Skip navigation

Monthly Archives: May 2017

 

 

 

 

Ethics

C6lsGaBUwAEYgN9.jpgA CHARGING BULL

Moral Vision & the Landscape of Engineering Professionalism
Part II

BY ELIZABETH D. GEE, ED.D

The development of professional codes of ethics is often discussed in response to issues of professional integrity. Clearly there are ways in which these standards contribute to the professional’s ethical integrity. They bring focus and force to ethical predicaments that otherwise might go unattended. Codes of ethics provide a means of participating in the moral life of the professional community and sharing in the professional consensus concerning courtesy, responsibility, and competency. They relieve some of the extraordinary psychological burden and moral aggravation that professionals otherwise would face. And, to an important degree, these standards distinguish the professional’s obligations that are role specific from those of ordinary persons.

However, in his book “The Moral Foundation of Professional Ethics” (1980), Arthur H. Goldman chides doctors, lawyers, business leaders, and engineers who contrive their own codes of ethics-codes that, can serve to excuse us from personal morality. Even more troubling is law professor Tom Shaffer’s concern that ethical codes and rules can be used as a tool for avoiding morality. And in some cases, codes of ethics are designed merely to avoid outside regulation of a profession.

True ethical discourse involves freedom to question and autonomy to act on the complexities of the moral choice at hand. Codes can stifle true ethical discourse by providing ready-made solutions to complex moral choices. In their ideal sense, codes of ethics should help define the relationship and responsibility of the professional to society. But blind devotion to ethical codes will not address the ethical concerns of the engineering profession. The final burden is upon the individual’s conscience and values. In the end, codes of ethics can never be an engineer’s voice, except as he or she chooses to recite the rules or struggles with the ideas that shaped them.

Of course, there are engineers who do not fall victim to indifference. There are engineers who surmount it, who do not sink into static conditions and cynicism. What makes them different? What do they do that their colleagues do not?

I believe that those who fully realize their ethical and truth-seeking potential engage in a twofold activity. First, they talk honestly with themselves. They compose mental essays and then edit, critique, and revise them with bright red ink. They feed the life of the mind outside of conventional discourse, not as a means of elitist amusement, but as a source of self-enablement. They read, they think, and they ponder ideas.

Engineers who do not talk to themselves are setting themselves up for self-deception, for false self justification. To avoid this fate, they must engage in a second activity, which I call “moral vision.” They must move beyond rules, procedures, or even logical analysis, to the broadest configuration of life. They must make a “larger sense” out of their existence that goes beyond their own experience.

While moral vision entails rule following and formal reasoning, it also encompasses imagination, emotion, and insight. It is that secret room that traps and releases our many and various moral thoughts and deeds. Moral vision takes into account our recollections of being treated fairly or shabbily; it considers examples set by moral mentors, and remembers details of a particular person’s inner strength that touched us. It recalls past habits of moral choice and our disposition to think and behave rightly or wrongly.

Vision is also the circumstance of our culture and ethical history. It embodies more than commonly held moral principles, political frameworks, and procedural habits. Engineers must recognize and cultivate the social and cultural architecture that has formed them. They must begin to understand T.S. Elliot’s dictum: “We are nothing without a knowledge of the traditions that made us.” Engineers who are willing to examine those traditions in the context of what it means to be human will better understand the struggles, and moral dilemmas that have plagued us from the beginning of time.

There are three avenues to follow in cultivating moral vision. First, the process must be ongoing and dynamic. Vision must sweep back and forth between historical and contemporary perspectives. It must encompass problems of the past when addressing engineers’ current conflicts in their relations among themselves, between themselves and their clients, and between themselves and the public.

The technological advances of our rapidly changing society present new dilemmas on a daily basis for all of you, whether you are biomedical, environmental, industrial, civil, or software engineers. Vision will require a historical as well as a future perspective to address these issues. By shifting between the past and the present, we must seek order and constancy in the chaotic appearances of our human differences.

The second avenue toward moral vision entails movement between abstract and concrete knowledge. Vision favors abstraction, but also must accommodate specificity. A new vision necessarily implies new ways of knowing, and then integrating new forms of knowledge with the values and procedures of our society. Moral vision is an important act of ordering that tests the relevance of particular elements to the overall concept. In this sense, advances in many areas, such as genetic or environmental engineering, will need to be examined in terms of the effects new technologies will have on our social and moral fabric.

As a third avenue toward moral vision, we must constantly shift between public and private spheres. This requires integrating one’s personal history with a cultural literature. We must not only ponder ideas in our own minds, we must also talk with each other, sharing ideas and perspectives. Moral vision does not operate in a vacuum. We must be aware of the values of other cultures and societies in order to be effective world citizens. Here we acquire the richness of overview that must inform basic human values. We thus a,cquire what theologian Paul recognized as “the courage to be oneself and the courage to be as a part.”

As a teacher of ethics, I must confront the obvious question: to what extent are educational institutions and professional schools to blame for lack of moral vision, for disillusionment, for shoddiness? Insofar as they fail to encourage students to reflect critically upon their own thoughts and upon their participation in life, our schools and other education enterprises are responsible.

Yet the burden must be shared by the individual, too. As IBM Chairman John Ackers noted: “If an MBA candidate doesn’t know the difference between honesty and crime, between lying and telling the truth, then business school, in all probability, will not produce a convert.” Likewise, Mortimer Adler once told me during an interview on teaching ethics that there are two kinds of ethical skills: the skill of the will and the skill of the intellect. If the student has no will, then all the ethical analysis in the world isn’t going to go very far.

But as a step toward greater ethical discourse, the education of engineering students can and should be a part of the solution. Indeed it must be part of the solution. Our educational institutions and schools of engineering should give greater attention to the arts and humanities as a way to enable individual and collective vision across all professions. Through the arts and humanities, through a novel, a story, or a play, our existence is expanded, our vision extended. That is the value of the arts and humanities. They enrich our professions as classroom teaching cannot. They transcend professional education.

The arts are relevant for another reason. Often they depict and celebrate moral vision. They prompt us to answer humanly and honestly to life. Students, whether in colleges of engineering or other educational settings must be given opportunities to enhance their self-understanding. The moral life and the satisfying life begin with reflection, a sense of self-identity. This is particularly important in today’s educational climate, which gives significantly greater weight to mastering quantities of facts and information. We must return to the ideals of our professions, of our calling.

Engineering education and the engineering profession must increase recognition and awareness among their constituencies of the dimensions of competency and ethics that are not covered by formal standards. The engineer’s sense of identity and ethical responsibility demands critical reflection upon the multiple avenues of professional conduct, rather than blind adherence to codes.

My call for developing moral vision stands, I believe, on its own merits. Moral vision is, as we have seen, an extension of the best within us. It is intrinsically introspective. In a practical sense, it causes us to assume responsibility for our own profession. And that is my message to you today-we must assume responsibility for our professions. The burden must not be passed on to others.

Where do we start? I suggest, for example, that we support and stimulate each other within our professional communities. There should be more opportunities for reflection, more opportunities for mentoring, more opportunities for the experienced to share their moral vision with engineering newcomers. Engineering professors, and employers or supervisors of other engineers, must assume professional responsibility of exploring ethical conflicts with their employees. Increased attention must also be given to the character and ethical consequences of our own behavior, not only as it relates to clients, but also colleagues. To reduce internal competition, companies will need to begin to evaluate the manner in which employees are recognized and rewarded for a team effort.

As a further measure, management must expand its values beyond the profit motive and encourage more flexible employee/employer relationships. There is no denying that when the company loses money, everyone loses. But clearly the profit motive can be more balanced with sound business practices.

The engineering profession and schools of engineering should also consider developing opportunities in which they can collectively discuss difficult dilemmas, mutual ethical commitments, and agendas for action. More workshops or conferences with ethical concerns might provide greater opportunities for engineers to receive instruction on important issues of processional conduct.

We also need companion materials to the growing body of literature that addresses the ethical professional concerns of your profession. We need a new literature that discusses current problems, their complexity, and their impact on the engineer’s responsibility. Such literature would take into account moral vision and its proper role in our everyday life.

I have suggested several basic premises: the stultifying effect of recurrent professional activity, the need for frank reappraisal of ethical responsibility, a sense of calling within our professional communities, and an obligation to the civic good. Addressing these issues would contribute to a collective moral vision in our professions, and could possibly begin to restore the trust that has been harmed over the years.

The call for vision is usually associated with ideals- with long-range aspirations and integrity. And moral vision requires moral resolve. At times we will be called upon to make painful decisions in response to ethical dilemmas. These decisions will affect not only ourselves, but our families, our work, and our society.

Through the exercise of moral vision, we will define what we are and what we are not; what being an engineer promises, and what it does not; what it means to have the “courage to be oneself and the courage to be as a part.” Once we accept this challenge, professionalism will then become clear-a joining of the best within us, and among us.

Elizabeth D. Gee, Ed.D is Associate Professor in the Department of Educational Policy and Leadership of the College of Education

C6lsGaBUwAEYgN9.jpgA CHARGING BULL

Moral Vision & the Landscape of Engineering Professionalism – Part I

BY ELIZABETH D. GEE, ED.D

Too often engineering, or any profession, is true to the adage: “It is not one thing after another; it is the same thing over and over.” This adage can be applied to many professional circumstances, but particularly to the ethical domain of engineering.

Engineering is a profession in transition. I need not dwell on the many changes that have occurred in recent years-they are self-evident. But those changes have transformed the public image of engineering, its scope of practice, the way it is taught, and often the very nature of the profession’s activities. I wish to discuss this with you today, and to focus especially on the individual engineers in our society, for I am convinced that the future and well-being of the profession rests upon private views of responsibility; and in turn, a collective willingness to make a difference.

There is truth in the adage I cited a moment ago. Repetition-“the same thing over and over”- plagues the practice of our professions. Too commonly, that practice is limited to recurrent naggings of routine and convention, habits of seeing, habits of feeling, and habits of doing that understandably drain professionals of their spontaneity. As a result, we may become indiscriminate, immune to the unique circumstances and conditions of the situation at hand. Patterns of behavior may begin to predominate as responses emerge from a type of “ethical auto-pilot.”

Preoccupation with daily routine and work patterns causes professionals to lose touch with their profession, its ideas, and its ideals. This circumstance gives rise to doubt about the model-doubt about its legitimacy, validity, teachability, and most dangerously, its importance.

We must begin to ask why certain things occur. Why do so many engineers begin their careers on a bright note, only to find themselves bored and unchallenged in a matter of a few years? Why do some engineering students think there is no more to ethics than obeying the law? Why, in so many cases, is profit put before the best interests of the client? Has the profession fundamentally changed? Has the way we think about ethics and teach ethics changed? It could be that the complexity of our professional lives has forced us into daily conventions that become ruts, ruts so deep that we no longer are aware of the ethical dilemmas and opportunities for choice that present themselves every day.

Obviously though, not everyone for whom engineering is a source of livelihood is bored, stoic, and passive. Robert Bellah points out in his landmark book Habits of the Heart that work can be a source of self-esteem. It may provide new challenges and pathways to social standing and power. Yet many professionals miss a sense of calling that, in Bellah’s words, “not only links a person to his or her fellow workers,” but “links a person to the larger community as a whole in which the calling of each is a contribution to the good of all.”

Yet, indifference and even cynicism can be found in the professions. Cynicism arises when options are limited, when possibilities for choosing are lost. Lines become blurred and difficult to draw, and standards seem out of reach. Deception begins to dominate, leading many to place self-interest above societal interest.

We cannot be both cynical and honest to ourselves. We cannot be both cynical and consciously moral because to be moral, we act by what we truthfully see as right and wrong.

Genuine ethical autonomy is the product of reflective and honest choice. It is the freedom to gauge meaning, to browse among one’s meditations, to turn a thought around here, then there, changing one’s perspective. To be morally alert is to be conscious of the complexities that ethical dilemmas impose. It is to see differences in the landscapes of one moral problem contrasted with another. It is to weigh self-interest against the interest of others.

Morally autonomous engineers are truly free to see and to act upon their ideas and intentions. The way in which one exercises this autonomy lies at the core of a person’s conception of him or herself. Naturally this liberty implies the availability of resources and freedom of movement. And this is not all: there must be a prodding of will, a tightening of control, a building of resolve, because many times the choices will be difficult, and perhaps painful.

The professional capacity for full moral discourse is presently hampered by several factors. One is that engineers cannot avoid the fact that they deal in a marketplace economy, where competition, cost, and profit motives seem to be the bottom line. And as you well know, many times what it takes to please the boss, the stockholders, the client, and your conscience are not the same. Clearly, the demands and conflicts of capitalism inherent in your profession present the difficult dilemma of balancing many interests.

It is no wonder that many of you face a discussion of these dilemmas with apprehension. But we can no longer allow profit motives and self-interest, however “legal” these strategies might be, to substitute for common sense, courtesy, and morality. The fact is this: engineers must address their ethical problems before they become legal issues, scandals, and rip-offs. All too often, the media and the legal profession become the watchdogs of public interest. In fact, the law and the media should be the last-and only the last-groups that address the issues confronting your profession.

Elizabeth D. Gee, Ed.D, is Senior Research Associate in the Center for Women’s Studies and Adjunct Assistant Professor in the College of Education at Ohio State University. Dr. Gee has advanced degrees in history and education, plus experience in teaching ethics to aspiring professionals.

C6lsGaBUwAEYgN9.jpgA CHARGING BULL

POLITICAL ECONOMIC AND FISCAL VIEWS IN CANADA

Dan Zwicker, Toronto

https://plus.google.com/+DanielZwicker-ESQ1
.
POLITICS: THE GOOD, THE BAD AND THE UGLY
https://plus.google.com/collection/8UI_GE
.
FINANCIAL: SALES OR PROFESSIONAL ADVICE? WHICH?
https://plus.google.com/collection/cZFqbB
.
THE DISCIPLINE REQUIRED IN FINANCIAL LITERACY
https://plus.google.com/collection/cZFqbB
.
A POLITICAL VIEW: DAN ZWICKER
https://plus.google.com/collection/cZFqbB

.

VISIT GOOGLE+ ON EACH OF THE ABOVE LINKS

C6lsGaBUwAEYgN9.jpgA CHARGING BULL

http://cnn.it/2qIwbt0

 

Trump’s entire speech to Muslim world

Riyadh, Saudi Arabia (CNN)US President Donald Trump on Sunday delivered a speech to the leaders of more than 50 Muslim countries to outline his vision for US-Muslim relations.

.

Here is a complete transcript of his remarks.
.
“I want to thank King Salman for his extraordinary words, and the magnificent Kingdom of Saudi Arabia for hosting today’s summit. I am honored to be received by such gracious hosts. I have always heard about the splendor of your country and the kindness of your citizens, but words do not do justice to the grandeur of this remarkable place and the incredible hospitality you have shown us from the moment we arrived.
.
You also hosted me in the treasured home of King Abdulaziz, the founder of the Kingdom who united your great people. Working alongside another beloved leader — American President Franklin Roosevelt — King Abdulaziz began the enduring partnership between our two countries. King Salman: your father would be so proud to see that you are continuing his legacy — and just as he opened the first chapter in our partnership, today we begin a new chapter that will bring lasting benefits to our citizens.
.
Let me now also extend my deep and heartfelt gratitude to each and every one of the distinguished heads of state who made this journey here today. You greatly honor us with your presence, and I send the warmest regards from my country to yours. I know that our time together will bring many blessings to both your people and mine.
 .
I stand before you as a representative of the American People, to deliver a message of friendship and hope. That is why I chose to make my first foreign visit a trip to the heart of the Muslim world, to the nation that serves as custodian of the two holiest sites in the Islamic Faith.
.
In my inaugural address to the American People, I pledged to strengthen America’s oldest friendships, and to build new partnerships in pursuit of peace. I also promised that America will not seek to impose our way of life on others, but to outstretch our hands in the spirit of cooperation and trust.
.
Our vision is one of peace, security, and prosperity—in this region, and in the world.
Our goal is a coalition of nations who share the aim of stamping out extremism and providing our children a hopeful future that does honor to God.
.
And so this historic and unprecedented gathering of leaders—unique in the history of nations—is a symbol to the world of our shared resolve and our mutual respect. To the leaders and citizens of every country assembled here today, I want you to know that the United States is eager to form closer bonds of friendship, security, culture and commerce.
.
For Americans, this is an exciting time. A new spirit of optimism is sweeping our country: in just a few months, we have created almost a million new jobs, added over 3 trillion dollars of new value, lifted the burdens on American industry, and made record investments in our military that will protect the safety of our people and enhance the security of our wonderful friends and allies — many of whom are here today.
.
Now, there is even more blessed news I am pleased to share with you. My meetings with King Salman, the Crown Prince, and the Deputy Crown Prince, have been filled with great warmth, good will, and tremendous cooperation. Yesterday, we signed historic agreements with the Kingdom that will invest almost $400 billion in our two countries and create many thousands of jobs in America and Saudi Arabia.
.
This landmark agreement includes the announcement of a $110 billion Saudi-funded defense purchase — and we will be sure to help our Saudi friends to get a good deal from our great American defense companies. This agreement will help the Saudi military to take a greater role in security operations.
.
We have also started discussions with many of the countries present today on strengthening partnerships, and forming new ones, to advance security and stability across the Middle East and beyond.
.
Later today, we will make history again with the opening of a new Global Center for Combating Extremist Ideology — located right here, in this central part of the Islamic World.
.
This groundbreaking new center represents a clear declaration that Muslim-majority countries must take the lead in combating radicalization, and I want to express our gratitude to King Salman for this strong demonstration of leadership.
.
I have had the pleasure of welcoming several of the leaders present today to the White House, and I look forward to working with all of you.
.
America is a sovereign nation and our first priority is always the safety and security of our citizens. We are not here to lecture—we are not here to tell other people how to live, what to do, who to be, or how to worship. Instead, we are here to offer partnership — based on shared interests and values — to pursue a better future for us all.
.
Here at this summit we will discuss many interests we share together. But above all we must be united in pursuing the one goal that transcends every other consideration. That goal is to meet history’s great test—to conquer extremism and vanquish the forces of terrorism.
.
Young Muslim boys and girls should be able to grow up free from fear, safe from violence, and innocent of hatred. And young Muslim men and women should have the chance to build a new era of prosperity for themselves and their peoples.
.
With God’s help, this summit will mark the beginning of the end for those who practice terror and spread its vile creed. At the same time, we pray this special gathering may someday be remembered as the beginning of peace in the Middle East — and maybe, even all over the world.
.
But this future can only be achieved through defeating terrorism and the ideology that drives it.
Few nations have been spared its violent reach.
.
America has suffered repeated barbaric attacks — from the atrocities of September 11th to the devastation of the Boston Bombing, to the horrible killings in San Bernardino and Orlando.
The nations of Europe have also endured unspeakable horror. So too have the nations of Africa and even South America. India, Russia, China and Australia have been victims.
But, in sheer numbers, the deadliest toll has been exacted on the innocent people of Arab, Muslim and Middle Eastern nations. They have borne the brunt of the killings and the worst of the destruction in this wave of fanatical violence.
Some estimates hold that more than 95 percent of the victims of terrorism are themselves Muslim.
.
We now face a humanitarian and security disaster in this region that is spreading across the planet. It is a tragedy of epic proportions. No description of the suffering and depravity can begin to capture its full measure.
.
The true toll of ISIS, al Qaeda, Hezbollah, Hamas, and so many others, must be counted not only in the number of dead. It must also be counted in generations of vanished dreams.
.
The Middle East is rich with natural beauty, vibrant cultures, and massive amounts of historic treasures. It should increasingly become one of the great global centers of commerce and opportunity.
.
This region should not be a place from which refugees flee, but to which newcomers flock.
.
Saudi Arabia is home to the holiest sites in one of the world’s great faiths. Each year millions of Muslims come from around the world to Saudi Arabia to take part in the Hajj. In addition to ancient wonders, this country is also home to modern ones—including soaring achievements in architecture.
.
Egypt was a thriving center of learning and achievement thousands of years before other parts of the world. The wonders of Giza, Luxor and Alexandria are proud monuments to that ancient heritage.
.
All over the world, people dream of walking through the ruins of Petra in Jordan. Iraq was the cradle of civilization and is a land of natural beauty. And the United Arab Emirates has reached incredible heights with glass and steel, and turned earth and water into spectacular works of art.
.
The entire region is at the center of the key shipping lanes of the Suez Canal, the Red Sea, and the Straits of Hormuz. The potential of this region has never been greater. 65 percent of its population is under the age of 30. Like all young men and women, they seek great futures to build, great national projects to join, and a place for their families to call home.
.
But this untapped potential, this tremendous cause for optimism, is held at bay by bloodshed and terror. There can be no coexistence with this violence. There can be no tolerating it, no accepting it, no excusing it, and no ignoring it.
.
Every time a terrorist murders an innocent person, and falsely invokes the name of God, it should be an insult to every person of faith.
.
Terrorists do not worship God, they worship death.
.
If we do not act against this organized terror, then we know what will happen. Terrorism’s devastation of life will continue to spread. Peaceful societies will become engulfed by violence. And the futures of many generations will be sadly squandered.
If we do not stand in uniform condemnation of this killing—then not only will we be judged by our people, not only will we be judged by history, but we will be judged by God.
.
This is not a battle between different faiths, different sects, or different civilizations.
This is a battle between barbaric criminals who seek to obliterate human life, and decent people of all religions who seek to protect it.
.
This is a battle between Good and Evil.
.
When we see the scenes of destruction in the wake of terror, we see no signs that those murdered were Jewish or Christian, Shia or Sunni. When we look upon the streams of innocent blood soaked into the ancient ground, we cannot see the faith or sect or tribe of the victims — we see only that they were Children of God whose deaths are an insult to all that is holy.
.
But we can only overcome this evil if the forces of good are united and strong — and if everyone in this room does their fair share and fulfills their part of the burden.
Terrorism has spread across the world. But the path to peace begins right here, on this ancient soil, in this sacred land.
.
America is prepared to stand with you — in pursuit of shared interests and common security.
.
But the nations of the Middle East cannot wait for American power to crush this enemy for them. The nations of the Middle East will have to decide what kind of future they want for themselves, for their countries, and for their children.
.
It is a choice between two futures — and it is a choice America CANNOT make for you.
A better future is only possible if your nations drive out the terrorists and extremists.
.
Drive. Them. Out.
.
DRIVE THEM OUT of your places of worship.
.
DRIVE THEM OUT of your communities.
.
DRIVE THEM OUT of your holy land, and
.
DRIVE THEM OUT OF THIS EARTH.
.
For our part, America is committed to adjusting our strategies to meet evolving threats and new facts. We will discard those strategies that have not worked—and will apply new approaches informed by experience and judgment. We are adopting a Principled Realism, rooted in common values and shared interests.
.
Our friends will never question our support, and our enemies will never doubt our determination. Our partnerships will advance security through stability, not through radical disruption. We will make decisions based on real-world outcomes — not inflexible ideology. We will be guided by the lessons of experience, not the confines of rigid thinking. And, wherever possible, we will seek gradual reforms — not sudden intervention.
.
We must seek partners, not perfection—and to make allies of all who share our goals.
Above all, America seeks peace — not war.
.
Muslim nations must be willing to take on the burden, if we are going to defeat terrorism and send its wicked ideology into oblivion.
.
The first task in this joint effort is for your nations to deny all territory to the foot soldiers of evil. Every country in the region has an absolute duty to ensure that terrorists find no sanctuary on their soil.
.
Many are already making significant contributions to regional security: Jordanian pilots are crucial partners against ISIS in Syria and Iraq. Saudi Arabia and a regional coalition have taken strong action against Houthi militants in Yemen. The Lebanese Army is hunting ISIS operatives who try to infiltrate their territory. Emirati troops are supporting our Afghan partners. In Mosul, American troops are supporting Kurds, Sunnis and Shias fighting together for their homeland. Qatar, which hosts the U.S. Central Command, is a crucial strategic partner. Our longstanding partnership with Kuwait and Bahrain continue to enhance security in the region. And courageous Afghan soldiers are making tremendous sacrifices in the fight against the Taliban, and others, in the fight for their country.
.
As we deny terrorist organizations control of territory and populations, we must also strip them of their access to funds. We must cut off the financial channels that let ISIS sell oil, let extremists pay their fighters, and help terrorists smuggle their reinforcements.
.
I am proud to announce that the nations here today will be signing an agreement to prevent the financing of terrorism, called the Terrorist Financing Targeting Center — co-chaired by the United States and Saudi Arabia, and joined by every member of the Gulf Cooperation Council. It is another historic step in a day that will be long remembered.
.
I also applaud the Gulf Cooperation Council for blocking funders from using their countries as a financial base for terror, and designating Hezbollah as a terrorist organization last year. Saudi Arabia also joined us this week in placing sanctions on one of the most senior leaders of Hezbollah.
.
Of course, there is still much work to do.
.
That means honestly confronting the crisis of Islamist extremism and the Islamist terror groups it inspires. And it means standing together against the murder of innocent Muslims, the oppression of women, the persecution of Jews, and the slaughter of Christians.
.
Religious leaders must make this absolutely clear: Barbarism will deliver you no glory — piety to evil will bring you no dignity. If you choose the path of terror, your life will be empty, your life will be brief, and YOUR SOUL WILL BE CONDEMNED.
And political leaders must speak out to affirm the same idea: heroes don’t kill innocents; they save them. Many nations here today have taken important steps to raise up that message. Saudi Arabia’s Vision for 2030 is an important and encouraging statement of tolerance, respect, empowering women, and economic development.
The United Arab Emirates has also engaged in the battle for hearts and souls—and with the U.S., launched a center to counter the online spread of hate. Bahrain too is working to undermine recruitment and radicalism.
.
I also applaud Jordan, Turkey and Lebanon for their role in hosting refugees. The surge of migrants and refugees leaving the Middle East depletes the human capital needed to build stable societies and economies. Instead of depriving this region of so much human potential, Middle Eastern countries can give young people hope for a brighter future in their home nations and regions.
.
That means promoting the aspirations and dreams of all citizens who seek a better life — including women, children, and followers of all faiths. Numerous Arab and Islamic scholars have eloquently argued that protecting equality strengthens Arab and Muslim communities.
.
For many centuries the Middle East has been home to Christians, Muslims and Jews living side-by-side. We must practice tolerance and respect for each other once again—and make this region a place where every man and woman, no matter their faith or ethnicity, can enjoy a life of dignity and hope.
In that spirit, after concluding my visit in Riyadh, I will travel to Jerusalem and Bethlehem, and then to the Vatican — visiting many of the holiest places in the three Abrahamic Faiths. If these three faiths can join together in cooperation, then peace in this world is possible — including peace between Israelis and Palestinians. I will be meeting with both Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.
.
Starving terrorists of their territory, their funding, and the false allure of their craven ideology, will be the basis for defeating them.
.
But no discussion of stamping out this threat would be complete without mentioning the government that gives terrorists all three—safe harbor, financial backing, and the social standing needed for recruitment. It is a regime that is responsible for so much instability in the region. I am speaking of course of Iran.
.
From Lebanon to Iraq to Yemen, Iran funds, arms, and trains terrorists, militias, and other extremist groups that spread destruction and chaos across the region. For decades, Iran has fueled the fires of sectarian conflict and terror.
.
It is a government that speaks openly of mass murder, vowing the destruction of Israel, death to America, and ruin for many leaders and nations in this room.
.
Among Iran’s most tragic and destabilizing interventions have been in Syria. Bolstered by Iran, Assad has committed unspeakable crimes, and the United States has taken firm action in response to the use of banned chemical weapons by the Assad Regime — launching 59 tomahawk missiles at the Syrian air base from where that murderous attack originated.
.
Responsible nations must work together to end the humanitarian crisis in Syria, eradicate ISIS, and restore stability to the region. The Iranian regime’s longest-suffering victims are its own people. Iran has a rich history and culture, but the people of Iran have endured hardship and despair under their leaders’ reckless pursuit of conflict and terror.
.
Until the Iranian regime is willing to be a partner for peace, all nations of conscience must work together to isolate Iran, deny it funding for terrorism, and pray for the day when the Iranian people have the just and righteous government they deserve.
The decisions we make will affect countless lives.
.
King Salman, I thank you for the creation of this great moment in history, and for your massive investment in America, its industry and its jobs. I also thank you for investing in the future of this part of the world.
.
This fertile region has all the ingredients for extraordinary success — a rich history and culture, a young and vibrant people, a thriving spirit of enterprise. But you can only unlock this future if the citizens of the Middle East are freed from extremism, terror and violence.
.
We in this room are the leaders of our peoples. They look to us for answers, and for action. And when we look back at their faces, behind every pair of eyes is a soul that yearns for justice.
.
Today, billions of faces are now looking at us, waiting for us to act on the great question of our time.
.
Will we be indifferent in the presence of evil? Will we protect our citizens from its violent ideology? Will we let its venom spread through our societies? Will we let it destroy the most holy sites on earth? If we do not confront this deadly terror, we know what the future will bring—more suffering and despair. But if we act—if we leave this magnificent room unified and determined to do what it takes to destroy the terror that threatens the world—then there is no limit to the great future our citizens will have.
The birthplace of civilization is waiting to begin a new renaissance. Just imagine what tomorrow could bring.
.
Glorious wonders of science, art, medicine and commerce to inspire humankind. Great cities built on the ruins of shattered towns. New jobs and industries that will lift up millions of people. Parents who no longer worry for their children, families who no longer mourn for their loved ones, and the faithful who finally worship without fear.
These are the blessings of prosperity and peace. These are the desires that burn with a righteous flame in every human heart. And these are the just demands of our beloved peoples.
I ask you to join me, to join together, to work together, and to FIGHT together— BECAUSE UNITED, WE WILL NOT FAIL.
.
Thank you.
.
God Bless You.
.
God Bless Your Countries.
.
And God Bless the United States of America.”