Obama reaches out to Muslim world - Macleans.ca

Obama reaches out to Muslim world

Tells Indonesian audience that all sides must look beyond ‘suspicion and mistrust’


During his Asia tour, U.S. President Barack Obama gave a speech in Indonesia, in which he acknowledged that U.S. relations with the Islamic world remain strained. Obama urged all sides to look beyond “suspicion and mistrust” and to “forge common ground” in the fight against terrorism. Much of the address was also devoted to urging Indonesia to see the U.S. as an economically beneficial partner. The crowd was entertained by Obama’s memories of his boyhood in Jakarta and the phrases he knew in Indonesian—saying “Indonesia is part of me”. This echoes a speech Obama made in Cairo last year, when he promised a “new beginning” in relations between the U.S. and the Islamic world. He said, “In the 17 months that have past since that speech we have made some progress but we have much more to do. No single speech can eradicate years of mistrust.” He added: “I have made it clear that America is not and never will be at war with Islam … Those who want to build must not cede ground to terrorists who seek to destroy.”


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