Creeping Sharia: Asserting that Islam embodied a religion of peace, fairness and tolerance, U.S. President Barack Obama said here on Sunday that the religion was being “distorted” by a few extremists. Mr. Obama was responding to a student who invited his opinion on jihad during his town hall style meeting at Mumbai’s St. Xavier’s college.
“The phrase jihad has a lot of meaning within Islam and is subject to a lot of different interpretations, but I will say that first Islam is one of the world’s great religions. More than a billion people practise Islam and an overwhelming majority view their obligations to a religion that reaffirms peace, fairness, tolerance. I think all of us recognise that this great religion in the hands of a few extremists has been distorted by violence,” Mr. Obama said.
Fox News: Muslim activists and opinion-makers on Sunday widely approved of President Barack Obama’s remarks on jihad without hiding their reservations about the US policy towards the current turomil in the Islamic world. They sought to draw a line between the real meaning of `jihad’ and the current spell of violence targeting the innocent. In their opinion Obama’s comments on jihad at Mumbai’s St Xavier’s College earlier in the day was a clear attempt at separating the violent campaign from the basic concept of jihad. “Jihad can in no way assume the form of violence against the innocent and those who are perpetrating such violent acts have done great disservice to Islam,” said Kamal Farooqi, a prominent member of the All India Muslim Personal Law Board. “To that extent President Obama is correct,” he said. Farooqi agreed with Obama that certain elements had distorted the image of Islam by resorting to violence in the name of faith.