Good morning. Thanks you. I am honored to be the guest of “Al-Azhar” and the “Université du Caire” two remarkable institutions of your timeless city. Assalam aleikoum.
Our meeting takes place in a period of tension between United States and the Muslim world, especially after September 11, 2001 attacks.
I am here to break that tension. Our differences should bring us closer.
The main difficulties we have to overcome are:
1) Violent extremism
America will never be in war against Islam. Islam means peace. However, we will fight extremists in Afghanistan and Pakistan, and elsewhere. We will use military, diplomatic and economic means.
2) The conflict between Israel and Palestine, and the Arab world
The only solution to this impasse is to establish two separate and different States, living close by in Peace. Jerusalem should be a permanent residence place for the Jews, the Christians and the Muslims.
3) Nuclear weapons
We must respect the Non-Proliferation Nuclear Weapon Treaty. Each country, including Iran, should have access to civil nuclear energy.
No government can force another one to accept his system. However, a government must reflect his people’s aspirations and respect his people’s freedoms.
5) Freedom of religion
It allows people to live in harmony. Our Faith should unite us. We are working to initiate new community services for Christians, Muslims and Jews. The inter-religious dialogue between the King Abdallah of Saudi Arabia and the Turkish leadership in the Civilization Alliance are actions that rejoice us.
6) Women’s rights
Putting the Hijab (veil) is not a sign of inferiority. However denying access to education to a woman is stealing her equality’s right_ and probably her prosperity. Humanity needs the talents of all men and all women in order to realize prosperity.
Finally, it is our common interest to enhance economic development through globalization. Education and innovation are the exchange currencies of the 21st century we will do our best to create in United States and in Countries with Muslim majority, the conditions of an economic revival.
I want to tell to all the young people, of all faiths, and of all countries, that if we treat others like ourselves, we can remake this world. Do not let us be stopped by the obstacles of the past.
God calls us to leave together in Peace in The Holy Quran, The Talmud and The Bible. Let’s do it. Thank you. Thank you.