Obama's Muslim Outreach Speech Draws Praise & Criticism
United States President Barack Obama had given a speech while visiting Ankara, Turkey. One of the things Obama had set out to do would be to mend ties between the United States and Turkey. He had explained that there is no war against Islam. Obama had said that there never was and there never will be. He had outlined the importance of working with the Muslim community via through mutual interests and respect. Obama outlined the contributions made by Muslim-Americans.
It is known that Obama’s paternal grandfather was a Muslim. President Obama himself is a Christian. Obama explained in his speech that Muslim-Americans had made very important contributions. So far, it is revealed that in a poll taken by Washington Post and ABC News, most support Obama reaching out to the Muslim community.
So far, there are praises towards Obama. However, with praises comes criticism. One such criticism comes from an article from the “American Daily Review.” The first paragraph of the article called “Losing God In America” points out that Obama saying back in 2007 that the United States is no longer a Christian nation.
This is the first surefire sign of opposition backlash towards Obama. The piece attacks Obama on citing his Muslim heritage as a dangerous proclamation of weakness. Further, the piece attacks the political left for being humanistic. But, this does bring forth the age old debate since the formation of the United States: Was the United States originally founded as a Christian nation or not?
But, that could possibly fall upon deaf ears eventually. Back in 2008, the Pew Forum on Religion conducted a survey. Survey results said that Christianity in general is losing in members. In March of this year, the American Religious Self-Identification Survey issued a new poll. The ARIS survey showed that Christianity is losing membership in the United States.
That is pretty much one example of backlash towards Obama’s speech. However, many Muslims had praised Obama’s reach. So far, Obama’s speech in Turkey had found much praise and applause in Egypt. It is considered a 180 degree turn from the sentiments previously held towards the United States under the George W. Bush administration. So far, it is revealed that many in Egypt are still angry at Bush according to the Associated Press article on Yahoo! News.
Many Arabs and Muslims seem to be pumped about Obama’s pledge to reach out. However, this is one pledge that will be extremely difficult to accomplish. There are numerous issues that Obama must tackle such as religious extremism, concerns from the political right, women’s rights, Pakistan, Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan, Israeli-Palestinian tensions, and Al-Qaeda.
Overall, Egypt is warm to Obama’s pledge. Turkey also seems to be warm to Obama’s pledge and words as well. Helen Thomas, a White House columnist for Hearst Newspapers posted a column on Obama's pledge. She too had given praise to Obama. Thomas explains that she liked the way Obama outlined his Muslim roots.
This is a complete change of direction to the piece in the American Daily Review by Douglas V. Gibbs has explained. While Thomas praises Obama for addressing his Muslim roots, Douglas V. Gibbs criticizes it.
In a nutshell, Obama has made a very hefty and challenging pledge. He will come across many obstacles and issues that must be addressed. On top of that, Obama has received praise and criticism as well.
Tags: Obama , Islam , Muslims
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