A prominent national Islamic civil rights and advocacy group today congratulated President Barack Obama and welcomed an "encouraging" statement to the Muslim world in his inaugural address.
The Washington-based Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) commended President Obama for the overall positive tone of his address, and thanked him particularly for the statement: "To the Muslim world, we seek a new way forward, based on mutual interest and mutual respect."
SEE: Obama Promises New Start with Muslims (Reuters)
"We hope this encouraging statement, coupled with a change in America's previous policies toward the Muslim world, will help improve our nation's image and promote a safe and prosperous future for all of humanity," said CAIR Executive Director Nihad Awad.
He also welcomed President Obama's statement, "As for our common defense, we reject as false the choice between our safety and our ideals." Before being sworn in as president, Mr. Obama pledged to shut down the prison camp at Guantanamo Bay in Cuba and to end the use of interrogation techniques that many experts say rise to the level of torture.