Obama: Other Faiths Flourish in Muslim Indonesia

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President Obama's visit to Indonesia on Tuesday was more than just a homecoming -- it was an intentional outreach to Muslims in the world's most populous Muslim nation.

"Just as individuals are not defined solely by their faith, Indonesia is defined by more than its Muslim population," Obama said. 

"But we also know that relations between the United States and Muslim communities has frayed over many years," he continued. "As president, I have made it a priority to begin to repair these relations."

One outcome the president is clearly hoping to achieve on this trip is greater cooperation with Indonesia in the war on terror.

"I made it clear that America is not and never will be at war with Islam," he added. "Instead all of us must work together to defeat al Qaeda and its affiliates.  We have no claim to be leaders of any religions, certainly not a great world religion like Islam."

The president and first lady Michelle Obama toured the Istiglal Mosque -- the largest mosque in Indonesia.  Obama said it symbolizes Indonesia's diversity and praised what he calls a spirit of religious tolerance in the country.

"This house of worship for many thousands of Muslims was designed by a Christian architect," Obama said. "Islam flourishes, but so do other faiths."
   

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Heather Sells

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Heather Sells enjoys reporting on a variety of issues for CBN News. Some of her recent stories have focused on religious liberties, technology, AIDS, overseas missions, domestic trafficking, and politics.  Follow Heather on Twitter @SellsHeather and "like" her at Facebook.com/HeatherSellsCBNNews.