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Bush On Extremism And Islam

The war against extremists and terrorists, says President George W. Bush, is not a struggle against Muslims or Islam. It is, he says, “a struggle of honorable, peaceful people throughout the world against the few who want to impose their vision.”

These extremists pose a grave danger not only to Americans but to people everywhere. They seek to destroy the fabric of society and stop the advance of freedom in Muslim societies around the world. “They attack holy sites, destroy mosques and minarets, and kill innocent men, women, and children -- including Muslims who do not share their radical views,” says Mr. Bush. The extremists, he says, believe that by “spreading chaos and violence they can frustrate the desire of Muslims to live in freedom and peace.”

America knows that extremists do not represent Islam or Muslims. As President Bush has said:

“America is standing with mainstream citizens across the broader Middle East. We stand with nearly twelve million Iraqis who voted for a democratic future for their children. We're standing with Afghan people, as they defend their young democracy against the Taliban and al Qaida. We're standing with the Lebanese people, who raised the banner of a Cedar Revolution to reclaim their freedom and independence. We're standing with all who seek the blessings of liberty -- and the peace that freedom brings.”

The United States, says President Bush, has a “proud history” of standing with Muslims facing suffering and hardship:

“Our country defended Muslims in Bosnia and Kosovo after the breakup of Yugoslavia. We supported Kuwait after it was invaded by Saddam Hussein. Americans came to the aid of victims of devastating earthquakes in Pakistan, India, and Iran. Americans responded with urgency and compassion to the wreckage of the tsunami in Indonesia and Sri Lanka and Thailand. We're rallying the world to confront the genocide in Sudan, and deliver humanitarian aid for those in dire need. And we support the establishment of a Palestinian democracy to live side by side with Israel in peace.”

The United States has been proud to offer its support to Muslim communities the world over, and will continue to do so in years to come.