Washington, D.C. – Interfaith Alliance President, Rev. Dr. C. Welton Gaddy, issued the following statement today in response to the President’s remarks to the Muslim world. Earlier this year, Rev. Gaddy participated in the U.S. Islamic World Forum in Doha, Qatar. He is also a past member of the Council of 100 Leaders, a group created by the World Economic Forum to improve dialogue and understanding between the Western and Islamic worlds.

President Obama is to be commended for reaching out to the Muslim world with a message that makes clear they are not the enemy. I was particularly pleased to hear the president speak about the centrality of the need for religious freedom both in the Muslim world and here at home.

It is also clear the president understands that powerful words need to be backed up by meaningful action if we are to achieve real change. Working towards finding common ground seems to be a reasonable goal for all of us involved in the search for improved relationships with the Muslim world.

Interfaith Alliance celebrates religious freedom by championing individual rights, promoting policies that protect both religion and democracy, and uniting diverse voices to challenge extremism. Founded in 1994, Interfaith Alliance brings together members from 75 faith traditions as well as those without a faith tradition to protect faith and freedom. For more information visit interfaithalliance.org.