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Aligarh: US President Barack Obama's initiative for engaging the Islamic world was making a slow yet steady progress, American Special Envoy Rashad Hussain today said and appealed to Muslims to show patience and faith as the US makes efforts to rebuild bridges with the community.
Despite repeated attempts by a fringe group of Muslims to spread terror in the name of Islam, Obama believes that the terms Islamic terror and Islamic jehad are being misused, Hussain, the US Special Envoy to the Organisation of Islamic Conference, said.
Addressing faculty members at Aligarh Muslim University (AMU), he said, broadly speaking, "90 per cent of the victims of such acts of senseless terror are Muslims themselves and hence those perpetuating senseless violence have no right to project themselves as champions of Muslim faith."
To a question pertaining to the allegations that Muslims often feel harassed by policies of the US Government, Hussain said, "When acts of terror are committed by fundamentalists who claim to speak in the name of Islam, voices of protest from mainstream Muslims are often muted."
He said, Obama is sensitive to religious and cultural traditions of Muslims and that Muslim women in the US were practising ''hijab'' freely while performing their duties as skilled professionals. Obama has taken up a programme for promoting issues like health, science, education, and inter-faith dialogue among Muslims.
Referring to the Arab-Israel conflict, Hussain said the US is directing efforts towards creating an atmosphere conducive for holding talks. "The Arab-Israel conflict is more than 60 years old. President Obama has worked out a long term road map for resolving this deep-rooted conflict the fruits of which will soon be seen by the world."
On the presence of foreign forces in Iraq and Afghanistan, Hussain said, "There is a definite roadmap for withdrawal of forces. Any withdrawal cannot be overnight."
Hussain, who is on a nine-day visit to India, was appointed by Obama in February as part of his government's initiative to "deepen and expand its relationship with the Muslim world".
His family has roots in Gorakhpur, Patna and Aligarh and he is a product of Yale Law School. He had served as a Trial Attorney at the US Department of Justice.
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