Obama urges religious freedom

June 4th, 2009 - 6:06 pm ICT by IANS  

Barack Obama Cairo, June 4 (DPA) “Among some Muslims, there is a disturbing tendency to measure one’s own faith by the rejection of another’s,” US President Barack Obama told the world’s 1.5 billion Muslims in a speech from Cairo Thursday.
“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,” Obama said.

“Likewise,” the US president said, “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.”

Obama said he would relax rules on religious giving to make it easier for US Muslims to fulfil their religious duty to perform “zakat”, or give charity.

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