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 the full text of President Obama's speech in Cairo

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PostSubject: the full text of President Obama's speech in Cairo   Thu 3 Jun - 23:20

Below,
the full text of President Obama's speech in Cairo, Egypt,
titled "A New Beginning."


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* * * *


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 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 the West includes centuries
of co-existence 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 11th, 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.


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 Koran 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 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 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
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, served in government, stood for civil rights, started businesses,
taught at our Universities, excelled in our sports arenas, 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.


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 isn't. And I consider it part
of my responsibility as President of the United States to fight against
negative stereotypes of Islam wherever they appear.


But
that same principle must apply to Muslim perceptions of America. Just
as Muslims do not fit a crude stereotype, America is not the crude stereotype
of a self-interested empire. The United States has been one of the
greatest sources of progress that the world has ever known. 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."


Much
has been made of the fact that an African-American with the name Barack Hussein
Obama could be elected President. 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 - that includes nearly
seven million American Muslims in our country today who enjoy incomes and
education that are higher than average.


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 within our
borders. That is why the U.S.
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.


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. 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 in the 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 of nations and tribes subjugating one another to serve 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 of it. Our problems must be dealt with through partnership;
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 and 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. 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 America's
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. I am aware that some question or
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.


Make
no mistake: we do not want to keep our troops in Afghanistan. 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 Pakistan
determined to kill as many Americans as they possibly can. But that is not yet
the case.


That's
why we're partnering with a coalition of forty-six countries. And despite the
costs involved, America's
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 - 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, it is as
if he has killed all mankind; and whoever saves a person, it is as if he has
saved all mankind. 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.


We
also know that military power alone is not going to solve the problems in Afghanistan and Pakistan. That is 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 who have been displaced. And that is why we are
providing more than $2.8 billion to help Afghans develop their economy and
deliver services that people depend upon.


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. 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. I have made it
clear to the Iraqi people that we pursue no bases, and no claim on their
territory or resources. Iraq's
sovereignty is its own. That is why I ordered the removal of our combat
brigades by next August. That is why we will honor our agreement with Iraq's democratically-elected government to
remove combat troops from Iraqi cities by July, and to remove all our troops
from Iraq
by 2012. 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 our principles. 9/11
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 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.


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.


America's 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, ignorant, and 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 sixty years
they have 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. America will not turn our backs on
the legitimate Palestinian aspiration for dignity, opportunity, and a state of
their own.


For
decades, there has been a stalemate: two peoples with legitimate aspirations,
each with a painful history that makes compromise elusive. It is easy to point
fingers - for Palestinians to point to the displacement brought by Israel's
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.


That
is in Israel's interest, Palestine's interest, America's interest, and the world's
interest. That is why I intend to personally pursue this outcome with all the
patience that the task requires. 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
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 America's
founding. This same story can be told by people from South
Africa to South Asia; from Eastern Europe to Indonesia. It's
a story with a simple truth: that violence is a dead 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 is 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 responsibilities. To play a role in fulfilling Palestinian
aspirations, and to unify the Palestinian people, Hamas must put an end to
violence, recognize past agreements, and recognize Israel's right to exist.


At
the same time, Israelis must acknowledge that just as Israel's right to exist cannot be denied,
neither can Palestine's.
The United States
does not accept the legitimacy of continued Israeli settlements. This
construction violates previous agreements and undermines 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 continuing
humanitarian crisis in Gaza does not serve Israel's security; neither does the continuing
lack of opportunity in the West Bank. Progress
in the daily lives of the Palestinian people must be part of a road to peace,
and Israel
must take concrete steps to enable such progress.


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 Israel's
legitimacy; and to choose progress over a self-defeating focus on the past.


America will align our policies with those
who pursue peace, and say in public what we say in private to Israelis and
Palestinians and Arabs. 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 flowed. 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
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, when Moses, Jesus, and Mohammed (peace be upon them) joined
in prayer.


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 indeed 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,
I have made it clear to Iran's
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.


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 America's
interests. It is 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 nations hold nuclear
weapons. That is why I strongly reaffirmed America's commitment to seek a
world in which no nations hold nuclear weapons. 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
I am hopeful that all countries in the region can share in this goal.


The
fourth issue that I will address is democracy.


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 upon 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 doesn't steal from the people; the
freedom to live as you choose. Those are not just American ideas, they are
human 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 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 they are out of power; once in power, they are ruthless in suppressing the
rights of others. No matter where it takes hold, government of the people and
by the people sets a single 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 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.


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, heart, and soul. This tolerance is
essential for religion to thrive, but it is being challenged in many different
ways.


Among
some Muslims, there is a disturbing tendency to measure one's own faith by the
rejection of another's. The richness of religious diversity must be upheld -
whether it is for Maronites in Lebanon
or the Copts in Egypt.
And 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. That is why I am 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 cannot disguise hostility towards any religion
behind the pretence of liberalism.


Indeed,
faith should bring us together. That is why we are forging service projects in America that
bring together Christians, Muslims, and Jews. That is why we welcome efforts
like Saudi Arabian King Abdullah's Interfaith dialogue and Turkey's
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 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 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. 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 women's equality are by no means simply an issue for
Islam. In Turkey, Pakistan, Bangladesh
and Indonesia,
we have seen Muslim-majority countries elect a woman to lead. Meanwhile, the
struggle for women's equality continues in 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 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. 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.


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. Trade can bring new wealth and opportunities,
but also huge disruptions and changing communities. In all nations - including
my own - this change can bring fear. Fear that because of modernity we will
lose of 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
contradiction between development and tradition. Countries like Japan and South Korea grew their economies
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.


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, and in too many Muslim
communities there remains underinvestment in these areas. I am emphasizing such
investments within my country. And while America in the past has focused on
oil and gas in 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, while encouraging more
Americans to study in Muslim communities. And we will match promising Muslim
students with internships in America;
invest in on-line learning for teachers and children around the world; and
create a new online network, so a teenager in Kansas
can communicate instantly with a teenager 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 jobs. We will 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, and grow
new crops. And today I am 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 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 God's 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 isn't 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. There is so much fear, so much
mistrust. 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 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.


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 should choose the right path, not just the easy path. There is
also one rule that lies at the heart of every religion - that we do unto others
as we would have them do unto us. This truth transcends nations and peoples - a
belief that isn't new; that isn't black or white or brown; that isn't Christian,
or Muslim or Jew. It's a belief that pulsed in the cradle of civilization, and
that still beats in the heart of billions. It's a faith in other people, and
it's 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."


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.


###
TOPIC : the full text of President Obama's speech in Cairo  SOURCE : Linguistic Studies ** http://languages.forumactif.org/
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