“We’ve seen violence and terror perpetuated” by those who distort their faith, he said Thursday morning to a group of 3,500 gathered in the Washington Hilton’s ballroom for the morning event.
In seeking to reconcile these two realities, Obama urged humility for all people of faith, recalling that in the past people “have committed terrible misdeeds in the name of Christ,” including justifying slavery and Jim Crow laws.
“There is a tendency in us — a sinful tendency — that can pervert and distort our faith,” he said.
He urged every member of faith to speak up against those who would misuse their religions to justify murder and terror.
“No God condones terror, no grievance justifies the taking of innocent lives,” he said. “So as people of faith we are summoned to push back at people who will misuse our religion.”
If Islam is being distorted by those who persecute Christians and Jews, force people to convert to Islam, and murder innocent people in the Middle East and in Africa, why is Israel the only country in the region where Jews, Christians, and Muslims are free to practice their religion without persecution? There is a pattern here.