Washington, Feb 6: Just a few weeks past the India visit, US president Barack Obama invoked India's example to make a plea for religious intolerance, saying that Mahatma Gandhi would have been shocked to see the amount of religious intolerance in the country.
He also explained how religious intolerance effects not only India, but also Pakistan and Paris. He said this in a 25-minute address to the National Prayer Breakfast.
He said,"But it was also a place where, in past years, religious faiths of all types have, on occasion, been targeted by other peoples of faith, simply due to their heritage and their beliefs." "These would have deeply affected Gandhiji who was the one behind India's liberation," he further added.
He told the meeting attended by international leaders like Dalai Lama,"So this is not unique to one group or one religion. There is a tendency in us, a sinful tendency that can pervert and distort our faith."
"We see faith driving us to do right. But we also see faith being twisted and distorted, used as a wedge - or, worse, sometimes used as a weapon," Obama said.
"From a school in Pakistan to the streets of Paris, we have seen violence and terror perpetrated by those who profess to stand up for faith, their faith, professed to stand up for Islam, but, in fact, are betraying it," he said.
Although the two leaders did not meet directly, Obama called him a good friend.