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UPDATE: On President Barack Obama’s Speech in Cairo (MM Writers’ Thoughts)

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Thoughts from some MM Writers are below (as per our modus operandi, views expressed represent only the specific author, not the entire MM staff or any other writer):

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Please note that political content is not the primary thrust of MM, thought it is an important facet of the MM’s content diversity. We will inject political discussion whenever the situation dictates. That happened around election time for instance, and is also relevant around a time where this speech by Obama was publicized very heavily around the Muslim world.

We ask for readers’ patience and understanding in this matter:

Iesa Galloway

A Public Relations view of Obama’s Speech:

Rhetorically, the speech was beautiful. Its delivery had a sense of sincerity, understanding and statesmanship rarely seen in the region. Strategically, it was also executed with precision.

The speech itself was truly groundbreaking in many ways, especially on Israel and on American adventurism in the region. Obama’s mention of the plight of Islamic Charities and that U.S. Muslims are empowered to protect their rights was truly refreshing. However, Obama’s policies are what they are. We should not over look the differences between his campaign pledges and his inability to garner the support of his own party to close Gitmo. We should also not forget his recanting on the release of the torture photos and his numerous continuations of Bush area policies.

The key to this historic speech is that Obama clearly positioned himself as the opposite of Bin Laden or groups ideologically aligned with Al Qaeda and doing so it was a brilliant P.R. move for him to have Al Azhar co-sponsor the event. So was having numerous Azhari Scholars so visible in the first rows. For Al Ahzar, it was incredibly important to participate as it is widely recognized as the preeminent institution and leader of Islamic learning. However, Al Azhar’s participation helped Obama’s positioning with what many may assume as religious acceptance of all the speech’s content, beyond the anti-clash of civilizations theme.

The Obama message was simple, we (America and Islam) are not at war, and you Muslims should choose non-violence ala MLK and Ghandi in order to be with Obama. Or we can choose the opposite. This of course is much more sophisticated than an axis of evil declaration, yet equally sweeping of the complexities of the region, the conflicts and the long road to real solutions. It is definitely progress for people to hear that Islam is not the source of and should not be held hostage to every Muslim group’s actions and interpretations. However, our response should be to promote and empower our own leaders by seizing the moment rather merely enjoying it.

In some ways I see the speech as a move to make this administration’s Pakistan policies more palatable. One goal of the speech may have been to at least pacify the reaction towards continuing as previously planned in Afghanistan and Pakistan. Pakistan in particular is an important issue for Obama he has to appear strong militarily in order to ease pressure in the U.S. Furthermore, going after Al Qaeda is his ticket to reduce U.S. forces in Iraq, thus Pakistan is a tool, an ends to a means.

Obama used Israel/Palestine as a pointed example of were violent resistance has been failing and ineffective. He more than likely won the hearts many Arab and Muslim educated elites (one of Obama’s primary target audiences) via an argument easily seen as “this worked for my people back home.” The speech allows these elites to feel better about their inaction on the Palestine issue, which of course will endear him to them. However, the point seemed unqualified. As if the real message was there was no just war or reason for military resistance at any hotspot where Muslim lands or people are being attacked.

It is important to realize the strategic importance of delivering his message in Egypt, the center of the Arab world and the traditional trendsetter of the Muslim world. I was impressed that Obama felt as confident as he did, for example promoting democracy while in Egypt and while the Muslim world has recently as well as historically seen the U.S. attempt to undermine democratically elected Muslim governments.

Many Muslims are sensing and/or reacting to this confidence, as Obama is assuming a lot of conditioned leadership of Muslims. In other words, is he possibly paving the way for a continued status quo? If violence continues in Palestine, Obama has an out. If the nonviolent path is not followed Obama can use it as an excuse to avoid pushing Israel in the peace process. This is a relatively safe assumption once we take into consideration the situation of the Palestinian people and the multitude of factions on the ground, and the fact that each assumes their own leadership, independence and has different motives.

I do appreciate the groundbreaking nature of the speech. However, I am weary that our President’s words and actions could yet again be at odds. I am also worried that many of us will be caught grinning as things remain the same.

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Dr. Ali Shehata

Alhamdulillah.

When listening and trying to assess the President’s words from his historic Cairo speech, we have to have the correct frame of reference. Some people seem to want to judge him as if he were a Muslim and as such their focus is on the oppressive acts of the Bush/Cheney regime and issues like walaa and baraa. I personally think that we have to view President Obama as one would have viewed one of the Chiefs of Quraish or Byzantium during the lifetime of the Prophet (saas) or the rightly guided Khulafaa. It is well documented in the seerah that there were in fact people among the disbelievers whom the Prophet (saas) respected greatly, like Mut’im ibn ‘Adi for example, and the respect paid to the Patriarch of Jerusalem by Umar ibnul Khattab. While they may be at odds with Muslims to some degree, that does not detract from the good they seek to do and the gestures of respect they make towards us.

As for Mut’im ibnu Ad’i, I believe that a strong argument can be presently made that Obama is offering Muslims an opportunity to change the condition of their lands. Mut’im ibn Ad’i was still a Qurashite and still a member of those who stood by while the Prophet (saas) and his early followers were persecuted. He is no different than any current western leader who wishes better for Muslims but is also well aware of his limitations and the limits of his own people’s understanding and mentality. I see that at least Obama is making strides in trying to change that perspective and once others stand by his side, that at that point in time, more significant changes have the potential to be made on the ground level.

Furthermore, The President’s efforts yesterday may well be likened to seeking a peace with the Muslim world, and as such, Allah orders us in the Quran to accept such an effort by saying what means:

But if they incline to peace, you also incline to it, and (put your) trust in Allâh. Verily, He is the All-Hearer, the All-Knower. And if they intend to deceive you, then verily, Allâh is All-Sufficient for you. He it is Who has supported you with His Help and with the believers. [8:61-62]

Ibn Kathir mentions in regard to thiese ayaat, “Allah says, conduct a peace treaty with those who incline to peace, and trust in Allah. Verily, Allah will suffice for you and aid you even if they resort to peace as a trick, so that they gather and reorganize their forces …”. And it has been recorded on the authority of Ali ibn Abi Taalib that the Prophet (saas) said, “There will be disputes after me, so if you have a way to end them in peace, then do so.” (Ahmad – Sahih)

It would be unreasonable to expect Obama to erase or reverse eight years of Bush policy in a few months, but he is already ardently working to erase the hatred that was bred by that administration. His speech risks a great amount of criticism here in the US by conservatives and others opposed to a positive image for Islam, and I think that his efforts should be appreciated and lauded for their boldness and potential benefit to many around the world. This doesn’t mean that we will rest on these words and not expect action, but anyone who has been in a leadership position understands that dramatic actions require a sort of preparing the ground before the action behind those words will be ready to be implemented. As such, I personally was happy to hear his words and accepted his efforts and ask Allah that they lead to peace in those regions where war and oppresive policy have become commonplace over the past years. Wallahu ta’aala a’lam.

I can also see that there are a lot of confusing things happening in Afghanistan and Pakistan these days that even Muslim scholars in the region are opposed to and displeased with.

I for one do not have a trusted and unbiased news source to follow for events in the region, but if it is like Iraaq – then there are significant violations on both sides of the equation and it is not a simple black and white issue by any means. I am absolutely not in support of those who call themselves mujahideen but spill the blood of Muslims in a careless manner more than 75% of the time. I cannot blame the western governments in a blanket manner for their involvement when they can convincingly and effectively justify their actions to a global audience. If we ignore this, we can only do so by presuming that we are the only people on earth with our eyes open and that everyone else is clueless (politically speaking, not spiritually).

Some have called Obama an apostate; that is a serious accusation that I doubt anyone can really prove. One would have to prove clearly that he actually was a consciously practicing Muslim at some point who renegaded. That would be an even greater challenge considering his non-practicing Muslim direct family members.

Sh. Ja’far Idrees discussed a similar concept in his last lesson and message to the Muslims in the US which I had the honor and privilege to attend. His idea was equally disregarded by many in the room. I understood the practicality of his message and this is the same practicality that I see in the Hudaibiyyah treaty. The Prophet (saas) understood the reality of the circumstances of the Ummah and he acted accordingly, which was termed a manifest victory by Allah.

I don’t honestly see what Obama “needs” from Muslims, and certainly he could have continued Bush policy by continuing to marginalize us. He hasn’t and this provides us with room to get involved and to help direct outcomes which are of benefit to Muslims. Continuing to stonewall him and disregard him as if he doesn’t matter is not logical to me at all and detrimental to the interests of Muslims world-wide. Making an effort to work with him has not been attempted and as a result we do not know the outcome.

What is the most immediate outcome of his speech thus far? That people are hearing a new message that they haven’t heard in a long time – that Islam is not the enemy. Yes, Bush may have used similar words at one point or another, but this message was lost in the vast majority of the anti-Islamic messages his administration was promoting. This is what I am hearing from non-Muslims and not speculation. We have the choice to now see how far this goes or to just reject it like we always do and continue to get pummeled. I sincerely and firmly believe that the lessons of the Seerah provide us with ample precedent to accept this invitation and to seek the best from Allah. And Allah knows best.

I really am not in a position Islamically or otherwise to argue any further. I can see that some people will always see the glass as half full and I wish only to be optimistic as the Prophet (saas) had instructed us to do and to do whatever is in my very limited scope to use any and every opportunity presented to us to save any life of a Muslim and their dignity in the process. I am glad that this perspective has been adopted by those much more knowledgeable than me in Islam and more experienced than me in life, wal-hamdulillah; and I ask Allah to continually guide me and every Muslim to that which is most correct and most pleasing to Him – ameen, was-salaam alaikum.

Dr. Ali Shehata

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Mohamed Elibiary

This speech was a milestone in numerous ways and it should be celebrated, not least of which is because of the Muslim eyes that weighed in on its drafting that we don’t necessarily want to see paraded in public as a community. My hope is that Muslims can set aside some two very important knee-jerk reactions.

The first is to be star struck by the temporary popularity the President currently commands and assume it reveals more than is politically feasible at the moment.

The second is to be become dhimmis in reverse and follow the path of reconciliation laid out by the President hook, line and sinker. Politics is about the art of the possible, and that’s a fact often forgotten by many Muslims who take their faith seriously.  The President should be commended for two very strong points, one reaching out on the Muslim charities issue and the other at the beginning of his speech recognizing how majority Muslim nations were handled in a paternalistic way during the Cold War, a fact I wrote about it here beginning with the Eisenhower Doctrine continuing through today.

Many Muslims will instead focus on the Israel-Palestine centered commentary in the President’s speech. The Muslim ummah today is in a weakened political state, a fact none deny; but yet it has assets of soft power to impact western democracies like at no time before in history that remains underutilized.

Success for the Palestinian cause will not come from them totally adopting a 100% non-violent stand in all circumstances and just appeal to the consciousness of their oppressors. Nor will the Arab and Muslim world find all their dreams met by sweetening the deal as the President requested to see the Arab Peace Initiative as a start to future compromises.

As one who spent the morning of the President’s speech at a major DC Think Tank debating Counter-Radicalization Policy in this Administration, a celebrated small rhetorical change in this speech by Security Policy Strategists very close to the Administration and overlooked in the media was dropping the phrase “Muslim World” to instead using “Muslim communities”.

So it behooves us as Muslims to be cautious and understand that there are sophisticated forces at play still pursuing the same foreign policy objectives all people of conscience including Muslims naturally oppose, and that they’re trying the honey method to simply divide the Muslim opposition globally using the ageless cultural battle on whether religion should play a role in the policy making or simply be a manifestation of personal life. I think that as Muslims we should celebrate the new rhetoric from the White House, but also not fall into the pitfall of dividing amongst ourselves as Muslims on who’s leadership to follow. Obama is not the leader of Muslims, never has and never will be; he’s the President of the United States government. There is no shortcut, if Muslims desire the world’s respect then they have to politically organize themselves around their “Muslim” identity. Nothing has changed … a great deal of our foreign intelligence operations are still spent on disinformation campaigns.

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37 Comments

37 Comments

  1. B

    June 8, 2009 at 11:15 AM

    Only Egyptian staff members get to write about the speech in Cairo? ;)

    • Amad

      June 8, 2009 at 11:50 AM

      Good catch… nice coincidence, probably befitting since the speech happened on Egyptian grounds.

    • Danish Hasan

      June 9, 2009 at 11:54 PM

      wait….

      Iesa Galloway is egyptian….

      ?

      this is a revelation….

  2. Hassan

    June 8, 2009 at 11:19 AM

    Is there a second part of this article coming?

  3. Abdullah Badr

    June 8, 2009 at 11:40 AM

    Jazak Allah for posting this.

    May I remind the authors and MM staff that they have a higher responsibility and are expected to mantain a better standard than those who will inevitably come from other sites to comment here. We expect such ‘visitors’ to be as crude and simplistic as they are, for their own websites invariable show their mentality; we do not expect the same from MM and its staff.

    Those who fail to see any good in Obama, and only wish to concentrate on the bad, seem to be living quite dreary lives in my opinion. They also seem quite unaware of how the radical right is reacting to Obama (amazing how the two radical sides always seem to resemble each other more than they would care to admit).

    Everyone realizes that Obama is not a supporter of Islamic causes, so instead of holding him to those standards, why not be comparative and see what he has done compared to other leaders (and in particular compared to what we think McCain would have been like if he had been elected). There is a breath of fresh air in his speech, and even if there is a bad odor somewhere else in the room (an odor that will most likely remain for a looooong period of time), the fact that some changes are happening elsehwere is, for most of us, clearly a good sign.

    I’d be interested in hearing the comments of the other writers (in particular the Shaykhs on-board)…

    • sincethestorm

      June 9, 2009 at 2:49 AM

      Please familiarize with the authors’ backgrounds. They are politically more savy than you think.. They actually alluded to the fact that his lecture may cause a division amongst Muslims…and there are signs of it on this message board already i.e. those who are optimistic versus those who think that the policies will be more of the same.

  4. Dawud Israel

    June 8, 2009 at 1:24 PM

    Good thoughts. Balanced and supple.

    When listening and trying to assess the President’s words from his historic Cairo speech, we have to have the correct frame of reference. Some people seem to want to judge him as if he were a Muslim and as such their focus is on the oppressive acts of the Bush/Cheney regime and issues like walaa and baraa. I personally think that we have to view President Obama as one would have viewed one of the Chiefs of Quraish or Byzantium during the lifetime of the Prophet (saas) or the rightly guided Khulafaa. It is well documented in the seerah that there were in fact people among the disbelievers whom the Prophet (saas) respected greatly, like Mut’im ibn ‘Adi for example, and the respect paid to the Patriarch of Jerusalem by Umar ibnul Khattab. While they may be at odds with Muslims to some degree, that does not detract from the good they seek to do and the gestures of respect they make towards us.

    I think the reaction has something to do with the fact the speech was in Cairo…which represents “historical Islam”–if it was in the heartland of Africa it would be “native Islam,” if it were Saudi, it would be “hardline Islam,” if it were Pakistan it would be, “cultural Islam” and if it was Malaysia/Indonesia, it would be “intellectual Islam.”

    But with Cairo and al-Azhar…it was historical Islam–all of the above summarized, but above all it was speaking to “civilizational Islam.” I think we forget too easily how big a civilization we were– we had social order, decorum, aristocracy, wealth and jewels–think of the British with all their snobbiness. Think of the Sassanids, the Mughals, the Ottomans, etc. That was (in a sense still is) us. That is who he was speaking to. It wasn’t some small minister talking to one mullah–but it was a dialogue of civilizations, not Huntington’s “Clash of Civilizations” as everyone expected. So yeah, your likening this to the days of Yore is appropriate.

    Now, when he spoke to us in Cairo–it seems to me it triggered these same memories of who we were. He was speaking to Quwwatul Islam (the Might of Islam) and this is why many Muslims were happy–he recognized not our dictators or terrorists, but us and the spirit of Islam– and non-Muslims weren’t–because America gave us legitimacy by not thinking we were simply terrorists, but rather a civilization and indeed a Might.

    What I find troubling is, our leaders around the world haven’t seemed to realize this nor do they seem keen on ideas of Quwwatul Islam. They seem surprised. Think of the Muslim world as an 8-year old Khalifah. Bush spoke to the fact the Muslim world is like an 8-year old…while Obama spoke to the fact that 8-year old is still a Khalifah! We aren’t used to that…

    Sorry for the rant.

    • Miako

      June 10, 2009 at 2:43 PM

      as a non-Muslim, I pray that you may all breathe freely, out from under the shackles of both dictatorships and the United States. As a Jew, I hope that both sides realize that neighbors make good allies — perhaps better ones than meddling superpowers. ;-)

  5. Amad

    June 8, 2009 at 1:31 PM

    The post was coming up blank in Internet Explorer. It should be fine now.

  6. Danish Hasan

    June 8, 2009 at 2:19 PM

    the guy in the pic reminded me of you Amad…..

    and i think he has 2 wives….

  7. Zainab (AnonyMouse)

    June 8, 2009 at 1:57 PM

    Interesting. The hateful experiences in particular intrigued me; I wonder if the cognitive processes displayed through that behaviour are being reproduced significantly by others elsewhere. Have other readers found a similar change in sentiment from others around them? Has Obama’s speech resulted in more hateful anti-Islam/ anti-Muslim behaviour, or reduced it by intriguing Americans to do more research into Islam itself?

    Just how threatened do the neo-cons feel by Obama’s speech and its possible implications, even as many on the conservative Muslim front don’t believe that the slight change in rhetoric will mean anything in terms of policy? (As br. Elibiary said, “Nothing has changed � a great deal of our foreign intelligence operations are still spent on disinformation campaigns.“)
    If we’re right and nothing has changed, or will change significantly in the course of Obama’s Presidency, then what exactly do the neo-cons fear? Why do they fear Obama and his words in the first place?

    • Amad

      June 8, 2009 at 2:08 PM

      If you spend some time on Yahoo Buzz, one channel that is particularly overrun by right-wing bigots, I have seen hateful rhetoric almost as much as reserved for Muslims. All sort of racist and religious insults, calls for impeachment, hatred beyond belief. This also goes to show that if these people can have so much hate for their own president, because he is of a different race, what they have for us is almost relatively benign!

      Here’s the “buzz” comments around one particular article of “Obama seeks common cause with Muslims”. A sampling:

      He will sell Israel out in a minute to please his muslim friends.

      “Obama consulted Wednesday with the Saudi king” …………….. nice, huh? I wonder if he bowed to him again?

      Ya 143 days in the senate ya he’s got skills give me a break. He’s going to turn on all of us mark my word (he already has.) Kissing muslim A**.

      The Saudi King has approved and completed his teleprompter input. Muhammed Obama’s speech will soon commence, Allah Akbar!

      The Kenyan has already sold out his mother and the people who raised him. So, selling out the country he was raised in is easy for the new Judas.

      • Zainab (AnonyMouse)

        June 8, 2009 at 7:35 PM

        I’m not surprised about an increase of vitriol online; what I’m really interested in is about real-life effects, face to face.
        Many, if not most of those who express such feelings online do not and will not speak like that in real life to someone standing right in front of them (of course there are many that do) – so as I said, I’m wondering if anyone else has had an experience similar to the other hateful experiences: reacting to Obama’s speech to such an extent that they’re driven to being nasty to someone (i.e. a Muslim) to their face.

      • Abu Bakr

        June 9, 2009 at 1:19 PM

        Right-wing nut jobs on the internet will not be setting (or even influencing) foreign policy, and I’m sure that the powers that be in America are aware that they don’t have the ear of most Americans.

        In other words, I think this is utterly irrelevant.

  8. Ahmad AlFarsi

    June 8, 2009 at 3:25 PM

    yeah man, whats up with the pic?

    • A Friend

      June 9, 2009 at 12:09 AM

      hint hint

  9. Douglas Kelly

    June 8, 2009 at 4:35 PM

    The first time my father ever asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up, I answered, without hesitation: “I want to be the President!”

    I was a six-year-old with a blissfully naive notion that America would actually help me to become whatever I wanted to be. It worked out well for Obama. For me…not so much.

    As a relatively new revert to Islam, please forgive me for my limited knowledge of Qur’an and Sunnah, but the number one thing that got me to embrace Islam with all my heart was not only Allah’s promise of Paradise, but something else a little more down-to-earth.

    I said to myself, “Wow…this is where I belong…a COMMUNITY of Believers! Somewhere where I will be welcomed and appreciated no matter what color my skin or how poor I was. Somewhere I can pitch in and use the talents Allah (swt) blessed me with to EARN my sustenance. Finally I could be part of something…”

    While I thank Allah (swt) for the government assistance that feeds me and the government grants that pay for school…I wish it was Zakat. Not because I want to be a burden on an already struggling community, but because I wish my community was so strong that I wouldn’t need my government for anything.

    Mohammed Elibiary was right: “if Muslims desire the world’s respect then they have to politically organize themselves around their “Muslim” identity.” I have patience and I trust in Allah (swt), but I’m ashamed to have to ask: Why isn’t the Muslim community as cohesive and organized and politically powerful as the Jewish community?

    Allah (swt) knows best.

    • shahgul

      June 9, 2009 at 10:09 PM

      Work will save you from government grants.

  10. Shahzad

    June 8, 2009 at 6:26 PM

    Personally, I have to reconcile between two diametrically opposing opinions. Principally, I agree with Dr. Ali Shehata’s comment that if a non-Muslim leader stretches out his hand in peace, then we ought to embrace that gesture at face value, even if it comes with certain risks. On the opposing side is the “hearts and minds” victory of Western values over that of Islam. However, the use of Hudaibiyyah or the tafseer of ibn Kathir in Dr. Shehata’s article as precedent is tenous in my view. Back then aqeeda was strong (they were the Prophet and the sahabah after all) and Islam had a foundation under the leadership of the Prophet (saws). Peace treaties were also strategic within the overall mission of spreading Islam. But these days, there is no one to defend our aqeeda. Islam is the last hold-out to kufr values manifested in secular humanism and backed up by Western-style democratic and military strength, and to be honest, we are losing.

    Even though I prefer peace, of course, but to use Hudaibiyyah as a source of inspiration and comparing Obama to the chiefs of Quraish removes from the discussion the effectiveness of Obama in winning over the hearts and minds of Muslims over to an American vision of the world.

  11. AsimG

    June 8, 2009 at 11:38 PM

    Wow, Brother Galloway’s analysis was spot-on.

    Masha’Allah, I don’t think I’ve ever read a better non-deen analysis on MM.

    • sincethestorm

      June 9, 2009 at 3:00 AM

      I couldn’t agree more…I wouldn’t say its non-deen. I enjoyed reading his and Elibiary’s POV. It combines knowledge of the deen and of politics.

      I thought this was powerful!
      Obama is not the leader of Muslims, never has and never will be; he’s the President of the United States government. There is no shortcut, if Muslims desire the world’s respect then they have to politically organize themselves around their “Muslim” identity. Nothing has changed …

  12. J

    June 9, 2009 at 12:10 AM

    It is interesting that President Obama says that “violence is not the solution” when it comes to Palestine (who are an occupied people), yet he (Obama) thinks that America (the occupier) is justified in commiting horrendous violence in Afghanistan. Should not Obama adopt an MLK/Ghandi non-violence strategy towards Afghanistan? Sorry, but that reeks of hypocrisy and double-standard.

    RON PAUL 2012!

    Fi aman Allah

  13. J

    June 9, 2009 at 12:36 AM

    I want to clarify, however, that I support what Dr. Ali Shehata said. Excellent words!

  14. J

    June 9, 2009 at 1:06 AM

    As-Salam Alaykum.

    Sorry for the multiple posts, but I just wanted to add another powerful example on top of the ones provided by Dr. Ali Shehata. I recall the example of Salahudeen Ayyoubi [Saladin], and the different way he treated Reginald and King Richard. Keep in mind that both Reginald and Richard were Crusaders, who were leading brutal wars of occupation in Muslim lands. Yet, Saladin treated them vastly different…Saladin vowed to kill Reginald with his own two hands, whereas he treated Richard with a lot of respect and even admiration.

    So would it not be appropriate to say that Bush was Reginald, and Obama may be Richard?

    I think Dr. Ali Shehata hit the nail on its head, that we need to stop judging Obama like he is a Muslim. Rather, we should judge him as a leader of a country that is at war with some Muslim countries due to some reasons. We don’t need to show blind spite like some Muslims would have us think; rather, we can appreciate some good in even our opponents and enemies.

    Was there not after all a difference between Abu Jahl and the pre-Islamic Abu Sufyan?

    Fi aman Allah

  15. Faraz Omar

    June 9, 2009 at 3:47 AM

    Too much focus on Obama’s speech, whether for or against. Little can he do for us. Far more important and realistic is focusing on our own issues that need to be openly discussed between ourselves as a Muslim community, between the Muslim countries or the so-called Muslim World.

    If there’s anyone (among human beings) who can help us, its our own selves.

    All these are distractions away from what really needs attention.

    May Allah unite the Ummah upon Tawheed and Sunnah.

  16. Abu Bakr

    June 9, 2009 at 1:13 PM

    Success for the Palestinian cause will not come from them totally adopting a 100% non-violent stand in all circumstances and just appeal to the consciousness of their oppressors. Nor will the Arab and Muslim world find all their dreams met by sweetening the deal as the President requested to see the Arab Peace Initiative as a start to future compromises.

    So it behooves us as Muslims to be cautious and understand that there are sophisticated forces at play still pursuing the same foreign policy objectives all people of conscience including Muslims naturally oppose, and that they’re trying the honey method to simply divide the Muslim opposition globally using the ageless cultural battle on whether religion should play a role in the policy making or simply be a manifestation of personal life. I think that as Muslims we should celebrate the new rhetoric from the White House, but also not fall into the pitfall of dividing amongst ourselves as Muslims on who’s leadership to follow. Obama is not the leader of Muslims, never has and never will be; he’s the President of the United States government. There is no shortcut, if Muslims desire the world’s respect then they have to politically organize themselves around their “Muslim” identity. Nothing has changed … a great deal of our foreign intelligence operations are still spent on disinformation campaigns.

    I believe Br. Elibiary has some good points in his comments here, and not necessarily just what’s in bold

  17. musique

    June 10, 2009 at 1:41 AM

    from http://wakeupfromyourslumber.blogspot.com/

    Obama’s Song and Dance in Cairo

    From http://iamthewitness.com/

    Feeling The Hate

    This Video In My View Was “Promoted” To Make It Appear That The Zionist Israelis Hate Obama. And The Trip By Obama This past Week To Arab Capitals To Look Like Obama Is Fair Minded. Lie! Fraud!! Deception!!! Obamas Whole Administration, Like Bushs’ Before Him Is Zionist Jewish Controled And They Fear The Truth Coming Out About Zionism, Thus This PR Hoax!

  18. Marya

    June 10, 2009 at 4:16 AM

    I had the opportunity to hear British Parliamentarian George Galloway give his perspective on Obama’s speech in Cairo. I blogged about the main points.

    If you’re interested, check it out at: http://verbage.wordpress.com/2009/06/09/galloway-on-obamas-speech-in-cairo/

  19. Pingback: Analysis of Obama’s Speech at HAhmed.com

  20. h.ahmed

    June 17, 2009 at 4:13 PM

    for all those overly pessimistic about president obama, check out these quotes by some of our greatest living scholars: (Source: Suhaibwebb.com) If our greatest scholars and the sharpest minds of the Ummah today can be optimistic about Obama – what does that say about us who continue to be nothing but negative skeptics?

    Dr. Yusuf al-Qaradawi:

    “We welcome him based on the fact that he spoke of a collective effort in the Muslim world based on mercy, cooperation and mutual benefits.”

    Dr. Ali Guma:

    I was told by his top assistant that the sheikh was very “pleased” with the visit and has great hopes for the future.

    Dr. ‘Abdullah bin Bayyah:

    Sh. Bin Bayyah noted that the speech marked an important turning point in America’s relationship with the Muslim world stating, “That such a discourse had never been witnessed before.” He also noted the respect giving to Islam’s rich history and the new direction of encouragement to build relationships between the two even if they failed to agree on political issues completely.” The Sheikh noted the discourse of President Obama was similar to that used by him and other scholars. He noted that although both parties fail to agree on a number of issues such as the going wars in the Muslim world and the plight of the Palestinians, there is still a great opportunity to work towards mutual cooperation and justice even if we fail to see eye to eye politically.

    Conversations with Scholars:

    Dr. ‘Amir Wardani [head of the fatwa training program at the Egyptian House of Fatwa]

    “I was touched by his speech. By Allah ya Suhaib, I was almost brought to tears. When I saw him walking in the mosque, I felt he was a man of great moral character. He defended Western Muslims; presented them in an excellent fashion.”

    Dr. Salah al-Zaydan [Professor of Us̩ūl al-Fiqh in al-Azhar and one of the faculties’ senior scholars]

    “His speech was excellent Mashallah.”

    Suhaib: “Yes, but some are saying ‘New film same production team.’”

    “Look, put anyone else in that position and let them say more. He was respectable and greeted us with honor respect and dignity. He represented Western Muslims well; and he made concessions towards our brothers in Palestine which were admirable. Allah says, “Return [the greeting] with the same or with one that is better.” We must take this opportunity to build on this important step. We all stand together against crimes and acts of aggression against the innocent.”

    Dr. Sherman Jackson:

    “He did an excellent job and portrayed Western Muslims in an excellent light.”

  21. Maverick

    June 17, 2009 at 4:35 PM

    I’m afraid that Obama’s rich oratory is just a test-run for the eventual master-planned PR campaign that will be unleashed by President Dajjal and his team of magicians.

    Surah al-Kahf FTW!

  22. muhammad ngr

    June 18, 2009 at 7:11 AM

    If action speaks louder than voice,then Obama’s actions against muslims in Afpak as well as his visits to the seats of tyranny from where he addressed the muslim world with his flowery speech shows he was not interested in our welfare but in image laundry meant to serve America’s interest.
    And if words are of any meaning,then the only meaning one can get from his rhetorics is that of a man who had no clear direction,significantly seperate from previous positions taken by his predecessors,on Muslim-Israeli conflict in Palestine just as his threats to contnue the atrocities by the coalition of the killing in Afpak!
    But for us,we depend on Allah who’s always granted the muslims victory and a way out of every difficulty despite the scarcity of resources-human or otherwise…

  23. muhammad ngr

    June 18, 2009 at 7:35 AM

    As for the one who posted something about the Rasul’s ‘respect’ towards Mut’im ibnu Ad’i,let it be known that the Qureishite in question did not have his soldiers in Madina or anywhere else raping,imprisoning torturing and murdering the men and women of the Ummah led by the Prophet.So that analogy is far from being necessary or relevant.It’s a betrayal of scholarship,period!
    The entirety of this Ummah can never be deceived by a man wearing a smiling face while uttering beautiful speeches that impress no one but speech therapists,when he is the Commander-in-Chief of the American Army.

  24. Pingback: “Ground Zero Mosque” messaging failures lead to a tipping point for Islam in the U.S. | MuslimMatters.org

  25. AMuslimwithQuran

    August 8, 2012 at 1:11 AM

    The funniest thing I found on this website was the article explaining how America may be at war with ‘some Muslims’ but is not at war with Islam. When someone comes and kills your brother. You rush after the killer to bring him to justice. Someone comes up to you and says: “He wasn’t at war with you, it was just your brother. And it wasn’t because he was Muslim, it was simply because he was black. Hence it is not a war against Islam, calm down.”

    When the Khaarijites killed Uthman (ra), that was not a war to ‘uproot’ Islam either. Why, then, did the greatest generation fuss over bringing the killers to justice ? The Sahaba should have received a lecture by ‘Eminent’ scholars of our time. It would have saved them a lot of trouble. When murder is committed, the principal of ‘discern the motive for murder’ before imposing punishment on the murderer is not from Islam. This principal, with all due respect, was learnt from western justice systems. They are the ones who spend years discerning the motives for murders before bringing them to justice.

    Glorified is Allah, far above what they ascribe to Him, and there is no power or might save with Allah.

  26. Pingback: A Funny Thing Happened | Bucksafa11

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