A New Beginning: President Obama Speaks to Muslims of the World

Posted by DipNote Bloggers
June 4, 2009

Today, at Cairo University in Egypt, President Obama addressed America’s relationship with Muslims around the world. President Obama said:"I've come here to Cairo to seek a new beginning between the United States and Muslims around the world, one based on mutual interest and mutual respect, and one based upon the truth that America and Islam are not exclusive and need not be in competition. Instead, they overlap, and share common principles -- principles of justice and progress; tolerance and the dignity of all human beings....I will try to...speak the truth as best I can, humbled by the task before us, and firm in my belief that the interests we share as human beings are far more powerful than the forces that drive us apart."

Read the President's full speech or more from the White House.

Comments

Comments

malik M.
|
Illinois, USA
June 4, 2009

Malik M. in Illinois writes:

I cried while listening to the President's speech this morning. I request Secretary Clinton to appoint several Muslims as ambassadors. American Muslims are American as well as Muslims, we are willing help our government to bridge the gap between America as well as Muslim world. This will require the President to appoint Muslims in the key policy positions as well as ambassadors. Although the majority of American Muslims are born in the USA, they come from more than 80 countries, are professors, doctors, and lawyers, know languages and the streets of the world.

Bernard
|
Israel
June 4, 2009

Bernard in Israel writes:

A great speech!

hamid
|
New York, USA
June 4, 2009

Hamid in New York writes:

Finally we have a president who make perfect sense and was quick to recognise how important it is to build the bridge of peace around the world.God bless the president of the united states of America. we love you man!

Eric
|
New Mexico, USA
June 8, 2009

Eric in New Mexico writes:

Whoever said, "There's no philosophers in foreign affairs." must have inspired him to become one...(chuckle).

Very timely words (perhaps timeless), very well delivered.

We'll see if they're well met.

One can see some hope, so...

This gets my vote for this week's Reality Check of The Week Award.

Rebecca
|
Virginia, USA
June 4, 2009

Rebecca in Virginia writes:

I totally agree with Malik and likewise hope to continue to see our government offices diversified with people from all backgrounds. On that same note, I would LOVE to see President Obama take a moment to do some community outreach at home with Muslims (as a Muslim), but perhaps to the other minority religions as well. The yearly Presidential Ifar dinner is nice, but rather an almost empty gesture. It would be nice to see the President a bit more visual in our communities and set an example from the U.S. that people's religions are not their race, political ideology or nationality.

Patrick
|
Maryland, USA
June 5, 2009

Patrick in Maryland writes:

Hello, Neti People.

President Obama's speech was very encouraging, & a hopeful vision of what our future could be like if we work together. I think he's right to leave the past in the past and work with the present as a "New Beginning".

I also hope Hillary's meetings in El Salvador and Honduras are going well. :)

I watch Robert's Press Briefings and would like updates about the Hotdog question . LOL :)

Have a good week ... Cya

Ron
|
New York, USA
June 5, 2009

Ron in New York writes:

Excellent!

First step:

Stop U.S. arms and weapons sales and trades; paticularly to troubled regions of the world (aren't all regions troubled now?)

palgye
|
South Korea
June 5, 2009

Palgye in South Korea writes:

Dear to Mr. president Obama

i saw and excited ... i will remember long.

Abraham
|
Idaho, USA
June 5, 2009

Abraham in Idaho writes:

It's interesting to note that Pres. Bush made a very similar speech right after 9/11 in which he said many of the same things including differentiating between radical extremists (terrorists) and Muslims in general. I don't think the past Administration felt any different towards the Muslim community than the current. I think the difference is simply the approach they take to realizing progress. And that is not to say that the previous Administration didn't use diplomacy; they simply drew the line between diplomacy and action a little bit sooner. Obama, in speech at least, draws that line too as seen in his "end of this year" time line for Iranian diplomacy. The question is are we prepared to do something when and if diplomacy fails. The speech was good but what do we do now; can we make words become actions; and what do we do if certain actors continue to refuse to compromise? I really don't feel like Obama has necessarily changed many things about Bush's Foreign policy towards the Muslim world; he just talks prettier. He doesn't have to play hardball because Bush already did. We've seen already that Obama is good at diplomacy, but sometimes diplomacy fails, can he handle the job then? Is he prepared to honestly recognize when that point is?

Joe
|
Tennessee, USA
June 5, 2009

Joe in Tennessee writes:

The act of being there personally is one that makes a mark in many ways to the people. It shows that there is no fear by the President of either the community or Stand the U.S. is taking, even if that view seems similar to the past administration in many ways.

The statements do hold a lot or political rhetoric; but, hit on some items in a manner which may be more identifiable to the Middle East cultures in general and holding with the Presidents Inauguration Speech and platform. The way to peace is open and that any threats to the U.S. will still be dealt with in manner to preserve our Security and that of our allies.

The Hamas issue is the only thing which seemed disputable; but, understandable. If you want peace in that corner of the world, then you have to deal with them somehow and you have to get them to the table, even if you decide blow up the table, they have to be involved somehow. If nothing else, it would force them to show or develop a formal organization and identify themselves in a structural manner. Good intelligence and a forced form of political development by Hamas would emerge if nothing else. It would cause them to put up or shut up. They will sink or swim with recognized responsibility.

After viewing the news last night and this AM: I found it unfortunate that it is here in the United States we turn even the most well intended words of our elected leader, by popular and electoral vote, for political purpose. This action negates the power of the Presidency.

I did not think it was proper with President Bush, who took quite a bashing from red journalism, and I do not hold to it being Journalistic honesty now or even in the best interest of our Country especially by our Congress or Senate members.

We need to work together and since it seemed agreed, for the most part, it is the same in premis, why demean it in any way? It does not serve the overall best interest of our country. Many who have done work for the 'Greater Good' do not talk about it as it would not be for the Greater Good, so why do we have a political structure which accepts this and even rewards it somehow?

These are tying times and if it appears our Leaders do not have support within their own house, it makes us appear weak internationally. It is not good politics if it renders us weaker in any manner...

Eric
|
New Mexico, USA
June 5, 2009

Eric in New Mexico writes:

"Ultimately, the United States can't force peace upon the parties. But what we've tried to do is to clear away some of the misunderstandings so that we can at least begin to have frank dialogue. And we're not going to be able to do that by ourselves; we're going to require strong partners like Germany in that process. And I know that Chancellor Merkel is very much committed to that." -- President Obama

Source:

http://blogs.wsj.com/washwire/2009/06/05/remarks-from-obama-merkel-news-...

The intellectual and historicly unspoken five-hundred pound gorilla sitting quietly in the corner of the mind is this:

Many gallons of diplomatic ink along with blood and treasure has been expended on imposing peace through the art of war.
---

The ruins of Dresden, Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and the gravestones in Normandy, lend mute testiment to the extent America has gone in the past in implementing the imposition of peace upon ethical infants who've declared war not simply upon nations, but humanity itself.

There's a reason it was called "World War". A reason folks said, "Never again!".

Once the decision has been made to execute a plan in a time of war the C in C becomes the decision maker as to the correct course of adaptation as the plan unfolds in its own rhythm, by the myriad number of factors involved and input vetted.

It is my opinion that the global war on terror is on-going until such time as there are no state sponsors left to fund terror, with no "but.."'s to qualify or quantize the statement.

Whether that can be accomplished diplomaticly without the use of force remains to be seen.

And this alongside a change within the Islamic Umma itself to a mindset able to deal effectively with its sectarian ethical infants, being incumbent upon it to remove what is "haram" within its global society.

Above all else, the art of war is all about keeping the peace.

Diplomacy gets exhausted trying to keep the peace. It's last gasp gave Saddam 48 hours to get out of town, get busted, or get buried, to save himself and his country a world of hurt.

A "war of choice" was Saddam's to make, and he chose to bury himself in a hidy-hole and get busted, only to see the Iraqi people hang him for his crimes after a fair trial.

I think the rightness of a decision to impose peace on ethical infants that lead governments is validated by the people's desire to impose the dicipline of peace on themselves for the long term.

Iraq is living proof.

We were not at war with the people of Germany and Japan either, but at war with the governments that incited and lead the people to make war upon us.

So too, al-quaida's claim that this is a war on Islam is a myth and flat untrue. We are at war with those that incite and lead people to become terrorists. No matter what faith, or what cause.

That mindset is too in process of realization.

Dresden , Hiroshima, and Nagasaki have been rebuilt, along with the rest of Germany and Japan, and do these nations produce terrorists today?

Terrible weapons were used on them to end war, yet the people of both nations have shunned conflict ever since WW2 ended, and that's been reflected in their government policy ever since.

I think it can be extrapolated in a logical way that by not imposing peace by believing it cannot be, the international community has in fact in latter years allowed crisis after crisis to linger festering for years on end to the tune of many millions of lives lost globally in conflicts the U.S. has taken no direct part in as conquerer, temporary occupier, and humanitarian nation-building provider.

We failed to go "all the way" during the first Gulf war and had to get it done right about a decade later. Left folks in Afghanistan with no hope in the 90's and we had to go back about a decade later to restore some out of necessity after not going "all the way" to impose peace cost us three thousand citizens on 9/11.

Using force to protect populations after diplomacy has been utterly exausted, there is a greater chance to instill a hope among the people for a better future by giving the country back to the people via a freely elected government of, by, and for the people. Along with shaping the space for reconciliation among populations of ethnic diversity within the territorial confines of the soverign state at peace with itself and its neighbors being the end result.

All terrorists offer is endless conflict.

Diplomacy is as much a double edged sword as the use of force can be, and ethos and clear direction is needed to prevent deliberations taking years and costing more lives in the long run in cases like Israel/Palestine, Darfur, Somalia, and other humanitarian conflicts.

Masood
|
California, USA
June 5, 2009

Masood in California writes:

Excellent! Great historic speech! President Obama's speech was engaging, balanced and a foundation of a new beginning.

Newspapers all over the world from Asia to Africa see a new beginning in relations with United States.

Definitely, President Obama enhanced U.S. image worldwide with his passion and sincerity outreaching Muslim World.

Comments from couple of newspapers:

Turkish President Abdullah Gul said that remarks made by U.S. President Barack Obama at the Cairo University in Egypt proved that he was a constructive leader with whom Islam countries could set up partnership relations to ensure peace and stability in the region. -- Turkey

Presidents Obama reached out to the world's one billion Muslims yesterday and declared that America wants a "new beginning" with the Islamic world. -- Oman

John
|
Greece
June 5, 2009

John in Greece writes:

@ Abraham in Idaho -- I agree Abraham! The strategy is right! The scope is right! The Obama Administration and the President are doing their best!

But, you are right my friend! The Bush Administration had also no "personal" or "conspiracy" syndromes with the "issue" of connecting these "two different worlds" we live in, even if some people cannot accept it, or cannot interpret it the way they should. Unfortunately, there are plenty of extreme Muslim-circles that have no ears, no matter the speech (for centuries).

So you are right! We must always be ready! Never again!

(although I agree with the Administration's diplomatic strategy)

Marco
|
Brazil
June 6, 2009

Marco in Brazil writes:

This is the beginning of a new time for all us. God bless this man who has the responsibility to put everybody in the correct way of peace and cooperation against wars, fears, tears, terrorism, and open the unique opportunity to the part of world has no education, food, water and the basics. God bless you and family Mr. Obama.

Eshita
|
Bangladesh
June 8, 2009

Eshita in Bangladesh writes:

Significant speech from Obama. But actions speak louder than words...

Donald
|
Virginia, USA
June 10, 2009

Donald in Virginia writes:

SPEECH IN EGYPT WENT WELL

I thought the President used very wise words, stated facts and stood by his convictions. BRAVO ZULU!!!

Vamshi
|
India
June 17, 2009

Vamshi in India writes:

The end has come to the state of Israel. A Muslim president for a Christian nation is nothing else than Jihad and Islamic conversions. In future America's relation with India,Israel and U.K is going to deteriorate. In the mean while it is going to improve with Arab nations and the Muslim world.

Eric
|
New Mexico, USA
June 18, 2009

Eric in New Mexico writes:

@ Vamshi in India,

What on this blue Earth are you talking about? If you are refering to the current US president, you need to do some research my friend.

Masood
|
California, USA
June 30, 2009

Masood in California writes:

Eric in New Mexico is right, Vamshi in India some research will do good! In the meanwhile, following is the recent poll showing who is the most trusted President in the World published by a Moscow Newpaper.

The poll was conducted between April 4 and June 12 of this year, among 19,224 respondents in 20 different countries and territories.

Moscow news: U.S. President Barack Obama is the world's most trusted leader, the World Public Opinion organization has found in its annual poll. Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin is in seventh place out of eight leaders, with only Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad ranking lower.

Vamshi in India what are you trying to do here? Anyways, you better be nice to President Obama when or if he visits India!

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