Obama’s eloquent defence of religious freedom

During an iftar dinner last night with American Muslim leaders at the White House to mark the start of Ramadan, U.S. President Barack Obama made an eloquent case for religious freedom. The immediate context was the controversy in New York over the proposed building of a mosque near Ground Zero. But his speech was an articulate plea for respect for the religious traditions of others, not mere tolerance of them. It’s the kind of speech more political leaders ought not to be afraid to give, rather than to pander to narrow interests.