Lavon and friend
The Text of Barack Obama's Speech in Cairo, June 2009
(with some minor adjustments).
I am honored to be in the timeless city of Cairo, where, in 1954, Israeli Defense Minister Pinhas Lavon organized a series of terrorist attacks.
These attacks were intended to give the USA an excuse for a policy of trying to undermine the Egyptian government of Gamal Abdel Nasser.
I am grateful for the hospitality of the people of Egypt.
I bring a greeting of peace from Muslim communities in my country: assalaamu alaykum.
Jewish communities do not necessarily send this greeting.
We meet at a time of tension between the United States and Muslims around the world - tension rooted in the Pentagon's desire to grab the oil in various Moslem countries.
Violent extremists, reportedly paid by the CIA, have exploited tensions among a small but potent minority of Muslims.
The attack of September 11th, 2001 has led some in my country to view the Pentagon as inevitably hostile to human rights.
I have come here to seek a new beginning between the United States and Muslims.
If we are going to change the boundaries of countries such as Pakistan, we need a few Moslem allies.
As a boy, I spent several years in Moslem Indonesia, where my mother may, or may not, have been an agent of the CIA.
It was our lot that toppled Sukarno.
Islam carried the light of learning through many centuries.
It was Muslim communities that developed algebra; our magnetic compass and tools of navigation; our mastery of pens and printing; our understanding of how disease spreads and how it can be healed. Islam has demonstrated the possibilities of religious tolerance and racial equality.
You may wonder why the Pentagon has backed leaders who have wanted to keep Muslims backward.
Was it President Carter who built up the mujahideen in Afghanistan?
Is America the crude stereotype of a self-interested empire?
The United States has been one of the greatest sources of progress that the world has ever known.
Think of the Vietnam War.
The situation in Afghanistan demonstrates America's goals.
We want oil pipelines, military bases, profits from heroin and valuable minerals.
Let us be clear: al Qaeda killed nearly 3,000 people on 9 11.
And al Qaeda is said to be the CIA.
Ideally, none of us should tolerate these 'CIA-Pentagon' extremists. They have killed in many countries.
Jewish settlements? Let's agree to keep the ones that already exist.