Obama lauds Indonesia as a model of religious tolerance
November 10th, 2010
08:29 AM ET

Obama lauds Indonesia as a model of religious tolerance

Indonesia and the United States share principles of unity and tolerance and both can benefit from strengthened ties that will bolster trade and combat terrorism, President Obama said in a highly anticipated speech Wednesday.

As the nation with the largest Muslim population in the world, Indonesia was chosen as the site for Obama to further address U.S. relations with the Islamic world following his speech on the topic last year in Cairo, Egypt.

I said then, and I will repeat now, that no single speech can eradicate years of mistrust," Obama said. At the same time, he promised that "no matter what setbacks may come, the United States is committed to human progress."

America "is not, and never will be, at war with Islam," Obama insisted. "Instead, all of us must defeat al Qaeda and its affiliates, who have no claim to be leaders of any religion - certainly not a great world religion like Islam."

Read the full story

- Newsdesk editor, The CNN Wire

Filed under: Barack Obama • Foreign policy • Indonesia • Islam • United States

soundoff (40 Responses)
  1. tuvia




    September 10, 2012 at 1:56 pm |
  2. Muneef

    Surely he knows every thing...

    November 12, 2010 at 2:02 pm |
    • Muneef

      He must be knowing this as well.

      November 12, 2010 at 2:05 pm |
    • Muneef

      This maybe.

      November 12, 2010 at 2:09 pm |
    • Muneef


      November 12, 2010 at 2:12 pm |
    • Muneef


      November 12, 2010 at 2:34 pm |
  3. Tak

    Doesn't he know the genocide against Sino-Indonesian in 1998?

    November 12, 2010 at 11:42 am |
  4. Muneef

    Seems you prefer it to be for the CowBoys and their Wild West style of dealing with things? Well that style already has dragged you deep down in Moving sands let us say it this way. Now this new highly educated one has to take all the blame for the acts of ones before him trying to mend the inside and outside ruins that were made in many years of ignorance he is expected to repair all in shortest time against all the chains and odds that are before him as if he has claimed to be a Superman or as powerful wizard ??
    Could it be the Junk Food that you are served with there made some of you have funny brains? Should consider investigating same?

    November 12, 2010 at 11:32 am |
  5. Keith

    So this is Obama's idea of a tolerant nation, eh? Indonesia is one of 19 nations that refuse to recognize Israel as a nation. AND Israeli citizens are not allowed to travel to this country. Who would want to go to a 3rd world islamic hell hole anyway? Our 'tolerant' commander in chief, that's who. Can't wait for this loser to be ejected himself in two years.

    November 11, 2010 at 8:38 pm |
  6. Muneef

    India has become Israel's second largest export destination after the United States, as the Jewish state focusses on tap-ping potential in the Asian markets.

    November 11, 2010 at 6:40 pm |
  7. An Actual American Citizen

    Barry, how do your lips not get chapped from all this a-ss kissing? By the way, it's Veterans Day here in the United States – in case you forgot to mark the calendar in the Oval Office.

    November 11, 2010 at 4:54 pm |
  8. Cletus

    Sure, and the Nazis were the best friends Jews ever had.

    November 11, 2010 at 2:48 pm |
  9. Iqbal khan


    November 10, 2010 at 9:55 pm |
  10. Reality

    Bearing Witness to the Idiocy of Islam:

    From Sir Salman Rushdie's book "Satanic Verses", p. 376, paperback issue – One of the passages that prompted the :

    Mahound = Mohammed
    Gibreel = Gabriel

    "The faithful lived by lawlessness, but in those years Mahound – or should one say the Archangel Gibreel? – should one say Al-Lah? – became obsessed by law.

    Amid the palm-trees of the oasis Gibreel appeared to the Prophet and found himself spouting rules, rules, rules, until the faithful could scarcely bear the prospect of any more revelation, Salman said, rules about every da-mn thing, if a man farts let him turn his face to the wind, a rule about which hand to use for the purpose of cleaning one's behind.

    It was as if no aspect of human existence was to be left unregulated, free. The revelation – the recitation- told the faithful how much to eat, how deeply they should sleep, and which se-xual positions had received divine sanction, so that they leamed that so-domy and the missionary position were approved of by the archangel, whereas the forbidden postures included all those in which the female was on top.

    Gibreel further listed the permitted and forbidden subjects of conversation, and earmarked the parts of the body which could not be scratched no matter how unbearably they might itch.

    He vetoed the consumption of prawns, those bizarre other-worldly creatures which no member of the faithful had ever seen, and required animals to be killed slowly, by bleeding, so that by experiencing their deaths to the full they might arrive at an understanding of the meaning of their lives, for it is only at the moment of death that living creatures understand that life has been real, and not a sort of dream.

    And Gibreel the archangel specified the manner in which a man should be buried, and how his property should be divided, so that Salman the Persian got to wondering what manner of God this was that sounded so much like a businessman.

    This was when he had the idea that destroyed his faith, because he recalled that of course Mahound himself had been a businessman, and a damned successful one at that, a person to whom organization and rules came naturally, so
    how excessively convenient it was that he should have come up with such a very businesslike archangel, who handed down the management decisions of this highly corporate, if noncorporeal, God."

    November 10, 2010 at 5:04 pm |
    • Iqbal khan

      In the name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful

      The mutual rivalry for piling up (the good things of this world) diverts you (from the more serious things), (1) Until ye visit the graves. (2) But nay, ye soon shall know (the reality). (3) Again, ye soon shall know! (4) Nay, were ye to know with certainty of mind, (Ye would beware!) (5) Ye shall certainly see Hell Fire! (6) Again, ye shall see it with certainty of sight! (7) Then shall ye be Questioned that Day about the joy (ye indulged in)! (8)

      November 10, 2010 at 5:23 pm |
    • Muneef

      In the name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful
      When there come the succour of Allah and victory. (1) and thou finds the mankind entering the religion of Allah in crowds. (2) then hallow the praise of thy Lord, and ask forgiveness of Allah. Verily He is ever Relenting. (3)

      November 10, 2010 at 8:16 pm |
    • Muneef

      We are waiting for you to join the religion of Allah, victory to the religion of Allah is coming and we want you to be on the straight path, and we would hate to see you suffering from your comments on the date of judgment.
      This time take it as friends giving you a piece of advice and not treathening you as you thought earlier...

      November 10, 2010 at 9:06 pm |
    • Muneef

      In the name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful
      By the time (1) verily man is in loss. (2) But not those who believe and work righteous deeds, and enjoin upon each other the truth and enjoin upon each other steadfastness. (3)

      November 10, 2010 at 9:30 pm |
    • Reality

      In the name of history and common sense:

      Mohammed was an illiterate, womanizing, lust and greed-driven, warmongering, hallucinating Arab, who also had embellishing/hallucinating/plagiarizing scribal biographers who not only added "angels" and flying chariots to the koran but also a militaristic agenda to support the plundering and looting of the lands of non-believers.

      This agenda continues as shown by the ma-ssacre in Mumbai, the as-sas-sinations of Bhutto and Theo Van Gogh, the conduct of the seven Muslim doctors in the UK, the 9/11 terrorists, the 24/7 Sunni suicide/roadside/market/mosque bombers, the 24/7 Shiite suicide/roadside/market/mosque bombers, the Islamic bombers of the trains in the UK and Spain, the Bali crazies, the Kenya crazies, the Pakistani “koranics”, the Palestine suicide bombers/rocketeers, the Lebanese nutcases, the Taliban nut jobs, the Ft. Hood follower of the koran, and the Filipino “koranics”.

      And who funds this muck and stench of terror? The warmongering, Islamic, Shiite terror and torture theocracy of Iran aka the Third Axis of Evil and also the Sunni "Wannabees" of Saudi Arabia.

      Current crises:

      The Sunni-Shiite blood feud and the warmongering, womanizing (11 wives), hallucinating founder.

      November 11, 2010 at 4:33 pm |
  11. Iqbal khan

    And the first Surah The opening Al Fatiha

    November 10, 2010 at 4:26 pm |
    • Reality

      Bearing Witness To the Terror and Horror That Is Islam:

      1a) 179 killed in Mumbai/Bombay, 290 injured

      1b) Assassination of Benazir Bhutto and Theo Van Gogh

      2) 9/11, 3000 mostly US citizens, 1000’s injured

      3) The 24/7 Sunni-Shiite centuries-old blood feud currently being carried out in Iraq, US Troops killed in action, 3,481 and 924 died in non-combat98,691 – 107,707
      Iraqi civilians killed as of 11/9/2010, http://www.iraqbodycount.org/ and

      4) Kenya- In Nairobi, about 212 people were killed and an estimated 4000 injured; in Dar es Salaam, the attack killed at least 11 and wounded 85.[2]

      5) Bali-in 2002-killing 202 people, 164 of whom were foreign nationals, and 38 Indonesian citizens. A further 209 people were injured.

      6) Bali in 2005- Twenty people were killed, and 129 people were injured by three bombers who killed themselves in the attacks.

      7) Spain in 2004- killing 191 people and wounding 2,050.

      8. UK in 2005- The bombings killed 52 commuters and the four radical Islamic suicide bombers, injured 700.

      9) The execution of an eloping couple in Afghanistan on 04/15/2009 by the Taliban.

      10) – Afghanistan: US troops 1,116 killed in action, 902 killed in non-combat situations as of 08/10/2010. Over 40,000 Afghan civilians killed due to the dark-age, koranic-driven Taliban acts of horror

      11) The killing of 13 citizen soldiers at Ft. Hood by a follower of the koran.

      12) 38 Russian citizens killed on March 29, 2010 by Muslim women suicide bombers.

      13) The May 28, 2010 attack on a Islamic religious minority in Pakistan, which have left 98 dead,

      14) Lockerbie is known internationally as the site where, on 21 December 1988, the wreckage of Pan Am Flight 103 crashed as a result of a terrorist bomb. In the United Kingdom the event is referred to as the Lockerbie disaster, the Lockerbie bombing, or simply Lockerbie. Eleven townspeople were killed in Sherwood Crescent, where the plane's wings and fuel tanks plummeted in a fiery explosion, destroying several houses and leaving a huge crater, with debris causing damage to a number of buildings nearby. The 270 fatalities (259 on the plane, 11 in Lockerbie) were citizens of 21 nations.

      15) Followed by the daily suicide and/or roadside and/or mosque bombings every day in the terror world of Islam.

      16) Bombs sent from Yemen by followers of the koran which fortunately were discovered before the bombs were detonated.

      17) The killing of 58 Christians in a Catholic church in one of the latest acts of horror and terror in Iraq.

      November 10, 2010 at 5:02 pm |
  12. Iqbal khan


    November 10, 2010 at 4:24 pm |
  13. long live the South

    I don't know why those dang muslims over there don't accept ole obama, because he is a dang ole muslim himself...hello america check on it before you all go votin' idiots like him into presidency.

    November 10, 2010 at 3:48 pm |
  14. Fud!

    he shud be holding a sammich!

    November 10, 2010 at 1:02 pm |
  15. Marcello

    Indonesia may be more tolerant than some other Muslim-majority nations, but to call it a "model of religious tolerance" would be a surprise to Indonesia's Ahmadiyya community. The Ahmadiyya have a pacifist, tolerant interpretation of Islam that is reflected in their motto, "Love for all, hatred for none." Yet the violence against them has increased over the last few years, with their mosques and houses being destroyed, often by arson. The Indonesian government has done little to prevent this, and many believe that some government officials may be directly responsible for some of the violence. And the Ahmadiyya are not the only religious minority targeted in Indonesia.

    November 10, 2010 at 1:01 pm |
    • Nori

      I want to give my opinion. Do you know what ahmadiya exactly is? the way they pray isn't what moslem must do. They created their own way to pray,not based on Quran or prophet Muhammad's hadtis or even they did what Quran says, they just do partially. I, as moslem in Indonesia, know that what ahmadiya did is wrong. I know about democracy and other thing, but islam is religion that based on Quran and hadits. So if there's any religion say that they're islam but not based on Quran and Hadits, Well, I can't accept that. Please understand first if you want to talk about ahmadiya.

      November 11, 2010 at 6:53 pm |
  16. NM18

    We all need to come together and recognise that we have more similarities than differences. Two thirds of the world believe in God. By whatever name you call God, let's celebrate what we have in common instead on fighting in the name of religion. Please check out http://www.islamicsolutions.com/world-day-of-god-2010/

    November 10, 2010 at 11:23 am |
    • long live the South

      I think I agree with you

      November 10, 2010 at 3:50 pm |
    • Keith

      There is only one God. And allah ain't Him. I have nothing in common with islam, it is a false religion created by Satan- as are all false religions. Anything to distract people from the Holy God of the universe. So don't try to find any common ground because it doesn't exist.

      November 10, 2010 at 7:57 pm |
    • Muneef

      The Holy Quran is all about giving simplified examples for the brains of that time,and addressed to illiterate Nomadic Beduins of the dry Arabian desert to understand and they have managed to do understand it and achieved miraculously for centuries in creating a multinational Islamic communities that has contributed so much to today's knowledge and science. 
      But i failed to understand how was the Quran able to penetrate the minds of illiterates and they were able to understand it's codes! And why wasn't able to penetrate the minds of the modern literate men dramatically failed to understand it and understands it's codes? In such case it seems that our illiterates were more literates than today's modern men literates?!

      November 10, 2010 at 8:07 pm |
    • David Johnson

      Riddle: What do the Christian God and Allah have in common?

      Answer: They were both created by men.

      I testify that I saw men whittle these gods, from the fertile material of their human minds.

      November 11, 2010 at 2:03 pm |
  17. Reality

    Religious tole-rance? Strange way of showing it:

    "For almost 20 years, this parish, part of the Batak Christian Protestant Church in the Pondok Timur Indah neighborhood of Bekasi, an industrial suburb of Jakarta, has been pet-itioning the government to build their own place to pray. But authorities have repeatedly denied them permits, citing national laws that govern the establishment of houses of worship.

    It is a scene that has played out with increasing frequency throughout Indonesia. The Indonesian Community of Churches reported a spike in forced church closings in the last year. At least 10 churches, the group said, were forced to suspend services due to mob threats and government intervention. In all those cases, a lack of permits was cited as the reason for the attacks.

    Indonesian law requires 60 percent of a community’s residents to support the building of any religious insti-tution before permits can be issued, an often impossible task for Christians, who make up less than nine percent of the country’s total population, and other minority religious groups.

    Indonesia, although not an Islamic state, is home to the world’s largest population of Muslims. The country is a democracy and its consti-tution nominally protects freedom of religion, as does the state ideology, known as Pancasila. But several ant-iquated laws, like those governing the establishment of religious buildings and another that makes bla-sphemy a criminal offense, appear to cont-radict the country’s const-itution.

    “These laws are clearly discriminatory toward minority religious groups,” said Uli Parulian Sihombing, an Indonesian human rights lawyer.

    The problem is not limited to Christians. It has also led to the closure of several mosques in recent years. On the restive and remote island of Papua, which is predominantly Christian, several half-built mosques have also been forced to close for being unlicensed." Shiites vs. Sunnis?

    “The law should be revoked if for no other reason than it is in violation of the country’s const-itution,” Sihombing said."

    November 10, 2010 at 10:22 am |
    • Muneef

      Indonesia comprises 17,508 islands. With a population of around 238 million people, it is the world's fourth most populous country.. Wonder how can the Gvt protect the scattered minorities from pirates and gangs no matter who they call them selves to be they are still illegal gangs blackmailing and abusing minorities at those scattered islands...?.
      Those gangs has slashed the rain forests from trees for timber and the live animals or for their skins?
      So it is obvious to say it is a corrupted country that is unable to protect her scattered minority populations and resources..

      November 10, 2010 at 8:04 pm |
    • k4k1k4k1

      Reality wrote:

      "The problem is not limited to Christians. It has also led to the closure of several mosques in recent years. On the restive and remote island of Papua, which is predominantly Christian, several half-built mosques have also been forced to close for being unlicensed." Shiites vs. Sunnis?"

      This comment right here exemplifies all the negativity and double standards that are applied to Islam. @ Reality: what do you mean by "Shiites vs. Sunnis"? I was puzzled at first, but then after reading your other posts it's now clear to me that your hatred has rotted your brain's ability to reason. I guess it never even crossed your mind that this was committed by Christians? Ha, that's rich! What a classic us (good) vs. them (bad) mentality. It's written there, as plain as day, that the reason the mosques were closed was because the residents of CHRISTIAN MAJORITY Papua (in Eastern Indonesia) forced it. That's right, Mosques have been forced to close because of Christian complaints (kind of reminds you of the NY Islamic center, eh?), just like Churches have been forced to close because of Muslim complaints. Indonesia is officially a secular democracy, get that in your head, please. Yet you just blabbed on and made a fool of yourself by assuming this was a Shiite vs. Sunni thing. It would be very funny if it wasn't so sad. OMG, discrimination against Muslims in Indonesia? Yep, it's a two way street, buddy. Indonesia is not the Middle East, this is a diverse archipelago with a significant percentage of non-Muslims. Islam as practiced in Indonesia in no way resembles the Islam that's practiced in the ME. Yep, that's right, Islam isn't the uni-dimensional caricature that exists in your ignorant mind. More basic facts about Indonesia: there are no Shiites, all Muslims there could be classified as Sunnis; the concept of the Shiite vs. Sunni thing is not even known to most Indonesian Muslims (that's Iraq). So your suggesting that this was a Shiite vs. Sunni thing...ha! That's classic. The least you can do is learn more about the people you hate so much.

      November 11, 2010 at 2:40 pm |
    • Reality

      Shiites vs Sunnis vs Christians vs Hindus vs Buddhists- when will it end?

      Maybe in Indonesia: The law should be revoked if for no other reason than it is in violation of the country’s const-itution,” Sihombing said

      November 11, 2010 at 4:29 pm |
  18. Reality

    Once a day WARNING for new commentators:

    • The moderators of this blog have set up a secret forbidden word filter which unfortunately not only will delete or put your comment in the dreaded "waiting for moderation" category but also will do the same to words having fragments of these words. For example, "t-it" is in the set but the filter will also pick up words like Hitt-ite, t-itle, beati-tude, practi-tioner and const-tution. Then there words like "an-al" thereby flagging words like an-alysis and "c-um" flagging acc-umulate or doc-ument. And there is also "r-a-pe", “a-pe” and “gra-pe”, "s-ex", and "hom-ose-xual". You would think that the moderators would have corrected this by now considering the number of times this has been commented on but they have not. To be safe, I typically add hyphens in any word that said filter might judge "of-fensive".

    • More than one web address will also activate “waiting for moderation”. Make sure the web address does not have any forbidden word or fragment.

    "Raison's Filter Fiber© (joking about the copyright)
    1. Here's my latest list – this seems like a good spot to set this down, as nobody's posting much on this thread.....
    bad letter combinations / words to avoid if you want to post that wonderful argument:
    Many, if not most are buried within other words, but I am not shooting for the perfect list, so use your imagination and add any words I have missed as a comment (no one has done this yet)
    – I found some but forgot to write them down. (shrugs).
    c-um.........as in doc-ument, accu-mulate, etc.
    sp-ic........as in disp-icable (look out Sylvester the cat!)
    ho-mo...whether ho-mo sapiens or ho-mose-xual, etc.
    t-it.........const-itution, att-itude, ent-ities, etc.
    tw-at.....as in wristw-atch, (an unexpected one)
    va-g....as in extrava-gant, va-gina, va-grant
    ar-se....yet "ass" is not filtered!
    jacka-ss...but ass is fine lol
    p-is.....as in pi-stol, lapi-s, pi-ssed, etc.
    There are more, so do not assume that this is complete.
    okay words that you might not expect to be filtered....!!!

    Here's a word to add to the banned list: co-co-on
    whether it's c-oc, or co-on, this is ridiculous"

    November 10, 2010 at 10:10 am |
  19. Time is a dimension

    Indonesia is too far away – they should invade Mexico and colonize it – then they could be more like neighbors than just another distant country.

    November 10, 2010 at 10:00 am |
    • Be Patient

      It just takes time ;>)

      November 10, 2010 at 10:14 am |
  20. Time is a function of space

    tolerance – what a small word for what is so difficult of expression amidst our differences as individuals.

    November 10, 2010 at 9:57 am |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.