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Douglas Carpenter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-21-09 07:22 AM
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Arabs and Muslims give Obama benefit of doubt on new way


Arabs and Muslims give Obama benefit of doubt on new way


By Jonathan Wright
Wed Jan 21, 2009 11:58am GMT

link: http://uk.reuters.com/article/usPoliticsNews/idUKTRE50J...

CAIRO (Reuters) - Arabs and Muslims gave the benefit of some doubt on Wednesday to U.S. President Barack Obama's offer of "a new way forward" with the Muslim world, but many said it would take deeds rather than words to convince them.

After eight years of President George W. Bush, who invaded two Muslim countries and gave strong support to Israel, Arabs and Muslims watched Obama's inaugural speech on Tuesday closely for any sign that U.S. policy toward them will change.

.....

"This is a speech that reflected a new spirit of dialogue, reaching out and working together. This is a new direction that is certainly not what the Bush administration has been pursuing," said former Egyptian Foreign Minister Ahmed Maher.

Hilal Khashan, political science professor at the American University of Beirut, noted Obama's reference to Muslims as a significant part of the patchwork of the United States, an attitude not common in U.S. political discourse.

"The fact that he mentioned Muslims means a lot. This is a symbolic gesture to the Muslim world that they are part of the world. He's inclusive," he said.

In Britain, the umbrella Muslim Council of Britain welcomed Obama's offer of new relations with the Muslim world.

"His intentions are noble. I hope it ends the rift between the United States and the Muslim world, which has grown further and further in the last eight years," said Muhammad Abdul Bari, the secretary general of the organization.

link to full article:

http://uk.reuters.com/article/usPoliticsNews/idUKTRE50J...



On a purely personal note, I happened to spend a lot of time in the Middle East, and there is certainly an optimistic attitude everywhere I go that American policy under President Obama will be at least somewhat more enlightened and inclined at least little bit more toward fair play. No one is so naive as to imagine that President Obama is going to immediately reverse long standing American policies or switch sides or anything remotely of the sort. But there is very much a hope that the new President does actually understand the Middle East and little bit and will be more inclined toward at least listening and showing some respect, for a change. That in itself would be a massive seismic shift.
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Douglas Carpenter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-21-09 11:27 AM
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1. one kick for next shift
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