Obama's speech to the Muslim world

Great speech. :bravo:

Honestly admits past errors by lots of countries and groups, including the US, Israel, Palestine, Iran, etc; deals directly with various serious and sensitive issues; states sincere desire for progress by all; and, unlike his predecessor, convincingly reaches out to the Muslim world (which seems prudent given the number of Muslims in the world and the importance of working with them together to bring about peace and stability) with dignity and respect.

I don’t feel he “sold-out” America or the West at all. He doesn’t forget about 9/11 or coddle terrorists. But nor does he bully and antagonize half the world (who are NOT terrorists), as his predecessor did. Of course, one speech alone won’t bring about world peace, but it’s a terrific step in the right direction.

If anyone feels inclined to criticize the speech, please don’t do so until you’ve read it. Here’s a transcript:

washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/co … 01117.html

Ditto.

There was a great article in either the Taipei Times or Taiwan News today about how the Muslims given their religious fervor have cognitive dissonance because they cannot understand how true servants of Allah are reduced to such relative impotence and poverty while the infidels flourish. It discussed the conspiracy theories that are so popular in the Muslim, particularly the Arab, world as well. I think that Obama is doing a good job of reaching out. I just hope that the Arab world will stop blaming the rest of the world for its failures. A good place to start is by educating and freeing women.

I agree, dante.

Yeah, we agree!

Stating the obvious I suppose, but wtf is FoxNews smoking? crack?

Wow! Take that Republicans!
Go Obama! Yeah peace!
Dick Cheney must be turning over in his man-sized safe.

Ok, you’re right TC, Obama should just say “fuck you” to the 1.5 billion muslims who comprise 20-25% of the world’s population, as his predecessor did. That’s clearly the best way to gain their trust and cooperation in fighting extremists and working together to achieve world peace. Brilliant approach. Besides, if they aint’ Christians – just a bunch of towel-heads – they ain’t worthy of respect, right?

To me, it doesn’t matter what religion people believe in. If you treat women badly, then you deserve no respect, imo. It really doesn’t matter what your religion is or what your achievements are. Treat women like shit and you’re nothing more than a despicable human being.

Saddam was treating his people like shit and it was (“supposedly”)necessary to get rid of him. Meanwhile, millions of women are brainwashed and treated like rags and that doesn’t seem to be an issue.

Seeking common grounds instead of pointing the differences and moving forward and all that. But that’s like trying to make peace with a rapist. Sure you might have things in common with the rapist. Maybe you’re into the sake kind of food, the same kind of art, movies. Heck, maybe you even have the same God. It doesn’t matter what common grounds you have with a rapist. You want this kind of people caught and dealt with by the law.

I have never agreed with the US invading Iraq. I still don’t. But if the US decided to use their super power to go after any country that refuses to give up treating women like rags; if they went out there to stop this insanity, I would support them fully.

marboulette

Maybe you should read the speech, as I suggested in my first post. The link is there.

[quote=“President Obama said, not”]I reject the view of some in the West that a woman who chooses to cover her hair is somehow less equal, but I do believe that a woman who is denied an education is denied equality. And it is no coincidence that countries where women are well-educated are far more likely to be prosperous. . .

In Turkey, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Indonesia, we have seen Muslim-majority countries elect a woman to lead. . . .

Our daughters can contribute just as much to society as our sons, and our common prosperity will be advanced by allowing all humanity - men and women - to reach their full potential. I do not believe that women must make the same choices as men in order to be equal, and I respect those women who choose to live their lives in traditional roles. But it should be their choice. That is why the United States will partner with any Muslim-majority country to support expanded literacy for girls, and to help young women pursue employment. . . [/quote]

Do you have any quarrels with that?

I haven’t finished reading the speech, and it seems like a well written speech despite some inconsistencies. Why Cairo though? If he wanted to give a speech to the Muslim world, why didn’t he go to South and South East Asia?

I think it’s a good plan for President Obama to try and rebuild bridges with the Muslim world, but he in a way he is continuing his predecessor’s fixation that the Muslim world is the same as the Arab world. If he wants to show Muslims that we don’t think they are all the same, wouldn’t that have been better served by showing up in a non-Arab country like Indonesia, Pakistan, India or Bangladesh? Maybe scratch Pakistan but the other countries should safe to visit. The Middle East is only 16% of the Muslims in the world while South and South East Asia comprise 34%.

I get that the Middle East has Medina and Mecca for the Sunnis and Najef for the Shiites, but why the focus on the Arab portion of the Muslim faith all the time? Wouldn’t it be better to show the Muslim world that we know the majority of them don’t live in the Middle East region and that 98% of them are friendly people with 2% being fucked up extremists with lots of oil (Saudis and Kuwaitis)? I think President Obama’s message would improve the perception of the US by average Muslims in Indonesia than in Palestine, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Egypt, Lebanon, etc.

Maybe you should read the speech, as I suggested in my first post. The link is there.

[quote=“President Obama said, not”]I reject the view of some in the West that a woman who chooses to cover her hair is somehow less equal, but I do believe that a woman who is denied an education is denied equality. And it is no coincidence that countries where women are well-educated are far more likely to be prosperous. . .

In Turkey, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Indonesia, we have seen Muslim-majority countries elect a woman to lead. . . .

Our daughters can contribute just as much to society as our sons, and our common prosperity will be advanced by allowing all humanity - men and women - to reach their full potential. I do not believe that women must make the same choices as men in order to be equal, and I respect those women who choose to live their lives in traditional roles. But it should be their choice. That is why the United States will partner with any Muslim-majority country to support expanded literacy for girls, and to help young women pursue employment. . . [/quote]

Do you have any quarrels with that?

Read the speech; it’s quite good.[/quote]

I read the speech. Read the bold bit above. I don’t think anyone in the US think less of the women who “choose” to cover their faces. The issue is more with the fact that they are not given the choice not to.

In any case, Obama seems a lot more adamant about certain things compared with women rights which are inexistent in many parts of the world, including Islam. He make it clear that “America will not close their eyes” on certain things, meanwhile he offers partnership to countries who will let women go to school. That’s cool… If you’re going to have to marry a 56 yo fat asshole at the age of 15, you might as well have the right to go to school. :unamused: Not sure when you’ll have time for that since you’ll be having a baby at 16 or 17 years old. :s

marboulette

[quote=“TainanCowboy”][quote=“Chris”][quote=“TainanCowboy”]C’mon Chris…support your messiah. Prove me wrong.[/quote]I don’t have a messiah.
Since you are incapable of backing up your statement, consider yourself defeated. I’m outta here.[/quote]
You have nothing and you know it…so you run…bye bye…:smiley:
[/quote]
I didn’t have to “have” anything, since I made no claims.

I ran because a) it was time to leave the office and go to my kung fu lesson; and b) I was tired of waiting for you to back up your claims.

[quote]Just for starters…
[i]"Speaking at the University of Cairo, President Barack Hussein Obama said that Americans are indebted to Islam for the great contributions Muslims have made to the history and development of the United States.

“I know that Islam has always been a part of America’s story,” Mr. Obama told the throng of unenlightened Muslims. “The first nation to recognize my country was Morocco. . . And since our founding, American Muslims have enriched the United States.”[/quote]
Much of America was built by African slaves, a fair share of whom were Muslims.

What inaccuracies are in this statement? Muslims have indeed fought in our wars, served in out government, stood for civil rights, started businesses, taught in our universities, etc.

And the Congressman he mentions is Keith Ellison of Minnesota.

Obama made no such claims.

The first Muslim known to have set foot on American soil was a Moroccan slave named Estevanico in 1527, almost 100 years before the Mayflower.

I can’t read anything that I know Obama said without hearing a big heavy stress on the last syllable of every sentence as if he thinks he is bringing down a pronouncement from the mount or something. It’s very distracting.

Yes, but everyone is missing the point.

Did Obama really get them to sign up for GM cars at the end?

Oh really?

[quote]Aminah . . . I can say with all my heart “I love hijab!”

abeeda. . . I LOVE HIJAB

nadia. . .I wear hijab. . . I don’t think it’s required. It just feels right for me. . . But I’m always bothered by people who try to deter me from wearing hijab. I would never try to convince someone the other way, and it’s amusing when people think I was forced to wear it. . . .

kahleeka . . . I am a muslimah women who covers all day and I love it. . . but, at work I feel uncomfortable only to the fact that many don’t accept a women covered

stephanie. . . I love wearing hijab, I feel more comfortable with myself and closer to Allah

Aisyah. . .I used to work in Venezuela. . . (I am a Malaysian woman). Everybody advised me to take off my hijab, to prevent from any problem. I refused. . . I never complained about their believes. . . . for me, if we have a strong belief in something, we should not betray our belief just because of afraid to loose friends, or not to climb up career ladder, or to be seen as ‘not up-to-date’ person.

Christina. . .I like the idea of wearing a Hijab

Colleen. . . men should just butt out on this issue. Espeically men who don’t understand it from a womens point of view. . . [/quote]
welovehijab.com/2009/02/04/is-hi … nt-page-1/

Incidentally, does it trouble you that so many poor, oppressed jewish men are “forced” to wear yarmulkes?

More importantly, what’s the point you’re trying to make?

Ok, I get that you are highly critical of what you perceive as the beliefs and practices of 1/4 of the world’s population. But what should we do about your distaste for their religion, invade all muslim nations and convert them to christianity (as we’ve done so successfully in Iraq and Afghanistan)? Continue to target them with scorn and ridicule until they all “come to their senses” and give up their religious beliefs?

Might it not make more sense, and be a more realistic approach, to try to gradually defuse the intense hostility and mistrust that’s built up over the years, escalating sharply in the past 8 years, try to establish a cordial dialogue, treating each other with mutual respect as fellow humans, and trying to slowly work together on some of the major issues concerning their countries and cultures and ours? By raising living standards and basic rights of men, women and children in their countries we all benefit – it makes the whole world more prosperous, peaceful and stable. Doesn’t it make more sense to focus on commonalities, cooperation and efforts for peace and progress rather than continuing to attack, divide and alienate?

Obama’s not blind to the problems of hte 1/4 of the world’s population who happen to follow the muslim faith. He just believes it’s better to work with them than against them. What approach do you propose instead?

I think the testimonies you posted are irrelevant. It shows that some women like to cover up. And like I said, I don’t think too many people have a problem with that. The issue is that if a woman doesn’t like it, she has no choice. That’s what people find is a transgression of women’s very basic rights throughout Islam. Posting testimonies of women who like to cover up shows only that some women like it. It’s doesn’t say anything about them not having rights. It merely shows that some of them do not feel offended by the fact that their rights are ignored. Besides, I think you’ll have a hard time coming up with similar testimonies from women who are happy to be traded for camels or to marry men that could be their grandfathers.

[quote]But what should we do about your distaste for their religion, invade all muslim nations and convert them to Christianity (as we’ve done so successfully in Iraq and Afghanistan)? [/quote]Did you not read the part where I clearly said that religion doesn’t matter to me if you treat women like rags? It’s not a distaste for the religion. It’s far more grave than just distaste, for one, and it’s about the women being treated like shit. You can be an atheist for all I care, but if you expect women to obey you, marry old pervs, and bend over on demand, then you’re a despicable human being. Besides, you don’t actually think that the US is out there to convert people to Christianity, do you?

[quote]Might it not make more sense, and be a more realistic approach, to try to gradually defuse the intense hostility and mistrust that’s built up over the years, escalating sharply in the past 8 years, try to establish a cordial dialogue, treating each other with mutual respect as fellow humans, and trying to slowly work together on some of the major issues concerning their countries and cultures and ours?[/quote]Meanwhile we let them murder, rape, disfigure and marry teenagers to old men? No, it doesn’t make much sense to me. Responsibility? Peace? Understanding? OK, sounds good to me. Let’s start with understanding the basic rights of millions of women around the world. Let’s make ourselves responsible for solving this alarming and ongoing issue since we’re talking about A LOT more women than the mere 3000 people who lost their lives on 911.

My point is very simple. Obama seems to take on a stance that is aimed at equality and peace for all mankind. He stresses our responsibilities and the important role the US plays in promoting peace. What doesn’t make sense to me is that he would gladly send troops to retaliate if a few thousand Americans were killed, but when it comes to millions of women who are treated like meat on legs, well, we’ll let you do it, but we will offer partnership if you let them go to school.

If Obama is sincere when he says that we should be able to talk about the issues we have against each other, and when he talks about responsibilities, then I’m not sure why only “hoping” that women will be allowed education should be taken seriously. It’s a joke. 300 people die on US soil, and look what happens. Millions of women get raped ALL THE TIME, and er… let’s give them the right to go to school. :s Responsibility? What’s that?

marboulette

[quote=“Chris”]

I hadn’t heard that before now. Upon quick googling, I found that scholars estimate 10-20% of the slaves brought over were practicing Muslims. I guess that would be a “fair share”. Links: Islam in America, Islam in America during the Slave Years

I’m wondering where he got that number. That sounds kinda high since the Census data doesn’t ask what your preferred religion is. For that we have to rely on a study conducted by the Pew Research Center titled “Muslim Americans: Middle Class and Mostly Mainstream”. On page 9 (of 108) in the report they estimate that the Muslim population of the US is around 2.35 million. The only group that estimates 6-7 million is CAIR, the Council on American-Islamic Relations, based off a 2001 study they did titled “The Mosque in America: A National Portrait”. They found that there are 2 million practicing Muslims based off attendance at mosques and extrapolated out the 6-7 million number.

Here are two more links on it, from: Factcheck.org and A Question on Religion in the US Census by Zahid Bukhari at Georgetown University.

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[quote=“marboulette”]You can be an atheist for all I care, but if you expect women to obey you, marry old pervs, and bend over on demand, then you’re a despicable human being.
[…]
[…] we let them murder, rape, disfigure and marry teenagers to old men? No, it doesn’t make much sense to me. Responsibility? Peace? Understanding? OK, sounds good to me. Let’s start with understanding the basic rights of millions of women around the world. Let’s make ourselves responsible for solving this alarming and ongoing issue since we’re talking about A LOT more women than the mere 3000 people who lost their lives on 911.

My point is very simple. Obama seems to take on a stance that is aimed at equality and peace for all mankind. He stresses our responsibilities and the important role the US plays in promoting peace. What doesn’t make sense to me is that he would gladly send troops to retaliate if a few thousand Americans were killed, but when it comes to millions of women who are treated like meat on legs, well, we’ll let you do it, but we will offer partnership if you let them go to school.

If Obama is sincere when he says that we should be able to talk about the issues we have against each other, and when he talks about responsibilities, then I’m not sure why only “hoping” that women will be allowed education should be taken seriously. It’s a joke. 300 people die on US soil, and look what happens. Millions of women get raped ALL THE TIME, and er… let’s give them the right to go to school. :s Responsibility? What’s that?[/quote]
Your point is very silly and politically immature.
What would you do, send the marines after every rapist? After every father too poor or backwards to see that his daughters are properly educated?

Education and economic empowerment are the closest things we’ve got to ‘magic bullets’ when it comes to improving the lives of women. It’s pretty difficult to impose such things from without.

While it may not make sense to you, the president has a direct responsibility for protecting the lives of American citizens; his responsibility for the status or security of people on the far side of the globe is decidedly more tenuous. The “responsibility to protect” is an emerging and much disputed concept with no clearly defined parameters. “Offensive social practices” certainly doesn’t cut it.

So, if engagement and soft power don’t make sense to you, what policies/ practices are you recommending?