President George W. Bush repeated his belief all religions, “whether they be Muslim, Christian, or any other religion, prays to the same God” – an assertion that caused outrage among evangelical leaders when he said it in November 2003.
Bush made the statement Friday in an interview with Al Arabiya reporter Elie Nakouzi.
Al Arabiya is Al Jazeerah’s top competitor in the Mideast.
As the president and Nakouzi walked from the Oval Office to the Map Room in the White House residence, Nazouki asked, “But I want to tell you – and I hope this doesn’t bother you at all – that in the Islamic world they think that President Bush is an enemy of Islam – that he wants to destroy their religion, what they believe in. Is that in any way true, Mr. President?”
“No, it’s not,” said Bush. “I’ve heard that, and it just shows [sic] to show a couple of things: One, that the radicals have done a good job of propagandizing. In other words, they’ve spread the word that this really isn’t peaceful people versus radical people or terrorists, this is really about the America not liking Islam.
“Well, first of all, I believe in an Almighty God, and I believe that all the world, whether they be Muslim, Christian, or any other religion, prays to the same God. That’s what I believe. I believe that Islam is a great religion that preaches peace. And I believe people who murder the innocent to achieve political objectives aren’t religious people, whether they be a Christian who does that – we had a person blow up our – blow up a federal building in Oklahoma City who professed to be a Christian, but that’s not a Christian act to kill innocent people.
“And I just simply don’t subscribe to the idea that murdering innocent men, women and children – particularly Muslim men, women and children in the Middle East – is an act of somebody who is a religious person.
(Read the rest of this article here.)
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