Yes, because George Bush spent the last seven years blaming the entire Muslim world for the 9/11 attacks, right? Right? Er, no, as this collection of Bush quotes regarding Islam makes excruciatingly clear. In fact, Bush emphasized friendship with Muslims from the very start of the war:And that's the one thing even I have to admit Bush did correctly, he resisted the calls from the right to turn this into a crusade and did go out of his way to make partnerships with Muslim countries.
- “I’ve made it clear, Madam President, that the war against terrorism is not a war against Muslims, nor is it a war against Arabs. It’s a war against evil people who conduct crimes against innocent people.” — Remarks by President George W. Bush and President Megawati of Indonesia The Oval Office, Washington, D.C. September 19, 2001
- “The face of terror is not the true faith of Islam. That’s not what Islam is all about. Islam is peace. These terrorists don’t represent peace. They represent evil and war.” — Remarks by the President at Islamic Center of Washington, D.C. Washington, D.C. September 17, 2001
- “All of us here today understand this: We do not fight Islam, we fight against evil.” — Remarks by President George W. Bush to the Warsaw Conference on Combating Terrorism November 6, 2001
- “I have assured His Majesty that our war is against evil, not against Islam. There are thousands of Muslims who proudly call themselves Americans, and they know what I know — that the Muslim faith is based upon peace and love and compassion. The exact opposite of the teachings of the al Qaeda organization, which is based upon evil and hate and destruction.” — Remarks by President George W. Bush and His Majesty King Abdullah of Jordan The Oval Office, Washington, D.C. September 28, 2001
- “Islam is a vibrant faith. Millions of our fellow citizens are Muslim. We respect the faith. We honor its traditions. Our enemy does not. Our enemy doesn’t follow the great traditions of Islam. They’ve hijacked a great religion.” – Remarks by President George W. Bush on U.S. Humanitarian Aid to Afghanistan Presidential Hall, Dwight David Eisenhower Executive Office Building, Washington, D.C. October 11, 2002
And so on; there are plenty of examples to make the point. Obama spoke in the tradition established by Bush over the last seven-plus years of emphasizing that America did not declare war on Islam. That’s been obvious through our partnership with Islamic nations, such as Iraq, Turkey, Afghanistan, Jordan, and Saudi Arabia, just to name a few. And he’s right; the last thing we would want to do would be to declare war on a billion people just on the basis of their religion. The more we can keep the Muslims on the sidelines, the better off we are in fighting against the radicals.
Those partnerships however are in various states of disarray (especially in Turkey) which is why Obama is out there trying to fix them. Bush may have not declared war on Islam, but there's a pretty large gap between all out war and best friends forever, and Bush did leave many of those relationships in the dirt.