Obama: My Muslim stepfather respected others' faith

(AhlulBayt News Agency) - Former US president Barack Obama has called on world countries to stand up for tolerance, moderation and respect for others, warning that “aggressive nationalism” adopted by some countries could lead to chaos and violence.

"It’s been clear for a while that the world is at a crossroads. At an inflection point,” Obama said, telling a Jakarta crowd stories of how much the capital had improved since he lived there as a child.

"If we don’t stand up for tolerance and moderation and respect for others, if we begin to doubt ourselves and all that we have accomplished, then much of the progress that we have made will not continue,” he said.

"What we will see is more and more people arguing against democracy, we will see more and more people who are looking to restrict freedom of the press, and we’ll see more intolerance, more tribal divisions, more ethnic divisions, and religious divisions and more violence.”

Obama was born to a Kenyan father and an American mother, but later she married an Indonesian.

As the family moved to Indonesia in 1967, the US 44th president was six, and stayed for four years with his Muslim stepfather.

"My stepfather … was raised a Muslim but he respected Hindus and he respected Buddhists and he respected Christians,” he said.

"If you are strong in your own faith then you should not be worried about someone else’s faith,” Obama added.

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