July 05, 2020
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Obama And The Muslim Street

Some of the initial reactions to the speech:

Dr Zafarul-Islam Khan, President, All India Muslim Majlis-e Mushawarat (AIMMM): 

President Obama has opened a new leaf with the Muslim World after eight long and agonising years of Bush presidency which sought a totally unnecessary clash with the World of Islam which shares with the United States of America many of its cherished ideals like freedom, brotherhood and equality. President Obama has been forthright and candid though he failed to acknowledge that while Iran has signed the NPT, Israel has not done so while keeping a huge stockpile of nuclear warheads. President Obama was rather mild on Israel and did not tell us what he proposes to do if Israel rejects peace with its neighbours and continues to subjugate Palestinians and occupy their land. President Obama’s plans for a new engagement with the Muslim World, especially through investment in education and healthcare, is welcome but one has to wait and watch what will be possible for a tottering American economy. President Obama’s announcement of a timetable for withdrawal in the near future from Iraq and Afghanistan too is welcome but we will believe it only when we see it happen. Close cooperation is in the interest of both America and the Muslim World. America can take a lot and benefit from the Muslim World through peaceful engagement. In general, Dr Khan remarked, President Obama has made a good beginning but only future will tell how far America is ready to go to mend fences with Muslims from Morocco to Indonesia after eight years of a totally uncalled for war on Islam and stupid talk of clash of civilisations.

Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, Iran's Supreme Leader:

"The nations of this part of the world ... deeply hate America because during many years they have seen violence, military interference, rights violations, discrimination ... from America... Even if they give sweet and beautiful talks to the Muslim nation ... that will not create a change...Nothing will change with speeches and slogans."

Mark Liberman points out in the Language Log:

Instead of "wear the hijab", he said "wear the hajib". A "hijab" is a head scarf, while a "hajib" was a sort of vizier or chamberlain in Muslim Spain and Egypt. This was a normal and understandable sort of speech error. I don't expect much reaction, or even commentary — nor should such errors be a focus of political discussion, in my opinion. But can you imagine the reaction if the speaker had been the previous president?

Huffington Post says it got standing ovation while Roger Simon in Politico makes much of the bits that drew an applause from the crowd and those that didn't:

When Obama quoted the Koran — “As the Holy Koran tells us, ‘Be conscious of God and speak always the truth’ ” — or praised Islam — “Throughout history, Islam has demonstrated through words and deeds the possibilities of religious tolerance and racial equality” — he got applause.

But other lines, such as when Obama vowed to protect the American people from violent attack, were met with stony silence.

...And when the president talked about the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks on America, he was met with only stares from the audience.

...Similarly, when Obama talked about “America’s strong bonds with Israel” and said that bond “is unbreakable” there was no applause.

...Obama’s speech was a complex one and it got a complex reaction. When it comes to speeches, you win some, you lose some, and sometimes you just move on. Obama did all of that in just one speech Thursday.

The NYT's Lede points out some of the dissenting voices in Arab blogosphere

Obama And The Muslim Street
outlookindia.com
1970-01-01T05:30:00+0530

Some of the initial reactions to the speech:

Dr Zafarul-Islam Khan, President, All India Muslim Majlis-e Mushawarat (AIMMM): 

President Obama has opened a new leaf with the Muslim World after eight long and agonising years of Bush presidency which sought a totally unnecessary clash with the World of Islam which shares with the United States of America many of its cherished ideals like freedom, brotherhood and equality. President Obama has been forthright and candid though he failed to acknowledge that while Iran has signed the NPT, Israel has not done so while keeping a huge stockpile of nuclear warheads. President Obama was rather mild on Israel and did not tell us what he proposes to do if Israel rejects peace with its neighbours and continues to subjugate Palestinians and occupy their land. President Obama’s plans for a new engagement with the Muslim World, especially through investment in education and healthcare, is welcome but one has to wait and watch what will be possible for a tottering American economy. President Obama’s announcement of a timetable for withdrawal in the near future from Iraq and Afghanistan too is welcome but we will believe it only when we see it happen. Close cooperation is in the interest of both America and the Muslim World. America can take a lot and benefit from the Muslim World through peaceful engagement. In general, Dr Khan remarked, President Obama has made a good beginning but only future will tell how far America is ready to go to mend fences with Muslims from Morocco to Indonesia after eight years of a totally uncalled for war on Islam and stupid talk of clash of civilisations.

Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, Iran's Supreme Leader:

"The nations of this part of the world ... deeply hate America because during many years they have seen violence, military interference, rights violations, discrimination ... from America... Even if they give sweet and beautiful talks to the Muslim nation ... that will not create a change...Nothing will change with speeches and slogans."

Mark Liberman points out in the Language Log:

Instead of "wear the hijab", he said "wear the hajib". A "hijab" is a head scarf, while a "hajib" was a sort of vizier or chamberlain in Muslim Spain and Egypt. This was a normal and understandable sort of speech error. I don't expect much reaction, or even commentary — nor should such errors be a focus of political discussion, in my opinion. But can you imagine the reaction if the speaker had been the previous president?

Huffington Post says it got standing ovation while Roger Simon in Politico makes much of the bits that drew an applause from the crowd and those that didn't:

When Obama quoted the Koran — “As the Holy Koran tells us, ‘Be conscious of God and speak always the truth’ ” — or praised Islam — “Throughout history, Islam has demonstrated through words and deeds the possibilities of religious tolerance and racial equality” — he got applause.

But other lines, such as when Obama vowed to protect the American people from violent attack, were met with stony silence.

...And when the president talked about the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks on America, he was met with only stares from the audience.

...Similarly, when Obama talked about “America’s strong bonds with Israel” and said that bond “is unbreakable” there was no applause.

...Obama’s speech was a complex one and it got a complex reaction. When it comes to speeches, you win some, you lose some, and sometimes you just move on. Obama did all of that in just one speech Thursday.

The NYT's Lede points out some of the dissenting voices in Arab blogosphere

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