To renew our faith in Obama that he might just really be what we all hoped he would be, yesterday he addressed the muslim world from Kairo, Egypt, in what many talking heads around the world already likens to historic speeches like I have a dream and I am a berliner in terms of impact.
While this might be an exaggeration (we’ll know in a decade), it was an insanely impressive speech utilizing Baracks mastery of rhetoric in a way we haven’t heard since the campaign days.
What is quite interesting is that he passionately states the necessity of a two state solution, which surprisingly received massive applause from a skeptic muslim audience that consisted of quite a few groups that, as many extremist portions of islam such as Hamas, usually disregards the Israeli states existence.
With gripping use of his own life history and constant referrals to the bright side if Islamic traditions and teachings (yes, there are those!) and calling out for finding common human ground instead of pursuing political differences, this is surely a message that firmly brings this mideast situation one step further in the right direction. In fact, his very respectful and understanding tone rewarded him with actual standing ovations in the end. This must surely be one of the most impressive moments in his career, without a doubt.
“Tension has been fed by colonialism that denied rights and opportunities to many Muslims, and a Cold War in which Muslim-majority countries were often treated as proxies without regard to their own aspirations. And I consider it part of my responsibility as president of the United States to fight against negative stereotypes of Islam wherever they appear,” said the president, who recalled hearing prayer calls of “azaan” at dawn and dusk while living in Indonesia as a boy.
At the same time, he said the same principle must apply in reverse. “Just as Muslims do not fit a crude stereotype, America is not the crude stereotype of a self-interested empire.”
See the whole speech here (and actually see the whole thing – it’s worth it):