U.S. President George W. Bush, in his address to the UN General Assembly on Tuesday, insisted the propaganda that the West is launching a war against Islam is wrong, and pledged to support democratic leaders and reformers across the Middle East.
"I'd like to speak directly to the people across the broader Middle East. My country desires peace. Extremists in your midst spread propaganda claiming that the West is engaged in a war against Islam. This propaganda is false and its purpose is to confuse you and justify acts of terror," Bush said.
"We respect Islam, but we will protect our people from those who pervert Islam to sow death and destruction," Bush said, adding that the U.S. goal is to help the Middle East build a "more tolerant and hopeful society that honors people of all faiths and promotes the peace."
Additionally, Bush vowed to back democratic leaders and moderate reformers across the Middle East. "We must give them voice to the hopes of decent men and women who want for their children are the same things we want for ours. We must seek stability through a free and just Middle East," Bush said.
"Freedom, by its nature, cannot be imposed -- it must be chosen. From Beirut to Baghdad, people are making the choice for freedom. And the nations gathered in this chamber must make a choice, as well: Will we support the moderates and reformers who are working for change across the Middle East -- or will we yield the future to the terrorists and extremists?"