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Islam is a vibrant faith. Millions of our fellow citizens are Muslim. We respect the faith.
We honor its traditions. Our enemy does not. Our enemy doesn't follow the great traditions of
Islam. They've hijacked a great religion.
Islam is a faith that brings comfort to people. It inspires them to
lead lives based on honesty, and justice, and compassion.
All Americans must recognize that the face of terror is not the true
faith -- face of Islam. Islam is a faith that brings comfort to a billion people
around the world. It's a faith that has made brothers and sisters of every race.
It's a faith based upon love, not hate.
If liberty can blossom in the rocky soil of the West Bank and Gaza,
it will inspire millions of men and women around the globe who are equally weary of
poverty and oppression, equally entitled to the benefits of democratic government.
I have a hope for the people of Muslim countries. Your commitments to morality, and
learning, and tolerance led to great historical achievements. And those values are
alive in the Islamic world today. You have a rich culture, and you share the
aspirations of men and women in every culture. Prosperity and freedom and dignity
are not just American hopes, or Western hopes. They are universal, human hopes.
And even in the violence and turmoil of the Middle East, America believes those
hopes have the power to transform lives and nations.
When it comes to the common rights and needs of men and women,
there is no clash of civilizations. The requirements of freedom apply fully to Africa
and Latin America and the entire Islamic world. The peoples of the Islamic nations
want and deserve the same freedoms and opportunities as people in every nation.
And their governments should listen to their hopes.
America rejects bigotry. We reject every act of hatred against people of Arab
background or Muslim faith
America values and welcomes peaceful people of all
faiths -- Christian, Jewish, Muslim, Sikh, Hindu and many others. Every faith
is practiced and protected here, because we are one country. Every immigrant
can be fully and equally American because we're one country. Race and color
should not divide us, because America is one country.
We're taking action against evil people. Because this great nation
of many religions understands, our war is not against Islam, or against faith practiced
by the Muslim people. Our war is a war against evil. This is clearly a case of good
versus evil, and make no mistake about it -- good will prevail.
According to Muslim teachings, God first revealed His word in
the Holy Qur'an to the prophet, Muhammad, during the month of Ramadan. That word
has guided billions of believers across the centuries, and those believers built
a culture of learning and literature and science. All the world continues to
benefit from this faith and its achievements.
The Islam that we know is a faith devoted to the worship of one God, as revealed
through The Holy Quran. It teaches the value and the importance of charity,
mercy, and peace.
"This new enemy seeks to destroy our freedom and impose its views.
We value life; the terrorists ruthlessly destroy it. We value education;
the terrorists do not believe women should be educated or should have health care,
or should leave their homes. We value the right to speak our minds; for the
terrorists, free expression can be grounds for execution. We respect people
of all faiths and welcome the free practice of religion; our enemy wants to
dictate how to think and how to worship even to their fellow Muslims."
All of us here today understand this: We do not
fight Islam, we fight against evil.
I have assured His Majesty that our war is against evil, not against Islam.
There are thousands of Muslims who proudly call themselves Americans, and they know what
I know -- that the Muslim faith is based upon peace and love and compassion.
The exact opposite of the teachings of the al Qaeda organization, which
is based upon evil and hate and destruction.
Americans understand we fight not a religion; ours
is not a campaign against the Muslim faith. Ours is a campaign against evil.
The terrorists are traitors to their own faith, trying, in effect,
to hijack Islam itself. The enemy of America is not our many Muslim friends; it is
not our many Arab friends. Our enemy is a radical network of terrorists, and
every government that supports them.
I've made it clear, Madam President, that the war against
terrorism is not a war against Muslims, nor is it a war against Arabs.
It's a war against evil people who conduct crimes against innocent people.
The face of terror is not the true faith of Islam.
That's not what Islam is all about. Islam is peace. These terrorists
don't represent peace. They represent evil and war.
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