The Speech Heard Around the World: The Audacity to Hope for Peace

Transcript:  Remarks By The President On A New Beginning

Obama In Egypt Reaces out to the Muslim World

(courtesy CNN)

President Obama delivered his long-awaited and wide-ranging speech Thursday on American and Muslim relations, offering a hand of friendship to Islam and addressing an array of quandaries and conflicts dividing the two cultures.

“I know there are many — Muslim and non-Muslim — who question whether we can forge this new beginning,” Obama said, emphasizing that “it is easier to start wars than to end them. It is easier to blame others than to look inward, to see what is different about someone than to find the things we share.”

“In Ankara, I made clear that America is not — and never will be — at war with Islam.

“We will, however, relentlessly confront violent extremists who pose a grave threat to our security — because we reject the same thing that people of all faiths reject: the killing of innocent men, women and children. And it is my first duty as president to protect the American people.”

“They endure the daily humiliations — large and small — that come with occupation. So let there be no doubt: The situation for the Palestinian people is intolerable. America will not turn our backs on the legitimate Palestinian aspiration for dignity, opportunity and a state of their own.”

“Resistance through violence and killing is wrong, and it does not succeed. For centuries, black people in America suffered the lash of the whip as slaves and the humiliation of segregation,” he said. “It was not violence that won full and equal rights. It was a peaceful and determined insistence upon the ideals at the center of America’s founding.”

Yesterday I was a critic.  I wondered if it was a good thing for President Obama to give a speech to the Muslim world.  I wondered if it was necessary and if so, why Cairo.  I wondered many things, mostly in the negative, but today I am a believer.

I have not heard the full speech yet, but I heard some great excerpts on XM Radio’s POTUS, and from what I heard, plus having heard the President in the past, I have to say that I’m not only truly impressed, but very proud.  Proud to be an American with this President, and proud to be a Muslim American.

President Obama for me, said all those things that needed to be said.  I believe he touched on every point from recognizing Israel, to Human Rights, to Women Rights and he did it all in a rational way and wasn’t afraid to invoke our religion the entire time.

What I pray is that these words that were spoken have the same effect in the East as they had in the West during his campaign and motivated young people to get involved and seek change.

Many critics may state that words mean little, I happen to believe that words have power.  I believe words have the power to call things into existence.  I believe that these words have the ability and if it be the will of God, will manifest and plant the seeds of change.

President Obama Thank You,

As Salaam Alaikum

Obama: U.S. ‘not at war with Islam’

President Obama spoke Thursday of the tensions between the United States and Muslims, saying “the sweeping change brought by modernity and globalization led many Muslims to view the West as hostile to the traditions of Islam.”

“Violent extremists have exploited these tensions in a small but potent minority of Muslims. The attacks of September 11, 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,” said Obama, delivering what the White House billed as a major speech to the Muslim world in Cairo, Egypt.

The president reiterated a point he made in an April speech in Turkey: “In Ankara, I made clear that America is not — and never will be — at war with Islam. We will, however, relentlessly confront violent extremists who pose a grave threat to our security.

“Because we reject the same thing that people of all faiths reject: the killing of innocent men, women and children.”

Commentary: Amen, Mr. President

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6 Comments

  1. I listened to the entire speech during my lunch today on POTUS. It was, I believe, his MOST important and moving speech to date.

    I wondered some of the same things that you did and they mostly began with Why? After hearing him, I totally get why.

    I will listen to his speech again tonight, but I have great, great HOPE for what his words could mean for us as a nation – my greatest hope is that his words do help expel the fear that so many carry with them that they allow to turn into hate.

    Peace.

    Reply

  2. My mom and I listened to the entire speech…and loved (and was awe-struck by) every minute of it. Walaikum as Salaam and God bless you President Obama.

    Reply

  3. Devotee,

    I agree with you because when we look into the History of Islam, which is rich of lessons learnt, we are taken back to the time when seventy (or so) immigrants left Mecca to Abyssiniya. They found their refuge and immunity under the just ruler Najashi. When we compare Najashi’s actions with that of Obama there is sharp difference between the two. I think that is about all we can say for now, because at the end of the day, Allah Almighty is the controller of all the conditions and circumstances. In the conditions of failure. The golden rule is that Allah will not change the condition of a people until they change their condition. Muslims have to migrate towards purity of heart and sincerely strive to attain the pleasure of Allah. This is idealism in our times, but nevertheless we have to strive in that direction.

    Obama has certainly slowed the tide of fury created by his predecessors. This is where we have to give him the credit and he deserves it. In the words of Malcolm X, we the Muslims have to work harder to harness peace and justice in America, as well as in other parts of the Muslim world. We still don’t have international ambassadors leveraging the greatness of America to work with other Muslim nations….something of future.

    Reply

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