Islam is a great religion but there is a need to isolate those who have distorted its vision, President Barack Obama told a gathering of college students in India today.
“Well, the phrase jehad has a lot of meanings within Islam. It is subject to lot of different interpretations. But I will say that first Islam is one of the world’s great religions and over a billion people practice Islam,” Obama said at the packed forecourt of St. Xavier’s College here.
“The overwhelming majority want peace, justice, fairness and tolerance. All of us recognise that this great religion, in the hands of a few extremists, has been distorted. One of the challenges we face is how to isolate those who have distorted its vision,” Obama said when a student asked for his views on jehad.
“The religion teaches peace, justice, fairness and tolerance. All of us recognise that this great religion cannot justify violence,” he added.
“We affirm that Hindu or Muslim or Christian or Jew or any other religion…we all need to treat each other with respect and dignity that Gandhi referred to. It’s a major challenge not only in India but also around the world,” said Obama, who looked at ease while interacting with the students gathered from six Mumbai colleges.