Obama vows to bring peace in Ramadan message
US President Barack Obama has pledged "concrete actions" to build a world that is more peaceful and secure, in his Ramadan message sent out in a dozen of languages. In a video address, Obama greeted 1.5 billion Muslims across the world getting ready for the holy month of Ramadan, which started on Saturday in Middle East and in most of the Islamic world.
According to PTI, Obama stated the rituals of Ramadan are a reminder of the principles Muslims and Christians have in common. According to him, those principles include advancing justice, progress, tolerance and the dignity of all human beings.
"We have listened. We have heard you. And like you, we are focused on pursuing concrete actions that will make a difference over time-both in terms of the political and security issues that I have discussed, and in the areas that you have told us will make the most difference in peoples' lives," the US leader said.
"Ramadan is a time of intense devotion and reflection - a time when Muslims fast during the day and perform "tarawih" prayers at night, reciting and listening to the entire Koran over the course of the month," Obama said. "That is why we are responsibly ending the war in Iraq. That is why we are isolating violent extremists while empowering the people in places like Afghanistan and Pakistan".
This is the reason why the US is unyielding in its support for a two-state solution that recognises the rights of Israelis and Palestinians to live in peace and security, he said, adding "that is why America will always stand for the universal rights of all people to speak their mind, practice their religion, contribute fully to society and have confidence in the rule of law".
"All of these efforts are a part of US' commitment to engage Muslims and Muslim-majority nations on the basis of mutual interest and mutual respect. And at this time of renewal, I want to reiterate my commitment to a new beginning between America and Muslims around the world," Obama said.
Referring to his Cairo speech, he said this new beginning must be borne out in a sustained effort to listen to each other, to learn from each other, to respect one another, and to seek common ground.