Accessibility links

Breaking News

Obama On Democracy, Religion

Obama On Democracy, Religion
Obama On Democracy, Religion

<!-- IMAGE -->

During his speech at Cairo University, U.S. President Barack Obama stated unequivocally that no system of government can or should be imposed on one nation by any other. He said that he is committed to governments that reflect the will of the people:

"I do have an unyielding belief that all people yearn for certain things: the ability to speak your mind and have a say in how you are governed; confidence in the rule of law and the equal administration of justice; government that is transparent and doesn't steal from the people; the freedom to live as you choose. These are not just American ideas; they are human rights. And that is why we will support them everywhere."

“Governments that protect these rights are ultimately more stable, successful and secure”, said Mr. Obama. America will “welcome all elected, peaceful governments -- provided they govern with respect for all their people.”

"Government of the people and by the people sets a single standard for all who would hold power: You must maintain your power through consent, not coercion; you must respect the rights of minorities, and participate with a spirit of tolerance and compromise; you must place the interests of your people and the legitimate workings of the political process above your party. Without these ingredients, elections alone do not make true democracy."

Another right that governments must protect is freedom of religion. President Obama emphasized tolerance and upholding the rights of minorities. "People in every country should be free to choose and live their faith based upon the persuasion of the mind and the heart and the soul. ... The richness of religious diversity must be upheld—whether it is for Maronites in Lebanon or the Copts in Egypt.”

"Freedom of religion is central to the ability of peoples to live together. He continued, “in fact, faith should bring us together. And that's why we're forging service projects in America to bring together Christians, Muslims, and Jews. That's why we welcome efforts like Saudi Arabian King Abdullah's interfaith dialogue and Turkey's leadership in the Alliance of Civilizations."

"Around the world, we can turn dialogue into interfaith service," said President Obama, "so bridges between peoples lead to action -- whether it is combating malaria in Africa, or providing relief after a natural disaster."