Celebrating diversity in Indonesia
“Obama heralds Indonesia's political, religious diversity in latest outreach to Muslims
By Scott Wilson
Washington Post Staff Writer
Wednesday, November 10, 2010; 12:02 AM
JAKARTA, INDONESIA - Speaking before thousands in the city that helped raise him, President Obama on Wednesday cited this country's transition from dictatorship to democracy as a model in an Islamic world often governed by unelected autocracies.
He also praised Indonesia - the world's most populous Muslim-majority nation - for a "spirit of tolerance that is written into your constitution, symbolized in your mosques and churches and temples, and embodied in your people," a quality worthy for all the world to emulate.
Obama received a warm welcome from the crowd of about 6,500 at the University of Indonesia, particularly when he spoke in Indonesian, as when he recalled buying satay and bakso from street vendors or referenced the national motto, "Bhinneka Tunggal Ika," or "Unity in Diversity."
"We are two nations which have traveled different paths. Yet our nations show that hundreds of millions who hold different beliefs can be united in freedom under one flag," Obama said.
The speech was cast by White House officials as part of the president's continuing outreach to Muslims, an effort he began last year in Cairo by calling for a "new beginning" between the United States and Islam.”