President George W. Bush on Tuesday appealed directly to Muslims to assure them that the United States is not waging war with Islam as he laid out a vision for peace in the Middle East before skeptical world leaders at the United Nations.
"My country desires peace," Bush told world leaders in the main hall at the UN. "Extremists in your midst spread propaganda claiming that the West is engaged in a war against Islam. This propaganda is false and its purpose is to confuse you and justify acts of terror. We respect Islam."
Addressing Iraqis specifically, Bush said, "We will not abandon you in your struggle to build a free nation."