Obama: U.S. Not at War with Islam
That's what President Obama told the Turkish parliament in an address there this morning, in which he also played up his father's Muslim background as an example of the cultural intersections between the U.S. and the Muslim world.:
Let me say this as clearly as I can: the United States is not at war with Islam. In fact, our partnership with the Muslim world is critical in rolling back a fringe ideology that people of all faiths reject.
But I also want to be clear that America's relationship with the Muslim work cannot and will not be based on opposition to al Qaeda. Far from it. We seek broad engagement based upon mutual interests and mutual respect. We will listen carefully, bridge misunderstanding, and seek common ground. We will be respectful, even when we do not agree. And we will convey our deep appreciation for the Islamic faith, which has done so much over so many centuries to shape the world for the better -- including my own country. The United States has been enriched by Muslim Americans. Many other Americans have Muslims in their family, or have lived in a Muslim-majority country -- I know, because I am one of them.
Obama's primary agenda Turkey, the Washington Examiner's Julie Mason reports, is to mend U.S. relations with the Muslim world, and today's speech was his first to a Muslim majority country (except for his video message to Iran). He is expected to push for a greater commitment from Turkey to U.S. efforts in Afghanistan, but he is not expected to get it.