Obama seeks `new beginning’ in US-Muslim relations

June 4th, 2009 - 5:46 pm ICT by IANS  

Barack Obama Cairo, June 4 (DPA) “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,” US President Barack Obama said in Cairo Thursday.
Obama said he was aware that “no single speech can eradicate years of mistrust”, but said he was “convinced that in order to move forward, we must say openly the things we hold in our hearts”.

The US president said that though he was a Christian, he was born of a family with generations of Muslims, that had he spent years hearing the Muslim call to prayer as a boy in Indonesia.

“Islam has always been a part of America’s story,” he said, noting that Morocco was the first country to recognise the US, and listing some of Muslim Americans’ contributions to US history.

“I consider it part of my responsibility as president of the United States to fight against negative stereotypes of Islam wherever they appear,” Obama said.

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