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Backgrounder: Obama's words on Muslim since taking office
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15:38, June 04, 2009

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U.S. President Barack Obama is scheduled to deliver a speech to the Muslim world in Cairo University on Thursday, following are some key quotations of Obama on Muslim since taking office in January.

On Jan. 20, Obama mentioned the word "Muslim" twice in his inaugural speech.

-- "We know that our patchwork heritage is a strength, not a weakness. We are a nation of Christians and Muslims, Jews and Hindus, and non-believers.

-- "To the Muslim world, we seek a new way forward, based on mutual interest and mutual respect. To those leaders around the globe who seek to sow conflict, or blame their society's ills on the West -- know that your people will judge you on what you can build, not what you destroy. To those who cling to power through corruption and deceit and the silencing of dissent, know that you are on the wrong side of history; but that we will extend a hand if you are willing to unclench your fist."

On Jan. 26, Obama chose the Saudi-owned and Dubai-based Al-Arabiya satellite TV for his first television interview since taking office.

-- "My job to the Muslim world is to communicate that the Americans are not your enemy, we sometimes make mistakes."

-- "(There are) respect and partnership that America had with the Muslim world as recently as 20 or 30 years ago, there's no reason why we can't restore that."

On April 6, Obama made a speech at Turkish Parliament in Ankara, capital of a Muslim country.

-- "The United States is not and will never be at war with Islam."

-- "America's relationship with the Muslim world cannot and will not be based on opposition to al-Qaida."

-- "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."

On June 2, the British broadcaster BBC aired an interview with Obama, who was about to fly to Middle East.

-- "There are misapprehensions on the part of the West about the Muslim world, and obviously there are some big misapprehensions about the Muslim world when it comes to those of us in the West."

On June 2, the French television channels I-Tele and Canal Plus made an interview with Obama, who will visit Europe for D-day commemorations a few days later.

-- "If you take the number of Muslim Americans, we would be one of the largest Muslim countries of the world."

-- "What we need is to create a better dialogue, so that the Muslim world understands better how the U.S., but how effectively the West thinks about many of these difficult issues -- terrorism, democracy."


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