Obama urges politics free of fear

2016-02-04 22:32
President Barack Obama speaks at the National Prayer Breakfast in Washington. (Pablo Martinez Monsivais, AP)

President Barack Obama speaks at the National Prayer Breakfast in Washington. (Pablo Martinez Monsivais, AP)

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Washington - US President Barack Obama on Thursday cautioned against populist appeals based on fear, in an annual religious message laden with campaign politics.

"Fear does funny things," Obama told a national prayer breakfast, which comes in the midst of a bitter election campaign replete with sharp rhetoric.

"Fear can lead us to lash out against those who are different, or lead us to try to get some sinister 'other' under control," he said a day after visiting a mosque to urge religious tolerance.

"Fear can lead us to succumb to despair, or paralysis, or cynicism. Fear can feed our most selfish impulses, and erode the bonds of community."

This November, Americans will decide who will replace Obama in the White House.

The electoral campaign has been fuelled by a string of terror attacks and the rise of the Islamic State, prompting calls to ban Muslim immigrants.

Read more on:    barack obama  |  us  |  us 2016 elections

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