US President Barack Obama on Thursday invoked India’s example to make a plea for religious freedom and how faith leads people to do good and what’s right but that faith also can be twisted to be used as a weapon.
On Thursday, at the high-profile National Prayer Breakfast, Obama said, “Michelle and I returned from India — an incredible, beautiful country, full of magnificent diversity — but a place where, in past years, religious faiths of all types have, on occasion, been targeted by other people of faith, simply due to their heritage and their beliefs — acts of intolerance that would have shocked Gandhiji, the person who helped to liberate that nation.”
The comments came a day after the White House refuted suggestions that the US President’s public speech in New Delhi, in which he touched on religious tolerance, was a “parting shot” aimed at the ruling BJP.
These, Obama said, were “acts of intolerance that would have shocked Gandhiji, the person who helped to liberate that nation,” he said.
As he began speaking, Obama called the Dalai Lama a “good friend” and “a powerful example of what it means to practice compassion and who inspires us to speak up for the freedom and dignity of all human beings”.