January 27, 2009
Obama Reaches Out to Muslims through TV Interview
President Obama chose an Arabic network for his first television interview, saying that his administration will offer friendship to the Muslim world but will hunt down terrorists that kill innocent civilians. Politico has the full transcript.
In an interview with the Al-Arabiya satellite television network, Obama emphasized his Muslim background and relatives, telling Muslims "that the Americans are not your enemy. We sometimes make mistakes. We have not been perfect."
"And what we need to understand is, is that there are extremist organizations -- whether Muslim or any other faith in the past -- that will use faith as a justification for violence," Obama told the network. "We cannot paint with a broad brush a faith as a consequence of the violence that is done in that faith's name."
Paul Schemm of the Associated Press reports on the reaction from those in the Arab world, saying that they have been more cautious about the new president than other parts of the world. Obama said that he would address the Muslim world from a Muslim capital in the first 100 days of his administration, but no location has been announced.
"America is a country of Muslims, Jews, Christians, non-believers -- regardless of your faith, people all have certain common hopes and common dreams," Obama said on the network. Several people noted Obama's inclusion of non-believers in the religion lineup in his inaugural address as well.