Voices from Russia

Sunday, 28 May 2017

Ike on the Dedication of the Islamic Centre in DC… It’s NOT Trump the Chump… Mutual Respect, Not “Multiculturalism”, That’s the Ticket

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It’s a privilege to take part in this ceremony of dedication. Meeting with you now, in front of one of the newest and most beautiful buildings in Washington, it’s fitting that we re-dedicate ourselves to the peaceful progress of all men under one God. I’d like to assure you that under the American Constitution, under American tradition, and in American hearts, this Centre, this place of worship, is just as welcome as could be a similar edifice of any other religion. Indeed, America would fight with her whole strength for your right to have here your own church and worship according to your own conscience. This concept is, indeed, a part of America, and without that concept, we’d be something else than what we are.

The countries that sponsored and built this Islamic Centre have for centuries contributed to the building of civilisation. With their traditions of learning and rich culture, the countries of Islam have added much to mankind’s advancement. Inspired by a sense of brotherhood, common to our innermost beliefs, we can here together reaffirm our determination to secure the foundation of a just and lasting peace. Our country has long enjoyed a strong bond of friendship with the Islamic nations; like all healthy relationships, this relationship must be mutually beneficial. Civilisation owes to the Islamic world some of its most important tools and achievements. From fundamental discoveries in medicine to the highest planes of astronomy, the Muslim genius has added much to the culture of all peoples. That genius has been a wellspring of science, commerce and the arts, and has provided for all of us many lessons in courage and in hospitality.

This fruitful relationship between peoples, going far back into history, becomes more important each year. Today, thousands of Americans, both private individuals and governmental officials, live and work… and grow in understanding… amongst the peoples of Islam. At the same time, in our country, many from the Muslim lands… students, businessmen, and representatives of states… enjoy the benefits of experience amongst the people of this country. From these many personal contacts, here and abroad, I firmly believe that there will be a broader understanding and a deeper respect for the worth of all men, and a stronger resolution to work together for the good of mankind.

As I stand beneath these graceful arches, surrounded on every side by friends from far and near, I’m convinced that our common goals are both right and promising. Faithful to the demands of justice and of brotherhood, each working according to the lights of his own conscience, our world must advance along the paths of peace. Guided by this hope, I consider it a great personal and official honour to open the Islamic Centre, and I offer my congratulations to its sponsors and my best wishes to all who enter into its use.

Dwight D Eisenhower

President of the USA

1953-61

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