In a speech at the United Nations this morning, President Obama says the attacks on America across the Muslim world over the last two weeks are also an "assault on the very ideals upon which the United Nations was founded."
"The attacks on our civilians in Benghazi were attacks on America," Obama stated, according to a prepared transcript of his remarks. "We are grateful for the assistance we received from the Libyan government and the Libyan people. And there should be no doubt that we will be relentless in tracking down the killers and bringing them to justice. I also appreciate that in recent days, the leaders of other countries in the region – including Egypt, Tunisia, and Yemen – have taken steps to secure our diplomatic facilities, and called for calm. So have religious authorities around the globe."
Then, President Obama broadened his argument, saying the United Nations was also under attack.
"But the attacks of the last two weeks are not simply an assault on America," said Obama. "They are also an assault on the very ideals upon which the United Nations was founded – the notion that people can resolve their differences peacefully; that diplomacy can take the place of war; and that in an interdependent world, all of us have a stake in working towards greater opportunity and security for our citizens."
Obama also made a broader case against extremism, saying, "Let us remember that Muslims have suffered the most at the hands of extremism."
A politics based only on anger –one based on dividing the world between us and them – not only sets back international cooperation, it ultimately undermines those who tolerate it. All of us have an interest in standing up to these forces. Let us remember that Muslims have suffered the most at the hands of extremism. On the same day our civilians were killed in Benghazi, a Turkish police officer was murdered in Istanbul only days before his wedding; more than ten Yemenis were killed in a car bomb in Sana’a; and several Afghan children were mourned by their parents just days after they were killed by a suicide bomber in Kabul.
And president Obama made the case that the world come together. "Together, we must work towards a world where we are strengthened by our differences, and not defined by them. That is what America embodies, and that is the vision we will support," said Obama.