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In a historic speech at the University of Cairo, President Barack Obama said America and Islam "are not exclusive and need not be in competition":
"Instead they overlap, and share common principles – principles of justice and progress; tolerance and the dignity of all human beings."
He called for a reshaping of relations between the U.S. and Muslims across the globe:
"So long as our relationship is defined by our differences, we will empower those who sow hatred rather than peace, those who promote conflict rather than the cooperation that can help all of our people achieve justice and prosperity."
Sources of tension that have caused division must be confronted honestly, said President Obama, and allsidesmust make "a sustained effort to listen to each other, to learn from each other ... and to seek common ground."
He listed several areas of tension, including the threat posed by violent extremism, the situation between Israelis, Palestinians and Arabs, the rights and responsibilities of nations regarding nuclear weapons, and the need for governments to be accountable to their people. He also spoke of America's support for human rights, religious freedom, the rights of women, and global economic development and opportunity.
President Obama said these issues will not be easy to address:
"But we have a responsibility to join together on behalf of the world that we seek – a world where extremists no longer threaten our people, and American troops have come home; a world where Israelis and Palestinians are each secure in a state of their own, and nuclear energy is used for peaceful purposes; a world where governments serve their citizens, and the rights of all God's children are respected. Those are mutual interests. That is the world we seek. But we can only achieve it together."
"All these things must be done in partnership," said President Obama. "Americans are ready to join with citizens and governments, community organizations, religious leaders, and businesses in Muslim communities around the world to help our people pursue a better life."