// Obama Plans Speech in Islamic Capital
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blackrose
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« on: Dec 04, 2008 07:52 PM »


From the New York Times:

On The White House
Looking for the Ideal Spot to Make a Speech
 
By HELENE COOPER
Published: December 4, 2008

WASHINGTON — President-elect Barack Obama’s aides say he is considering making a major foreign policy speech from an Islamic capital during his first 100 days in office.

So where should he do it? The list of Islamic world capitals is long, and includes the obvious —Riyadh, Kuwait City, Islamabad — and the not-so-obvious — Male (the Maldives), Ouagadougou (Burkina Faso), Tashkent (Uzbekistan). Some wise-guys have even suggested Dearborn, Mich., as a possibility.

Clearly it would be cheating for Mr. Obama to fly to Detroit, talk to Dearborn’s 30,000 Arab residents and call it a day. And Male and Ouagadougou, while certainly majority Muslim, can’t really be what Mr. Obama’s aides have in mind when they talk about locales for a high-profile speech that would seek to mend rifts between the United States and the broader Muslim world.

So Burkina Faso and the Maldives are out. But that leaves a whole swath of Islamic capitals, all ready to be spruced up for Mr. Obama to make his speech. I’ve thought hard about this, and asked a few people — diplomats even — which capital Mr. Obama should pick.

The consensus, after an entire day of reporting, is Cairo.

Why Cairo? It’s a matter of elimination. I called Ziad Asali, the president of the American Task Force on Palestine, to gauge his thoughts. “Damascus would be cool, except it would look as if he was rewarding the Syrians and it’s too soon for that,” Mr. Asali said.

True. Maybe in a year, if Syrian President Bashar al-Assad gets around to a land-for-peace deal with Israel. But for right now, I’m not really seeing Damascus as the spot for the big speech.

What about Ramallah, I asked Mr. Asali, thinking it would show solidarity with the Palestinians.

“I would object to that on so many levels,” he shot back, irate. “Are you forgetting that Palestinians seek Jerusalem as their capital?”

Right. And giving the speech in Jerusalem would just open up a Pandora’s box full of problems. So that’s not happening.

My colleague, David Sanger, heard me talking about it and came over to my desk. “I think he’s going to pick Jakarta,” he said. “It would be a big homecoming-type trip.”

But Jakarta’s too easy. Mr. Asali thought so too: “Jakarta? People would yawn about that.” Sure, Indonesia is the world’s most populous Muslim-majority country — some 177 million Muslims live there — but the very fact that Mr. Obama once lived and went to school there would make choosing it seem like cheating.

Baghdad? Definitely out-of-the-box, but it could appear to validate the Iraq war, which Mr. Obama opposed. Beirut? Too many Hezbollah members — Secret Service would flip its collective lid — and anyway, the Lebanese president has always been a Christian.

Tehran? Too soon for that. Amman? Been there, done that. Islamabad? Too dangerous. Ankara? Too safe. Plus the Turks aren’t going to be too crazy about being used for outreach to the Muslim world when they’re trying to join the European Union.

I asked a senior Turkish diplomat what he thought. He immediately started acting, well, diplomatic. “We don’t have a problem with our Islamic identity,” he said. “But our system is secular.”

Riyadh? Mr. Obama’s national security aides say no.

Kuwait City? Abu Dhabi? Doha? “I don’t think it will be in the Gulf,” one foreign policy adviser to Mr. Obama said.

See? It’s got to be Cairo. Egypt is perfect. It’s certainly Muslim enough, populous enough and relevant enough. It’s an American ally, but there are enough tensions in the relationship that the choice will feel bold. The country has plenty of democracy problems, so Mr. Obama can speak directly to the need for a better democratic model there. It has got the Muslim Brotherhood, the Islamist organization that has been embraced by a wide spectrum of the Islamic world, including the disenfranchised and the disaffected.

The Secret Service won’t like it one bit, but Cairo is no Islamabad. I called the Egyptian Embassy in Washington to ask officials there what they thought. Someone from Mr. Obama’s team had already mentioned the possibility, although embassy officials said Egypt has not been approached about a possible presidential trip to Cairo.

Still, Sameh Shoukry, the Egyptian ambassador, e-mailed me a statement. “Needless to say, the President of the United States is always welcome in Egypt,” it said. “Delivering such a speech from Cairo would no doubt reinforce the intended message. Cairo has long been a center of Islamic learning and scholarship, in line with Egypt’s central role in the Middle East."
nuh
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« Reply #1 on: Dec 05, 2008 01:28 PM »

As salaam alaikum,


So where should he do it? The list of Islamic world capitals is long, and includes the obvious —Riyadh, Kuwait City, Islamabad — and the not-so-obvious — Male (the Maldives), Ouagadougou (Burkina Faso), Tashkent (Uzbekistan). Some wise-guys have even suggested Dearborn, Mich., as a possibility.


I've got an idea. A good one this time insha'Allah!

Rather then political grandstanding, he can start living the faith of his birth, the faith of his father. Then in about a years time perform Hajj in Mecca with no speeches, cameras or film-crews.

I think that would be a message that Muslims might be interested in.

La hawla wa la quwatta ill billah

Ma'as salaama,
nuh
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« Reply #2 on: Dec 05, 2008 03:43 PM »

salaam

I think this is  a good step on his part. I think Cairo is actually a good idea.
blackrose
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« Reply #3 on: Dec 10, 2008 03:42 PM »

Barack Obama plans to reach out to Muslim world

In exclusive interview, he says he plans to be sworn in like every other president, using his full name: Barack Hussein Obama
wooohooo go Obama!!!

Barack Obama says his presidency is an opportunity for the U.S. to renovate its relations with the Muslim world, starting the day of his inauguration and continuing with a speech he plans to deliver in an Islamic capital.

And when he takes the oath of office Jan. 20, he plans to be sworn in like every other president, using his full name: Barack Hussein Obama.

"I think we've got a unique opportunity to reboot America's image around the world and also in the Muslim world in particular,'' Obama said Tuesday, promising an "unrelenting" desire to "create a relationship of mutual respect and partnership in countries and with peoples of good will who want their citizens and ours to prosper together."

The world, he said, "is ready for that message."

To read the rest go to http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/politics/obama/chi-barack-obama-muslim-1210,0,5694976.story?page=1
timbuktu
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« Reply #4 on: Dec 10, 2008 04:37 PM »

peace be upon you

I don't know.

I mean, just because his middle name is Hussein, means nothing.

What matters is the end of hostility towards Muslims.

What matters is end to mad militarism.

Of course, we Muslims have a lot of internal issues that need to be tackled, but being involved in survival against so-called superpowers leaves little room for kicking out the leeches from amongst us.

I mean Genral Musharraf saw he could continue his rule by helping the US in its murder of innocents in Afghanistan and Pakistan.

When eventually his grip loosened, he promulgated the NRO, giving a clean chit to Mr. percent, who now rules the roost, and this at the urging of the US.

And now the killing is worse than before. The state is more helpless than before, and the man on the street is lost.

Of course, this could change, if we were all to go out and assemble in a ground and ask Allah for forgiveness. When Allah has forgiven the nation of Yunus (as), He can forgive us, too, but we have to make a collective supplication for forgiveness.

If our energies were not so spent over the issue of what the US and the West is doing to Muslims,  we might, just might, concentrate on what is wrong with us, and put our house in order.
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