ANKARA, Turkey (AP) – Barack Obama, making his first visit to a Muslim nation as president, declared Monday the United States “is not and will never be at war with Islam.”
Urging a greater partnership with the Islamic world in an address to the Turkish parliament, Obama called the country an important U.S. ally in many areas, including the fight against terrorism. He devoted much of his speech to urging a greater bond between Americans and Muslims, portraying terrorist groups such as al Qaida as extremists who do not represent the vast majority of Muslims.
“Let me say this as clearly as I can,” Obama said. “The United States is not and never will be 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.”
The U.S. president is trying to mend fences with a Muslim world that felt it had been blamed by America for the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. Continue reading