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 is a network of people of diverse faiths and beliefs from across the country working together to build a resilient democracy and fulfill America’s promise of religious freedom and civil rights not just for some, but for all. We mobilize powerful coalitions to challenge Christian nationalism and religious extremism, while fostering a better understanding of the healthy boundaries between religion and government. We advocate at all levels of government for an equitable and just America where the freedoms of belief and religious practice are protected, and where all persons are treated with dignity and have the opportunity to thrive. For more information visit interfaithalliance.org.