I do so recognizing that change cannot happen overnight.No single speech can eradicate years of mistrust, nor can I answer in the time that I have all the complex questions that brought us to this point.Moreover, the sweeping change brought by modernity and globalization led many Muslims to view the West as hostile to the traditions of Islam.Violent extremists have exploited these tensions in a small but potent minority of Muslims.
We are shaped by every culture, drawn from every end of the Earth, and dedicated to a simple concept: E pluribus unum: "Out of many, one." Much has been made of the fact that an African-American with the name Barack Hussein Obama could be elected President. The dream of opportunity for all people has not come true for everyone in America, but its promise exists for all who come to our shores - that includes nearly seven million American Muslims in our country today who enjoy incomes and education that are higher than average.That experience guides my conviction that partnership between America and Islam must be based on what Islam is, not what it isn't.And I consider it part of my responsibility as President of the United States to fight against negative stereotypes of Islam wherever they appear.The relationship between Islam and the West includes centuries of co-existence and cooperation, but also conflict and religious wars.More recently, tension has been fed by colonialism that denied rights and opportunities to many Muslims, and a Cold War in which Muslim-majority countries were too often treated as proxies without regard to their own aspirations.
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Together, you represent the harmony between tradition and progress.I am grateful for your hospitality, and the hospitality of the people of Egypt.In signing the Treaty of Tripoli in 1796, our second President John Adams wrote, "The United States has in itself no character of enmity against the laws, religion or tranquility of Muslims." And since our founding, American Muslims have enriched the United States.They have fought in our wars, served in government, stood for civil rights, started businesses, taught at our Universities, excelled in our sports arenas, won Nobel Prizes, built our tallest building, and lit the Olympic Torch.But that same principle must apply to Muslim perceptions of America.
Just as Muslims do not fit a crude stereotype, America is not the crude stereotype of a self-interested empire.I know, too, that Islam has always been a part of America's story.The first nation to recognize my country was Morocco.I am a Christian, but my father came from a Kenyan family that includes generations of Muslims.As a boy, I spent several years in Indonesia and heard the call of the azaan at the break of dawn and the fall of dusk.