President Barack Obama called for a "new beginning between the United States and Muslims". "This cycle of suspicion and discord must end,".
In a gesture to the Islamic world, Obama conceded at the beginning of his remarks that tension "has been fed by colonialism that denied rights and opportunities to many Muslims, and a Cold War in which Muslim-majority countries were often treated as proxies without regard to their own aspirations."
"And I consider it part of my responsibility as president of the United States to fight against negative stereotypes of Islam wherever they appear," said the president, who recalled hearing prayer calls of "azaan" at dawn and dusk while living in Indonesia as a boy.
Obama quoted the Quran to make his point: "be conscious of God and always speak the truth ..."
"Islam is not part of the problem in combating violent extremism — it is an important part of promoting peace," he said.
“The United States does not accept the legitimacy of continued Israeli settlements" on the West Bank and outskirts of Jerusalem, he said. "It is time for these settlements to stop."
As for Jerusalem itself, he said it should be a "secure and lasting home for Jews and Christians and Muslims ..."
It is unbelievable to me that Mr. Obama can be so concerned with the rights of and the promotion of Islam and Muslims while in the State of California in the United States of America, Our government has outlawed private Christian prayer.
Pastor Cited for Holding Home Bible Study Without Permit
A San Diego pastor is fighting a citation from the San Diego County that requires him to obtain a permit to host weekly Bible studies at his home.
Pastor David Jones and his wife Mary have been hosting a Bible Study fellowship at their home every Tuesday for the past five years. The meeting, averaging 15 people each week, is usually comprised of dinner, fellowship and Bible study.
In April, a County employee visited the Jones' residence and informed the couple that they were not allowed to hold "religious assembles" in their home unless they obtained a major use permit. The employee warned that the couple would face fines upwards of $1,000 if they failed to comply with the County's order.
The County later sent the Joneses a written warning ordering them to "cease/stop religious assembly on parcel or obtain major use permit."
Donald Wildmon, chairman of the American Family Association, defended the Bible study meeting on Thursday, urging supporters to sign a petition to the San Diego County Board that calls the County's actions "anti-Christian."
"I am upset that you would shut down a home Bible study of 15 people and yet allow similar secular events," reads the petition. "Your actions appear to have an anti-Christian slant and should cease immediately."
The Joneses and WCLP, according to the letter, are giving the County until early next week to uphold the couple's right to continue holding the Bible study meeting. If the County refuses to comply, the couple is prepared to consider a lawsuit.