- June 5, 2009
More Chatter on Obama’s Speech
More chatter has come down the wire on President Obama’s speech at Cairo University this morning. The Daily Star reports that many Muslim leaders have been praising Obama’s speech. Randa Achmawi, of Egypt’s Al-Ahram Hebdo wrote that “America for the first time is adopting a very wise strategy in acknowledging the other and that was clear in every word chosen by …Obama.”
In Lebanon, Hizbullah’s Hassan Fadlallah argued that “the Islamic world does not need moral or political sermons”, insisting on the withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq and Afghanistan, along with the end of Israeli aggression against Palestine and Lebanon.
In Iran, Mohammad Marandi, of the North American Studies faculty at Tehran University called Obama’s tone on Iran as “significantly more positive” than under President Bush, but cautioned that Obama “can make a few more speeches, but people are starting to ask: what are you going to change?”
From Al Arabiya, Barbara Ibrahim, wife of pardoned Egyptian human rights activist Saad Eddin Ibrahim, was happy that Obama “never talked about the ‘Muslim world’ but was careful to talk about Muslim communities…he came close to an apology about the past eight years of Bush. But, given all cross pressures I think he walked a fine line and did very well.”
Meanwhile, Abu Mohammad, a Baghdad resident, worried that by challenging the continued expansion of Jewish settlements, Obama was putting himself in danger. “If he continues doing that he will be killed by the Israelis and the Americans like what happened with John Kennedy.” Mohammad also compared Obama to Saddam Hussein, clarifying “That doesn’t mean that I like Saddam, I just like his power…the strength of Obama, his powers remind me of Saddam. Everyone was shaking in his presence.”