Obama sees US as 'role model' to Muslim world
London, June 2, 2009
The US can be a 'role model' to the Muslim world, President Barack Obama said in an interview broadcast today (June 2).
'The thing that we can do most importantly is serve as a good role model,' he told BBC television in an interview on the eve of a trip to Europe and Egypt, where he plans to deliver a much-anticipated speech to the Muslim world.
He said he hoped his visit would begin a new relationship between America and the wider Muslim community.
'Democracy, rule of law, freedom of speech, freedom of religion, those are not simply principles of the West to be hoisted on these countries -- but rather what I believe to be universal principles that they can embrace and affirm as part of their national identity,' Obama said.
He said the danger was when the US or any other country thought they could impose these values on another country with different histories and cultures.
'(But) absolutely you can encourage and I expect we will be encouraging,' he added. – Reuters