of differentfaiths – more than any other, they have killed Muslims. Their actions are irreconcilablewith the rights of human beings, the progress of nations, and with Islam. The Holy Koranteaches that whoever kills an innocent, it is as if he has killed all mankind; and whoeversaves a person, it is as if he has saved all mankind. The enduring faith of over a billionpeople is so much bigger than the narrow hatred of a few. Islam is not part of the problemin 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 inAfghanistan and Pakistan. That is why we plan to invest $1.5 billion each year over thenext five years to partner with Pakistanis to build schools and hospitals, roads andbusinesses, and hundreds of millions to help those who have been displaced. And that iswhy we are providing more than $2.8 billion to help Afghans develop their economy anddeliver services that people depend upon.Let me also address the issue of Iraq. Unlike Afghanistan, Iraq was a war of choice thatprovoked strong differences in my country and around the world. Although I believe thatthe Iraqi people are ultimately better off without the tyranny of Saddam Hussein, I alsobelieve that events in Iraq have reminded America of the need to use diplomacy and buildinternational consensus to resolve our problems whenever possible. Indeed, we can recallthe words of Thomas Jefferson, who said: “I hope that our wisdom will grow with ourpower, 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 leaveIraq to Iraqis. I have made it clear to the Iraqi people that we pursue no bases, and noclaim on their territory or resources. Iraq’s sovereignty is its own. That is why I orderedthe removal of our combat brigades by next August. That is why we will honor ouragreement with Iraq’s democratically-elected government to remove combat troops fromIraqi cities by July, and to remove all our troops from Iraq by 2012. We will help Iraqtrain its Security Forces and develop its economy. But we will support a secure andunited Iraq as a partner, and never as a patron.And finally, just as America can never tolerate violence by extremists, we must neveralter our principles. 9/11 was an enormous trauma to our country. The fear and anger thatit provoked was understandable, but in some cases, it led us to act contrary to our ideals.We are taking concrete actions to change course. I have unequivocally prohibited the useof torture by the United States, and I have ordered the prison at Guantanamo Bay closedby early next year.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, thesooner we will all be safer.The second major source of tension that we need to discuss is the situation betweenIsraelis, Palestinians and the Arab world.America’s strong bonds with Israel are well known. This bond is unbreakable. It is basedupon cultural and historical ties, and the recognition that the aspiration for a Jewishhomeland is rooted in a tragic history that cannot be denied.Around the world, the Jewish people were persecuted for centuries, and anti-Semitism inEurope culminated in an unprecedented Holocaust. Tomorrow, I will visit Buchenwald,which was part of a network of camps where Jews were enslaved, tortured, shot andgassed to death by the Third Reich. Six million Jews were killed – more than the entireJewish population of Israel today. Denying that fact is baseless, ignorant, and hateful.Threatening Israel with destruction – or repeating vile stereotypes about Jews – is deeplywrong, and only serves to evoke in the minds of Israelis this most painful of memorieswhile preventing the peace that the people of this region deserve.On the other hand, it is also undeniable that the Palestinian people – Muslims andChristians – have suffered in pursuit of a homeland. For more than sixty years they haveendured the pain of dislocation. Many wait in refugee camps in the West Bank, Gaza, andneighboring 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 letthere be no doubt: the situation for the Palestinian people is intolerable. America will notturn our backs on the legitimate Palestinian aspiration for dignity, opportunity, and a stateof their own.For decades, there has been a stalemate: two peoples with legitimate aspirations, eachwith a painful history that makes compromise elusive. It is easy to point fingers – forPalestinians to point to the displacement brought by Israel’s founding, and for Israelis topoint to the constant hostility and attacks throughout its history from within its borders aswell as beyond. But if we see this conflict only from one side or the other, then we willbe blind to the truth: the only resolution is for the aspirations of both sides to be metthrough two states, where Israelis and Palestinians each live in peace and security.That is in Israel’s interest, Palestine’s interest, America’s interest, and the world’sinterest. That is why I intend to personally pursue this outcome with all the patience thatthe task requires. The obligations that the parties have agreed to under the Road Map areclear. For peace to come, it is time for them – and all of us – to live up to ourresponsibilities.Palestinians must abandon violence. Resistance through violence and killing is wrong anddoes not succeed. For centuries, black people in America suffered the lash of the whip asslaves and the humiliation of segregation. But it was not violence that won full and equalrights. It was a peaceful and determined insistence upon the ideals at the center ofAmerica’s founding. This same story can be told by people from South Africa to SouthAsia; from Eastern Europe to Indonesia. It’s a story with a simple truth: that violence is adead end. It is a sign of neither courage nor power to shoot rockets at sleeping children,or to blow up old women on a bus. That is not how moral authority is claimed; that ishow it is surrendered.Now is the time for Palestinians to focus on what they can build. The PalestinianAuthority must develop its capacity to govern, with institutions that serve the needs of itspeople. Hamas does have support among some Palestinians, but they also haveresponsibilities. To play a role in fulfilling Palestinian aspirations, and to unify thePalestinian people, Hamas must put an end to violence, recognize past agreements, andrecognize Israel’s right to exist.At the same time, Israelis must acknowledge that just as Israel’s right to exist cannot bedenied, neither can Palestine’s. The United States does not accept the legitimacy ofcontinued Israeli settlements. This construction violates previous agreements andundermines efforts to achieve peace. It is time for these settlements to stop.Israel must also live up to its obligations to ensure that Palestinians can live, and work,and develop their society. And just as it devastates Palestinian families, the continuinghumanitarian crisis in Gaza does not serve Israel’s security; neither does the continuinglack of opportunity in the West Bank. Progress in the daily lives of the Palestinian peoplemust be part of a road to peace, and Israel must take concrete steps to enable suchprogress.Finally, the Arab States must recognize that the Arab Peace Initiative was an importantbeginning, but not the end of their responsibilities. The Arab-Israeli conflict should nolonger be used to distract the people of Arab nations from other problems. Instead, itmust be a cause for action to help the Palestinian people develop the institutions that willsustain their state; to recognize Israel’s legitimacy; and to choose progress over a selfdefeatingfocus on the past.America will align our policies with those who pursue peace, and say in public what wesay in private to Israelis and Palestinians and Arabs. We cannot impose peace. Butprivately, many Muslims recognize that Israel will not go away. Likewise, many Israelisrecognize the need for a Palestinian state. It is time for us to act on what everyone knowsto be true.Too many tears have flowed. Too much blood has been shed. All of us have aresponsibility to work for the day when the mothers of Israelis and Palestinians can seetheir children grow up without fear; when the Holy Land of three great faiths is the placeof peace that God intended it to be; when Jerusalem is a secure and lasting home for Jewsand Christians and Muslims, and a place for all of the children of Abraham to minglepeacefully together as in the story of Isra, when Moses, Jesus, and Mohammed (peace beupon them) joined in prayer.The third source of tension is our shared interest in the rights and responsibilities ofnations on nuclear weapons.This issue has been a source of tension between the United States and the IslamicRepublic of Iran. For many years, Iran has defined itself in part by its opposition to mycountry, and there is indeed a tumultuous history between us. In the middle of the ColdWar, the United States played a role in the overthrow of a democratically-elected Iraniangovernment. Since the Islamic Revolution, Iran has played a role in acts of hostagetakingand violence against U.S. troops and civilians. This history is well known. Ratherthan remain trapped in the past, I have made it clear to Iran’s leaders and people that mycountry is prepared to move forward. The question, now, is not what Iran is against, butrather what future it wants to build.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 adecisive point. This is not simply about America’s interests. It is about preventing anuclear arms race in the Middle East that could lead this region and the world down ahugely dangerous path.I understand those who protest that some countries have weapons that others do not. Nosingle nation should pick and choose which nations hold nuclear weapons. That is why Istrongly reaffirmed America’s commitment to seek a world in which no nations holdnuclear weapons. And any nation – including Iran – should have the right to accesspeaceful 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 forall who fully abide by it. And I am hopeful that all countries in the region can share inthis goal.The fourth issue that I will address is democracy.I know there has been controversy about the promotion of democracy in recent years, andmuch of this controversy is connected to the war in Iraq. So let me be clear: no system ofgovernment can or should be imposed upon one nation by any other.That does not lessen my commitment, however, to governments that reflect the will of thepeople. Each nation gives life to this principle in its own way, grounded in the traditionsof its own people. America does not presume to know what is best for everyone, just aswe would not presume to pick the outcome of a peaceful election. But I do have anunyielding belief that all people yearn for certain things: the ability to speak your mindand have a say in how you are governed; confidence in the rule of law and the equaladministration of justice; government that is transparent and doesn’t steal from thepeople; the freedom to live as you choose. Those are not just American ideas, they arehuman 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 thatprotect these rights are ultimately more stable, successful and secure. Suppressing ideasnever succeeds in making them go away. America respects the right of all peaceful andlaw-abiding voices to be heard around the world, even if we disagree with them. And wewill welcome all elected, peaceful governments – provided they govern with respect forall their people.This last point is important because there are some who advocate for democracy onlywhen they are out of power; once in power, they are ruthless in suppressing the rights ofothers. No matter where it takes hold, government of the people and by the people sets asingle standard for all who hold power: you must maintain your power through consent,not coercion; you must respect the rights of minorities, and participate with a spirit oftolerance and compromise; you must place the interests of your people and the legitimateworkings of the political process above your party. Without these ingredients, electionsalone do not make true democracy.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 andCordoba during the Inquisition. I saw it firsthand as a child in Indonesia, where devoutChristians worshiped freely in an overwhelmingly Muslim country. That is the spirit weneed today. People in every country should be free to choose and live their faith basedupon the persuasion of the mind, heart, and soul. This tolerance is essential for religion tothrive, but it is being challenged in many different ways.Among some Muslims, there is a disturbing tendency to measure one’s own faith by therejection of another’s. The richness of religious diversity must be upheld – whether it isfor Maronites in Lebanon or the Copts in Egypt. And fault lines must be closed amongMuslims 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 alwaysexamine the ways in which we protect it. For instance, in the United States, rules oncharitable giving have made it harder for Muslims to fulfill their religious obligation.That is why I am committed to working with American Muslims to ensure that they canfulfill zakat.Likewise, it is important for Western countries to avoid impeding Muslim citizens frompracticing religion as they see fit – for instance, by dictating what clothes a Muslimwoman should wear. We cannot disguise hostility towards any religion behind thepretence of liberalism.Indeed, faith should bring us together. That is why we are forging service projects inAmerica that bring together Christians, Muslims, and Jews. That is why we welcomeefforts like Saudi Arabian King Abdullah’s Interfaith dialogue and Turkey’s leadership inthe Alliance of Civilizations. Around the world, we can turn dialogue into Interfaithservice, so bridges between peoples lead to action – whether it is combating malaria inAfrica, or providing relief after a natural disaster.The sixth issue that I want to address is women’s rights.I know there is debate about this issue. I reject the view of some in the West that awoman who chooses to cover her hair is somehow less equal, but I do believe that awoman who is denied an education is denied equality. And it is no coincidence thatcountries where women are well-educated are far more likely to be prosperous.Now let me be clear: issues of women’s equality are by no means simply an issue forIslam. In Turkey, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Indonesia, we have seen Muslim-majoritycountries elect a woman to lead. Meanwhile, the struggle for women’s equality continuesin many aspects of American life, and in countries around the world.Our daughters can contribute just as much to society as our sons, and our commonprosperity will be advanced by allowing all humanity – men and women – to reach theirfull potential. I do not believe that women must make the same choices as men in order tobe equal, and I respect those women who choose to live their lives in traditional roles.But it should be their choice. That is why the United States will partner with any Muslimmajoritycountry to support expanded literacy for girls, and to help young women pursueemployment through micro-financing that helps people live their dreams.Finally, I want to discuss economic development and opportunity.I know that for many, the face of globalization is contradictory. The Internet andtelevision can bring knowledge and information, but also offensive sexuality andmindless violence. Trade can bring new wealth and opportunities, but also hugedisruptions and changing communities. In all nations – including my own – this changecan bring fear. Fear that because of modernity we will lose of control over our economicchoices, our politics, and most importantly our identities – those things we most cherishabout our communities, our families, our traditions, and our faith.But I also know that human progress cannot be denied. There need not be contradictionbetween development and tradition. Countries like Japan and South Korea grew theireconomies while maintaining distinct cultures. The same is true for the astonishingprogress within Muslim-majority countries from Kuala Lumpur to Dubai. In ancienttimes and in our times, Muslim communities have been at the forefront of innovation andeducation.This is important because no development strategy can be based only upon what comesout of the ground, nor can it be sustained while young people are out of work. Many GulfStates have enjoyed great wealth as a consequence of oil, and some are beginning tofocus it on broader development. But all of us must recognize that education andinnovation will be the currency of the 21st century, and in too many Muslim communitiesthere remains underinvestment in these areas. I am emphasizing such investments withinmy country. And while America in the past has focused on oil and gas in this part of theworld, we now seek a broader engagement.On education, we will expand exchange programs, and increase scholarships, like the onethat brought my father to America, while encouraging more Americans to study inMuslim communities. And we will match promising Muslim students with internships inAmerica; invest in on-line learning for teachers and children around the world; and createa new online network, so a teenager in Kansas can communicate instantly with a teenagerin Cairo.On economic development, we will create a new corps of business volunteers to partnerwith counterparts in Muslim-majority countries. And I will host a Summit onEntrepreneurship this year to identify how we can deepen ties between business leaders,foundations and social entrepreneurs in the United States and Muslim communitiesaround the world.On science and technology, we will launch a new fund to support technologicaldevelopment in Muslim-majority countries, and to help transfer ideas to the marketplaceso they can create jobs. We will open centers of scientific excellence in Africa, theMiddle East and Southeast Asia, and appoint new Science Envoys to collaborate onprograms that develop new sources of energy, create green jobs, digitize records, cleanwater, and grow new crops. And today I am announcing a new global effort with theOrganization of the Islamic Conference to eradicate polio. And we will also expandpartnerships with Muslim communities to promote child and maternal health.All these things must be done in partnership. Americans are ready to join with citizensand governments; community organizations, religious leaders, and businesses in Muslimcommunities 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 responsibilityto join together on behalf of the world we seek – a world where extremists no longerthreaten our people, and American troops have come home; a world where Israelis andPalestinians are each secure in a state of their own, and nuclear energy is used forpeaceful purposes; a world where governments serve their citizens, and the rights of allGod’s children are respected. Those are mutual interests. That is the world we seek. Butwe can only achieve it together.I know there are many – Muslim and non-Muslim – who question whether we can forgethis new beginning. Some are eager to stoke the flames of division, and to stand in theway of progress. Some suggest that it isn’t worth the effort – that we are fated todisagree, and civilizations are doomed to clash. Many more are simply skeptical that realchange can occur. There is so much fear, so much mistrust. But if we choose to be boundby the past, we will never move forward. And I want to particularly say this to youngpeople of every faith, in every country – you, more than anyone, have the ability toremake this world.All of us share this world for but a brief moment in time. The question is whether wespend that time focused on what pushes us apart, or whether we commit ourselves to aneffort – a sustained effort – to find common ground, to focus on the future we seek forour children, and to respect the dignity of all human beings.It is easier to start wars than to end them. It is easier to blame others than to look inward;to see what is different about someone than to find the things we share. But we shouldchoose the right path, not just the easy path. There is also one rule that lies at the heart ofevery religion – that we do unto others as we would have them do unto us. This truthtranscends nations and peoples – a belief that isn’t new; that isn’t black or white orbrown; that isn’t Christian, or Muslim or Jew. It’s a belief that pulsed in the cradle ofcivilization, and that still beats in the heart of billions. It’s a faith in other people, and it’swhat brought me here today.We have the power to make the world we seek, but only if we have the courage to make anew beginning, keeping in mind what has been written.The Holy Koran tells us, “O mankind! We have created you male and a female; and wehave 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 ofGod.”The 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.

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