Violent extremists have exploited these tensions in a small but potent minority of Muslims. The attacks of September 11th, 2001 and the continued efforts of these extremists to engage in violence against civilians has led some in my country to view Islam as inevitably hostile not only to America and Western countries, but also to human rights. This has bred more fear and mistrust.
So long as our relationship is defined by our differences, we will empower those who sow hatred rather than peace, and who promote conflict rather than the cooperation that can help all of our people achieve justice and prosperity. This cycle of suspicion and discord must end.
I have come here to seek a new beginning between the United States and Muslims around the world; one based upon mutual interest and mutual respect; and one based upon the truth that America and Islam are not exclusive, and need not be in competition.
people like my mom are just repeating the conservative talking-point that, "America doesn't apologize"I could understand thinking "America shouldn't apologize in this situation because we've got nothing to apologize for." But "America doesn't apologize"?
What's wrong with apologizing?
[Arabist.net blogger] ISSANDR EL AMRANI: So, you know, there’s been a lot of excitement, of course. President Obama is still in a honeymoon period, I think, globally. A lot of people are excited about a potential change in US policy in the Middle East. But there’s also a healthy dose of skepticism. I think people were curious about what he had to say, but aren’t overly optimistic. They’re going to wait and see concrete action.
I agreed with his remarks on the speech, generally speaking. But if you look at some of the issues that were raised by President Obama, such as the issue of torture, which he—you know, he said that this is the ending of torture, the closing of Guantanamo Bay, are policies he enacted early on in his term.
Well, let’s look at how the situation of torture in Egypt—Egypt is considered widely to widely practice torture, as a almost systematic method, basically, of police investigation. Egypt is a country that over the last five years has regressed in terms of political reform, that imprisons political opponents, prevents them from participating in elections.
So the message, because of the location, is a bit mixed, because what Obama is saying is, on the one hand, the United States will not do this, but we will remain allied with regimes that practice the very same torture, humiliation, repression of the opposition. And I think the choice of Cairo makes it fundamentally ambiguous.
very true, mr obama, but how many of those ended up getting full and equal rights from a "two state solution"? - is there a united states of black america? - a zululand of south africa? - how is the partition of yugoslavia going?
I know you want to make getting healthcare passed a priority before anything which might invite controversy, but really... can we please set a date and time as to when we can expect you to do your goddamned job, as promised?
Thank you for your correspondence. I enjoy reading letters such as yours, as they give me an opportunity to reflect on how little some folks understand about the machinations of federal politics and the political realities of a two-party system in such a massively diverse nation as ours.
It is amazing how the Bush years seemed to have created this dark blot extending farther into the past than it actually went.It seems like they actually took up the whole past. All of it.
It is amazing how the Bush years seemed to have created this dark blot extending farther into the past than it actually went.
[Obama's] reference to the early roots of Islam in America is so disingenuous: he has one bland quote from John Adams and leave out various expressions of bigotry against Muslims by founding fathers. And he then condemns (unspecified) Western stereotypes of Muslims and then matches them with what he calls Muslim stereotypes of America as empire. But those two are not symmetrical: American stereotypes of Muslims are racist and essentialist, and the notion that the US is a war mongering Empire is shared by [non-Muslims] and Muslims alike around the world. The literature about the US as Empire is written largely by Westerners.
So Obama is asking for a bargain: to end Western racism (but not wars) against Muslims, Muslims need to stop attacking US foreign policy and wars. This is chicanery--don't you like those old fashioned words? He talks about the US as a force of "progress." How untrue for Obama's audience: the US has consistently opposed forces of progress and advancement in the Middle East: in every conflict between an oil Sheikh or a polygamous prince against progressive socialists or Arab nationalist secularists, the US has always sided with the polygamous princes who have been in alliance with religious kooks and advocates of "holy wars." Hell, he just came from Saudi Arabia where he praised the wisdom of the Saudi king and he wants to talk to me about "force of progress"? Maybe if you can bring up the issue of Wahhabi fanaticism I would believe you.
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