"..the Christian son of a Kenyan Muslim father and a Kansas mother sought common cause in part by addressing his own roots — and using a middle name that opponents used against him at inflammatory moments in the presidential campaign.
"Much has been made of the fact that an African-American with the name Barack Hussein Obama could be elected president," he said. "But my personal story is not so unique." He went on to say the dream of America exists for all who go there — including nearly 7 million Muslims.
The Israeli government issued a statement saying it, too, hoped for a new era. But it skirted any reference to Obama's calls for a settlement freeze in the West Bank and the creation of an independent Palestinian state — demands that Israel's hawkish prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, continues to reject.
Obama addressed the Israeli-Palestinian dispute pointedly in his address, knowing it goes to the heart of Muslim anger toward the West.
"It is time for us to act on what everyone knows to be true," he said. "Too many tears have flowed. Too much blood has been shed."" Yahoo News
Baby steps in Cairo, like Bob Wiley's baby steps. Bob was an emotionally crippled man who feared the very air he breathed. There are many such among us. After thinking about the Cairo speech and world wide reaction I have very mixed feelings.
On the most obvious level it was a fairly trivial survey of the complaints of all against all, but after listening to the reflex reaction of many talking heads to his discourse it seems that this level of simplistic rhetoric is needed as a corrective. So many minds have been closed by propaganda and indoctrination. This is true on all sides.
Obama's liberal Zionist backers were undoubtedly "paid" with this effort. I doubt if they are altogether pleased with the outcome. Their hard right competition certainly are not. There is always a danger in making a man a king. Once he is transformed, he is no longer wholely yours.
It is farcical to think that the hostility between the West and Islamdom is rooted in a failure of communication, a lack of mutual understanding and that all would be well if only the "boys" would "play nice in the schoolyard." Fourteen hundred years of hostility and confrontation are not explicable by resort to various accepted wisdoms; Christian aggression, Muslim desires for world dominion, etc. There has always been a basic rivalry between the two culture "continents." Humans are like that. They love groups and enemies. Can that be overcome? Certainly, but it will take time and effort. It will do no good to underestimate the difficulty, but one can make a start. Perhaps this was a start?
Barack Obama would do well to remember that however respectful of Islamicate culture he may be, he is no more capable of bridging the essential chasm between Islam (the religion) and Christianity that anyone else has been. "Neither does He beget nor is He begotten, and like unto Him there is no other." These words from what he easily calls the "Holy Qur'an" are not a figure of speech. Muslims, to the extent that they really are Muslims, believe in the literal truth of these words. They know that one is either a Muslim or not. Evangelical Christians are equally aware of the opposite of that, as are, I suppose, a few archbishops. Some day we may see the truth as Rumi saw it. That would be a better world. Obama has to be careful not to encourge those who want to see him as a dissembler.
An excess of "cultural sensitivity" is not helpful. It is patronising. Hilary Clinton in a headscarf visiting pharaonic antiquities is simply absurd.
Ah, well. "The dog barks but the caravan marches on." pl