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April 7th, 2009
10:17 AM ET

Commentary: Muslim world "likes" Obama's words

CNN's Kiran Chetry speaks to Hisham Melhem of Al-Arabiya about President Obama's message to Muslims.
CNN's Kiran Chetry speaks to Hisham Melhem of Al-Arabiya about President Obama's message to Muslims.

President Obama was in Turkey today. It was the last leg of his five-nation European tour and his first trip to a Muslim country since taking office. During the stop he sent a message to the world that the U.S. will never be at war with Islam.

“I am personally committed to a new chapter of American engagement. We can't afford to talk past one another, to focus only on our differences or to let the walls of mistrust go up around us.”

So how is the Muslim community reacting to the president’s visit? Hisham Melhem, Washington Bureau Chief for global Arab language network Al-Arabiya, spoke to Kiran Chetry Tuesday on CNN’s “American Morning.”

Kiran Chetry: In all, how was our president received in the muslim world?

Hisham Melhem: Well, judging by the positive headlines, by the live coverage that my network and others gave his speech yesterday in front of the Turkish parliament, the Muslim world likes what the president has been saying. Not only in Turkey, but since he was elected. And I think his words and, more importantly, his actions, have resonated positively throughout the Arab world and the Muslim world. People realize that there is a new tone, that there is a new content, that there is a new language. Gone are the combustible words that President Bush used to use like Islamo [sic] Fascism. Now the new president talks about engagement, he talks about partnership, he talks about respect, mutual interests. President Bush seemed to many Arabs and Muslims every time he talks to them as if he is talking down to them, as if he is lecturing them. This new president is trying to engage them as potential partners in the fight against the real enemy of the United States and the real enemy of these governments which is al Qaeda. The president doesn't talk about the war on terror in general because the war on terror is a war on a tactic. He has a well-defined enemy called al Qaeda. He doesn't clump like, President Bush, all Islamic groups. He focuses only on al Qaeda. All of these things, they are nuances and people recognizes nuances and they appreciate that.

Chetry: I want to ask you about that, because there are some who criticized exactly what you are saying is a good thing, saying he gave a pass perhaps to groups like Hamas, Hezbollah, the Muslim Brotherhood and other groups that have used terror and are considered terrorist groups by our government.

Melhem: Look. President Bush, the way he framed the issue, the war on terrorism created a conceptual muddle and he confused a lot of people. When you fight an enemy, you have to define your enemy very well and President Obama is trying to do that. It doesn't do any service to the United States’ effort to defeat al Qaeda, to keep al Qaeda in a defensive posture, when you lump together all of these groups. Yes, it is true, the United States labels Hamas as a terrorist group and Hezbollah and others, but the United States is not engaging in the battlefields against Hamas. We are engaging al Qaeda on the battlefield in Afghanistan and in Pakistan. And if you want to succeed, you need Muslim allies and one way of doing that is to define your enemy very well. The United States essentially is not saying Hamas is our enemy. The United States is essentially saying what the Israeli government is saying, we will talk to Hamas if Hamas do A, B, C. It's a conditional position vis-à-vis Hamas. There is room for the United States to say we don't like Hamas and that is America's right. At the same time, you cannot classify Hamas the way you classify al Qaeda. It's al Qaeda that visited us with their destructive deed on that fine morning in September 2001. Not Hamas. As much as we don't like Hamas as a group that is pursuing certain policies that is not to the liking of the United States government.

Chetry: It appears there is still a major distrust from Americans here in the United States. This is the quote on the poll. Should the U.S. trust Muslim allies as much as other allies? The results, surprisingly, were pretty split. 51% saying yes, but nearly half saying no. Why does there seem to still be this mistrust on the part of the American people? What can be done to change that?

Melhem: Well, education, engagement, accepting the Muslim world as not necessarily this strange other but a potential partner. I was not very surprised because of the impact and the legacy of 9/11, the misunderstanding generated by the war on terrorism, the invasion of Iraq, Guantanamo, Abu Ghraib, all of these things that created enmity in the Arab world and Muslim world and misunderstanding in the United States. There is unfamiliarity in America with the Muslim world and there is ignorance. Let's be blunt. I don't expect the average American to be an expert on Islamic jurisprudence but at least one would like to get through those negative images instead of typical images of Muslims. And here I must add there is a role for the Muslim world. I mean, now the president could look at Muslim leaders in the eye and say, I've done certain things that you wanted me to do, closing down Guantanamo, I’m getting out of Iraq. I sent a positive message to the Iranian people. I'm sending George Mitchell to mediate Arab-Israeli peacemaking but I want you to deal with the problem that afflicts your society. Which is essentially a problem of governance of which you as Muslim leaders and Muslim elites and Muslim ruling classes are responsible for. So there is a role here for the United States to be blunt and honest with the Muslim leaders and Muslim world, as well as a responsibility for the Muslim leaders and Muslim elites to fix the ailments that afflict their societies.


Filed under: Islam • Politics
soundoff (526 Responses)
  1. behrouz

    President Obama's talks are welcoming signs but by no means will be the end of the issues. The real judgment comes when he shows how much he can deliver. The real issue is not Islam, Iran, Chavez, or other labels. The real issue is the U.S foreign policy after WW2 as well as the few other military and economic powers, which is dictated by the "power through domination and conspiracy at any cost" doctrine. This policy brought prosperity to the few WW2 winners by draining cheap natural and human resources from the so-called third world countries, but yet it caused decades of bloody terrors, wars such as Iran/Iraq war and supply of chemical weapons to Saddam, coupes such as the US/UK1953 coup in Iran and the fall of the great elected Dr. Mohammad Mosadegh. The few ww2 winners dominated the majority of the countries that had nothing to do with the war, but yet had to pay a big price during the war and even a bigger price for decades to come. These countries from Africa to Middle East and South and central America have been practically raped by the world powers multiple times and the scars are not gong to be forgotten, nor they will be forgiven by Mr. Obama's speech.

    April 7, 2009 at 3:39 pm |
  2. Adnan N Kiani

    I think Obama gave a very good speech and left a very good image as an American president. He very intelligently defined what the US is after. At the same time showed enormous respect for people of other faiths and focussed on partnership and mutual respect. I am sure he can and will bridge the differences. I wish him Good Luck.

    April 7, 2009 at 3:38 pm |
  3. John

    Doesn't anyone see what this jerk is doing to our country? Sure, when you talk to a moderate Muslim, he's going to tell us that he's against the radical Muslim's. Befriending the moderate Muslim's doesn't do diddly for us in protecting against the radical ones.. Now he wants to turn our country into a Muslim country. How convenient. He was even bold enough to say we're not a Christian country. Give me a break. Get out of her you anti-Christ!

    April 7, 2009 at 3:38 pm |
  4. Kmd

    SF ..SF...SF

    Wow SF, I am stunt to your rather narrow knowledge of Koranic translations. !!!! let me give you a background. Each prophet that came before Mohammad had miracles, the Miracle of Mohammad was mainly the Koran...how?
    1.The Koran verses, if you know Arabic, and I know you don't, is a miracle own its own. no one can write arabic the way the Koran is written. Read books from the scholars in the Arabic language you will learn more.

    2.The verse you mentioned was set in the context that the Koran verses are a miracle and only God can write similar or better verses then the existing one. In order to translate Koran, you have to be very well versed in Arabic language and there are not that many.
    3. Koran is a miracle because it has predicted many future events some of them has come to pass. In the Koran, in Surat " Al roume" The Romans, God has predicted for example how the Roman were going to loose the coming war and win another one in two years period. With such a precision in timeline, many of those even the Romans who were informed at that time about what the Mohammad in the desert of Mecca is saying, were stunt.

    4. The Koran is a miracle because 1500 years ago it talked about the red sea and how it contains sweet water under miraculously separated...

    I can go on and on of why the Koran is a miracle...
    It is a useless attempt of people of your kind to demean the Koran teaching that you know nothing about and accuse a man to you like Mohammad praised by the most honorable people of this world of his genius, kindness and discipline.

    April 7, 2009 at 3:37 pm |
  5. Andy Malvern

    WOW! After reading many of your comments, I have to question why Congress receives so much criticism for being partisan. How can we ever build positive relationships with those who's way of life differ from ours when it's apparent by this blog that we can't even stand ourselves? By some of the comments here, maybe it's time for us to re-learn what America is all about.

    April 7, 2009 at 3:37 pm |
  6. Billie

    Comment from Rhonda "he referred to Septemeber 11 as a fine morning" – dangerously stupid context to put on a comment. It was a fine morning, a beautiful morning – until everything went wrong That's what he meant you ignoramus.

    April 7, 2009 at 3:37 pm |
  7. Mark B

    When American troops are on the ground enforcing Israel's border and the Oslo agreement, there will be respect for America's words,

    April 7, 2009 at 3:37 pm |
  8. ASK

    I read a thread that Muslims are not Americans. Time to open your eyes. I am a Muslim and a loyal American.
    Obama is trying to reach out and we in turn must reach out to him and support his efforts to bring understanding among people. It is through understanding that we bring people together. I have neighbors who follow Judaism and Christianity and they are among the nicest people I know. Why is it if we can get along in a neighborhood but cannot in the world.
    Every religion has bad apples who twist and distort religion for their own personal agenda. Every religion teaches us to be good to our fellow beings and not lie and cheat. Muslims are no different.

    April 7, 2009 at 3:36 pm |
  9. Samuel

    Once again SF, where did you get your sources from? From a website or from the Quran itself?

    April 7, 2009 at 3:36 pm |
  10. Stevon

    I think Obama is making a poor mistake. Muslims teach hate and they hate us, so how can they be our frriends? I think that 65% to 75% of mainstreem America believes the same way I do. You can say that CNN's polls say otherwise, but guess what they are liberal and it's funny how that their polls always agree with Obama. Bottomline folks, Obama could care less about you, he's a Muslim socialist, he hasn't really did anything he said he would do so why believe him. You can also say the reason they hate us is because of G.W. Bush. Well the reason they hated President Bush is because he took a stand for America NOT Islam.

    April 7, 2009 at 3:35 pm |
  11. Lars

    Almost ALL Islamic leaders condemned the actions of Al Queda after 9-11, EVEN the Iranian ones. Iran even helped us against the Taliban in the north and gave us permission to fly in their airspace.

    After Bush invaded Iraq and called Iran a member of the "axis of evil", the rhetoric ended.

    Ever wonder why?

    It saddens me that so many Americans DO have short attention spans and short memories.

    April 7, 2009 at 3:34 pm |
  12. Mark

    As if we deserved 9/11

    Give me a break.

    April 7, 2009 at 3:34 pm |
  13. AfMGildy

    Why does it matter? Muslim? Jew? Christian? US, Turkey? All that makes us different is a bunch of labels and titles, geographies, and cultures... There is no right or wrong.. no better or worse.. the fact is, we're all made the same.. inside.. just different on the outside... It shouldn't matter that he's reaching out to the "muslim" community, or the Jewish community..The fact is, he's reaching out... To our fellow HUMAN beings. It's ridiculous to think that your ideas and your thoughts are more important because of your label, or your faith. If we all just put aside the black, white, brown, Christian, Muslim, Jew, US, Europe, Africa factors.. the things that obviously make our lives a bit different... then we'd be focused on the idea that in the end.. God or no God, US or Saudi, Pink skin or blue skin... english or arabic...whatever difference it is that seperates us so, from loving one another, and caring, is that we're all HUMAN BEINGS! Who knows why were here, or what the sole purpose is for us being allowed to be ALIVE... who knows? But the point is.. in the end.. we all are on this earth together, and we will all die off from this earth one by one or in mass quantities... regardless of any difference.. we all are living, and we all will die.

    April 7, 2009 at 3:34 pm |
  14. Ddjibouti

    i think as muslims we dont have problem with americans but with jewish people , epecially those who are killing inncent poeple and taking others land ... unfortunatly , they have got some power in US and they can influnce the american policy toward arabs and muslim .... so they qouestion is that Mr obama will be able to control the jewish loby or not ???????????????????

    April 7, 2009 at 3:33 pm |
  15. andy

    Of course they like his words. They know they can continue to support terrorist without any worry about the U.S. Govt doing anything about it. These countries like to play both sides and they hate our country for what we believe in and our way of life. It's not based on who sits in the White House, that is just an excuse for terrorist. Obama reaching out to these people shows our new weakness and we will pay for it before he is out of office.

    April 7, 2009 at 3:33 pm |
  16. AH

    I am at work right now and there is so much to say I wish I had the time! I am absolutely shocked by the negativity in here. Muslims are not the enemy.

    April 7, 2009 at 3:32 pm |
  17. Matt

    Larry from Mass.

    "OK, Obama gets and”A-” or a “B+” for his words and his tone. What he does not get is a good grade on results – In Iraq, In Afghanistan, In Iran, In Gaza, In Syria, In Israel. He largely gets an “Incomplete” in results as we have yet to see any tangible “results”. Yes, it is very early in his administration, but let us not annoint someone for success when the real work of diplomacy is yet to start."

    Your statement makes no sense whatsoever. So after less then 3 months in office he is suppose to fix almost 8 years of backwards politics so you grade him an incomplete? Of course they're incomplete. Its going to take years to fix this mess and no one is annointing him anything. People are happy b/c we finally have someone who is starting the process of diplomacy after years of warfare.

    April 7, 2009 at 3:32 pm |
  18. Bill

    If open communication with muslims would solve all the fighting and issues in the middle east, don't you think someone would have thought of that before Obama? If you think they are interested in world peace... think again!
    I watched the entire speech on CNN. When Obama told them and the muslim world to not worry because he is one of them, it made me feel like there is a hypocrite leading America. I have no issue with "muslims" and am not prejudice by any means, but there are reasons there has never been peace in those countries. Someone needs to tell Obama this is not "Mr. Roger's Neighborhood".

    April 7, 2009 at 3:32 pm |
  19. tony

    Some of these comments are pretty insane. We are at war with Islam and any muslim is at war with the West??? Are you serious? I converted to Islam 6 years ago and have since fought for my country in Afghanistan twice. As did the 6 other muslims in my company. Islam defines my spiritual connection and method of worship with God. It does not define my citizenship or my allegiance to our great country!

    However I will agree as a muslim that there is no moderate voice to speak out against the people and the ideology and methods they use to slander and pervert my religion. Shame on us muslims for being quiet while these few hijack Islam

    April 7, 2009 at 3:32 pm |
  20. Pat Coffman

    It is comments like those made by Lee that make this countries citizens look so ignorant and narrow minded. If anyone doubts that our image has suffered, here is proof .

    April 7, 2009 at 3:31 pm |
  21. cspurgeon

    I am very proud and hopeful for our new young president. I think we all need to change our concepts if we are to have a better world and our country back to greatness. His family is great too. This comes from a senior white one time republican who has always vote heart and gut so I guess that makes me an independent.

    April 7, 2009 at 3:31 pm |
  22. ken sawyer

    Ask some of the 9-11 survivors how peacful that day was?

    April 7, 2009 at 3:30 pm |
  23. Mike Syracuse, NY

    There is an incredible parallel between the Islamic world today and Germany in the 1930's. The Nazi's were never anywhere near a majority of the country, but were able to get elected to power and lead the world to war. The reason is that the majority of 'good' Germans either agreed with the Nazi nationalistic goals or by their silence allowed it to happen. Islamic terrorists have hated us long before 9/11 and the invasion of Iraq. All during the 1990's we were targets of increasingly more severe attacks including the USS Cole, two US embassies in Africa, and the first WTC attack. You can't blame Bush for these, since Clinton was president. All through this time, the majority of Muslims either supported the terrorists with aid and sanctuary or passively accepted it. After 9/11 which of our Muslim allies came with us to Afghanistan to track down al Queda? Not a one, including fellow NATO member Turkey.

    @ Linda who said: "Must we get on loud speakers and go up and down my block to show how upset I am about Muslim extremists. " I answer yes, yes, yes. After 9/11 the was much news coverage of celebrations in the Arab street. If you sit in silence while others celebrate terrorism, you are as bad as they are.

    @Jabril, yes when Europe was in the dark ages, the Islamic world was a bastion of knowledge. Since then, they have been left in the dust both technologically and from a human rights perspective by the West. It is they who are now in the dark ages. And yes, Muslims did repeatedly invade and try to concur parts of Europe. Ever hear orf the Moors among others? The Christian crusades ended centuries ago, the Islamic crusades are just getting started.

    April 7, 2009 at 3:30 pm |
  24. DL in VA

    I think what we may need now in the near future is for Obama's counterparts in the Arab and Muslim world to visit America and make the same kinds of overtures that Obama is rightly making to them and their constituents.

    America needs to be educated on Islam just as much if not moreso than the Muslim world needs to understand that we do not hate them. Communication breeds understanding. Hearing them out does not mean we have to adopt their points of view, but we need to be open to it.

    April 7, 2009 at 3:30 pm |
  25. Lisa

    Anyone who thinks that all Muslims are created equal are truly ignorant! Members of Islamic terrorists groups are NOT true Muslims. They say they're Muslim to help recruit the ignorant and the hungry, but they do not practice the loving and peaceful edicts in the Koran.

    How's this for hypocrisy. Cheney has touted himself as a deeply religious man. A man who thinks waterboarding isn't torture! A man who finds war an orgasmic experience!!!!

    Another example of hypocrisy. In Israel there are Orthodox Jews called "modesty squads" who roam the neighborhoods of Israel making sure girls are dressed conservatively and not mingling with young men. Remind you of the Taliban???? And let's not forget that Orthodox Jewish newspapers just used Photoshop to remove a female cabinet member from Israel's formal cabinet photo!

    Evolve people! If we're lucky, Obama will usher us into a new era of enlightenment and the rest of the world will follow!

    April 7, 2009 at 3:29 pm |
  26. Stephen Dominguez

    This is exactly what we need. We needed a gutless president to appease those passive-aggressive types.

    I'm just waiting until we're asked to "cut down the mightiest tree in the forest with....a herring."

    Thanks for the free pass to ride "shotgun" in Obama's hellbound handbasket.

    April 7, 2009 at 3:29 pm |
  27. Average Joe

    I support the President. I am an American. Add me to the poll.

    April 7, 2009 at 3:28 pm |
  28. scott

    I read so many CNN articles that contain poor grammar usage and misspellings. It makes me want to heave. Honestly, CNN is a major Democratic supporter with an agenda like none other so I can only take those that conduct these interviews with a grain of salt. I'm very pleased that Obama is closing Guantanamo because now we can release the villains back into the wild where our Special Forces will hunt them down and get rid of them once and for all. We won't have to spend the money to keep them subsiding any longer.

    April 7, 2009 at 3:28 pm |
  29. Lynnwood

    Ignorance, like that displayed by some posters here, maligning Obama for being "birds of a feather" with Muslims, attacking the left, snidely commenting negatively with no substantive participation in the discussion - that is an element presenting far more danger to the U.S. than any "terrist" group.

    April 7, 2009 at 3:28 pm |
  30. Russ St. Louis

    It is sad to see so many comments by people defending Bush and calling Obama Muslim. One even said Obama is still campaigning. You all are the ones still campaigning. During a campaign a candidate has to have clear distinctions that differentiate him from the other candidate. Therefore it tends to be extreme. (Check out factchecks.org instead of listening to Rush next time. ) Once the election is over it is about bridge building and ally building.

    Since we are not at war with moderate Islam, and moderate Islam is the pool from which extremists draw recruits, it makes perfect sense to educate and help them so they are our allies and do not fall prey to the radical recruiting which has used Bush's words and deeds as a proverbial recruiting film.

    The world is getting smaller and it happened at a ligthening pace during Bush's administration. Not his fault, just happened. We need to change our tactics for that reason alone yet there are many other reasons.

    I challenge any of you non thinking dogma filled misplaced conservatives to give this audience a shred of proof that Obama is a Muslim.

    April 7, 2009 at 3:27 pm |
  31. ken sawyer

    Give me one good reason they would not like him? He is downgrading us in front of them. I wish he had stayed in Turkey . He should feel welcome there.

    April 7, 2009 at 3:27 pm |
  32. Steve

    To Sohel
    Your comment is ignorant

    April 7, 2009 at 3:26 pm |
  33. Bridget

    Bob.........I'm not the moron sweetheart. Thanks for the name calling, shows your true colors.

    April 7, 2009 at 3:26 pm |
  34. SF

    Samuel, Thomas, Matt so all you can do is point a finger here and there and say the christians did this and the jews did that and apparently this is your solution to fighting terrorism. And Samuel yes I do read Jihad Watch and I suggest you do to. As a result I bought a Quran. Does that answer your question?

    April 7, 2009 at 3:25 pm |
  35. Jerry of Madison, WI

    How quick we are to forget about the Christians attempts to erradicate the Muslims (a little something called the Crusades).

    BOTH sides have done some pretty rotten things to each other. The only way we are ever going to be able to truly live in peace is if both sides start talking to one another again. I don't mean shouting slogans or ideology, I mean actually talking to one another. Both sides have legitimate concerns that the others need to address.

    I have no problem with Obama being the first to extend out his hand. I also have no doubt that if attacked, Obama's administration will respond with an appropriate level of force.

    We have good reason not to like Hamas, Hezbollah, and Iran... but we aren't at war with them. Stop treating them like we are, or we could find ourselves at war with them too. We are already in 2 wars, we could probably handle one more (small) regional conflict, but nothing more. We simply can't fight the ENTIRE middle east at the same time.

    It is frequently more important to talk to ones enemies than your friends. Remember the cold war? Even Russia and the US saw the need for a direct line to resolve disputes before going nuke (literally).

    Obama... keep up the good work!

    April 7, 2009 at 3:25 pm |
  36. Todd

    April 7th, 2009 1:08 pm ET

    Should the U.S. trust Muslim allies as much as other allies?

    –> 51% yes and 49% No

    If you remove the jews vote then it will be 98% Yes and 2% No

    You moron, Jews make up only about 2% of the US population

    April 7, 2009 at 3:25 pm |
  37. mdiwan

    Every religion has fundamentalism and every fundamentalist group commits acts of terror. IE the KKK and other white supremacist groups or the IRA. Islam has fundamentalist groups and moderate Muslims DO take a stand against them and condemn what they do even the Arab governments have spoken out against Al Qaeda etc. Taking a stand against something is not enough. Nor is Obama's proclamation of partnership. The western world is responsible for all the problems in the middle east and Asia and its time we take the correct steps to fix our mistakes. The root of all extremism, violence and poverity is lack of education. Educate a community and you grant them a lifetime of peace, food and shelter. The middle east is littered with fundamentalist schools (Madrassahs) instead of schools that provide a professional education.

    April 7, 2009 at 3:24 pm |
  38. Sam

    I am suprised at how many people thought this Dr. was so smart and articulate. Did anyone notice the way he referred to 9/11 in his first response!! –

    "It’s al Qaeda that visited us with their destructive deed on that fine morning in September 2001."

    He calls it a "fine morning!!" Looks like a very poor choice of words to me, and perhaps its a textbook Fruedian slip.

    Look, this guy insults Americans by dismissing their legitimate concerns regarding their Muslim allies as resulting from ignorance. Isn' the fact that Saudi Wahhabism is both the inpiration and funding for terrorist groups worldwide reason enough for legitimnate concern? I think that if the commenters on this site were educated about real wolrd dynamics, that vote would sway a lot further than 51 to 48.

    April 7, 2009 at 3:23 pm |
  39. Wendi

    Why do so many people here seem to think that other countries/cultures must be exactly like ours to be of any value? Maybe there would be less friction (i.e., less WAR, perhaps?) if certain knuckleheads would stop insulting other cultures for being different. And that goes for everyone, everywhere... God bless the whole world, no exceptions!!!

    Oh, and lest I seem off-topic to those of you who don't know where I'm going with my rant, President Obama may count this American, Catholic female among his most ardent supporters! He's a a credit to this nation and I'm confident that he'll go down in history as the initiator of some wonderful changes for the better. I can't wait to see the United States build and strengthen alliances with the Muslim world!

    April 7, 2009 at 3:23 pm |
  40. unbelievable

    Yep, it was clearly the fault of George Bush that Islamic terrorists planned 9/11. He was so mean to them. Oh, wait, that was all planned years in advance while Clinton was in the White House. Nah, it was still Bush that caused it. I'm pretty sure he used a time machine somehow.

    April 7, 2009 at 3:23 pm |
  41. KP

    For Sherry in SC.

    Please tell me you have no children, do not have access to any children and have no plans to procreate.

    April 7, 2009 at 3:22 pm |
  42. DC

    Fools, fools, fools.
    WTF is wrong with most of you?
    This is not a good thing.

    April 7, 2009 at 3:22 pm |
  43. Steve

    Probably won't take long for them to realize that there is no correlation between Obama's words and his actions.

    April 7, 2009 at 3:22 pm |
  44. Lisa Plettinck

    Members of Islamic terrorists groups are NOT MUSLIM!!!!! They say they're Muslim to help recruit the ignorant and the hungry, but they DO NOT practice the peaceful and loving edicts in the Koran. And just remember that Cheney has touted himself as a deeply religious man! Can you think of anything more hypocritical?!!!!!! And just so you know, there are orthodox Jews called "MODESTY SQUADS" in Israel that roam the streets making sure young girls are dressed appropriately and not mingling with young men! Remind you of the Taliban? And Orthodox Jewish newspapers recently photo-shopped out a picture of a female cabinet member from Israels's cabinet photo!

    Not all Muslims are created equal and the same is true for Christians, Jews, Hindus, etc.

    April 7, 2009 at 3:22 pm |
  45. Sm

    Keep you friends close... Keep you enemies closer.

    April 7, 2009 at 3:21 pm |
  46. Pizza

    Islam is like cancer and it is spreading globally. You kill cancer or it kills you! That fool Obama is trying to reason with cancer in trying to make the fluffy talk with muslims. When will he finally understand that the moderates will smile and shake hands while the radicals cut the heads off his daughters. You will not hear the moderate muslims rise up and say it was wrong. Obama is THE TROJAN HORSE of the rest of the non-muslim world.

    Wake up, it is the 21st century. We live in a global community, the last person who wanted to remove a "cancerous" culture from the face of the Earth was Hitler! How can reaching out to moderate Muslims bring about the fall of the West? It's amazingly hypocritical to say Islam is evil when it shares so many similarities with Christianity. I doubt you even know who Muhammad is.
    I would much rather have a president who uses diplomacy and reaches out to the world then one who rushes in guns a blazin', alienating everybody against us, wasting American and countless civilian lives just to appease his buddies in Halliburton.
    You have to earn respect, and the last time I checked, invading foreign countries and preaching your own hateful philosophy doesn't make you allies. People like you have given America a bad name, you sit by and let a moron and his self-centered puppet master drive our country towards a cliff, and when somebody tries to turn things around and move on you call him a terrorist hugger simply because he doesn't look like any previous president (or anybody you're comfortable with) and can actually read a book without having to look at the pictures.

    April 7, 2009 at 3:21 pm |
  47. TRC

    No Mike, it is not getting through to us. We cannot hear that. If the community really believed that, the mainstream media would have at least one report with one thousand protesters in Washington claiming what you are saying. Certainly when the cartoon in the Netherlands was published, there was a huge voice which everyone heard.

    April 7, 2009 at 3:21 pm |
  48. cjm

    As far as I'm concerned I don't care what the Muslims think. They aren't Americans so I could care less what their opions are.

    April 7, 2009 at 3:20 pm |
  49. mh

    Let's see. A muslim says nice things about other muslims while blaming his own country for all the world's problems. I guess the muslims do like Obama!

    April 7, 2009 at 3:19 pm |
  50. Damon

    The scary thing is after the last 8 year it is now collaborating with the enemy to be civil and decent to them. How quickly we each forget the own tenants of our own beliefs.

    The first thing we need to get rid of is the consuming fear that seems to hover around the right. They whipped you into a hysteria with 9/11 and weapons of mass destruction that now you cant imagine a world without hostility between us and muslim countries. It wasn't always this way. Its time for us to be the better man, our country made it policy to punch or attack first...........that very concept is deeply wrong. What happen to the noble country that went to war after Pearl Harbor or to defend Korea, Bosnia and Kuwait? We are losing our morality and Obama is TRYING to bring it back to our daily lives.

    Besides haven't you all heard you catch more bees with honey than vinegar............the hardass cowboy tactic was an abject failure. New tactic for a new day.

    April 7, 2009 at 3:18 pm |
  51. Kmd

    This is a good discussion and applaud Malhen from the Al Arabiya tv on his answers. There is a big misunderstanding within the American media and society alike about Islam. There is no such thing as moderate Muslims. I understand, those who are making efforts to separate between good Muslims and bad Muslims refer to the good ones as moderate, but in fact there is no such a thing as a moderate Muslim it is like saying a moderate believer!! what's that mean?

    Honestly a Muslim or a Christan or a Jewish fundamentalist is nothing but someone who believe in the fundamentals of his religions. The distinction here should be between a knowledgeable Muslim who will never blow up a building with innocent people and an ignorant or someone who pretend to act in he name of Islam or other religion who is easily influenced or have a different agenda then serving his believe. So the name moderate Muslims is an invention that has no meaning. When you are religious, it means you follow the rules of your believe and if that makes someone to be classified as "bad" then it is the wrong approach.

    In Islam specifically, some in the media refer to a moderate Muslim, someone who does not follow the rules of his religion. Well my friends there are no such things in Islam. You need to pray daily, fast during Ramadan, give charity and observe certain rules, if this make someone classified as non-moderate Muslim then the Media has much to learn about Islam and faith.

    Just a note , those in Power in the Muslim world the media classified them as moderate Muslim states, their leaders might deserve the title because the majority of them do not follow Islam but they like to keep the name. The majority are oppressors of their own people, they are thieves by investing the people's money for their own benefit and you see how the state of the Muslim world is especially in those rich countries where people live below poverty line...If America is to act under human rights , they should not blame Islam for it but the leaders they support...the Muslim world is in need of a real change.

    April 7, 2009 at 3:17 pm |
  52. Jerome K

    Did he say on that "fine" morning of 9/11? Yes, yes he did.

    April 7, 2009 at 3:16 pm |
  53. Jim

    Israel vs. Hamas.

    Both parties are to blame for the hostilities that occur. Israel is not the innocent martyr that is portrayed in our media. They attack, Detain and torture people themselves. The US should not be associated with that country. The Israelis use there alliance with America with out concern or condemnation. Our Leaders take a hands off approach to the atrocities they commit. If Israel wants money and weapons from the US then why are they not forced to a peace accord? Where is the International community on this?

    Hamas targets innocents in markets and religious centers. They kill indiscriminately. Negotiations are never up front or Honest on either side. There can never be peace when either side is willing to negotiate.

    I for one am glad that our President is making an attempt to talk and show respect to the Muslim world. Some of the views posted here are extremely disheartening. Do you really believe that the US can continue on the "Bush" path without severe repercussions? We need to be a strong but fair nation. Because people are different does not make them wrong or evil. Lets focus on the extremist and put them where they belong...6' under. The world needs the Muslim and Islamic leaders to come forth and help root out the extremist. That is the only way to combat and irradicate the problem. We have taken that first step.

    April 7, 2009 at 3:15 pm |
  54. SF

    Mo & Shafiur

    If you knew your religion, you would know that you and I cannot interpret the Qu'ran.

    Are you familiar with the Quranic abrogation. The principle of abrogation the abrogating and the abrogated directs that verses revealed later in Muhammad's life, when he had the juice and power "abrogate" - i.e., cancel and replace - earlier ones whose instructions they may contradict. So the warmonger prophet's teachings in Medina, overrule passages revealed earlier, in Mecca when he did not have the juice.

    The Quran itself lays out the principle "2:106. Whatever a Verse do We abrogate or cause to be forgotten, We bring a better one or similar to it. Know you not that Allah is able to do all things?

    "Allah is able to do all things" - even change his mind.

    To confuse matters further, the Quran was not compiled in chronological order – the suras were ordered from longest to shortest regardless of when written.

    However, if you read Mohammed's teachings in chrono order, you will see that all he left behind was hate and violence against none muslims.

    Tell me Mo & Shafiur. I want to get "if you see a Jew, kill him" in context.

    April 7, 2009 at 3:15 pm |
  55. Bob

    To Bridget and every other moron like her, this president in a few short months has worked harder than Bush did in eight...

    MORONS

    April 7, 2009 at 3:15 pm |
  56. Thoughtfull

    Obama is cutting US arms programs to fianance billions of dollar he pormised to give muslim countries like Pakistan and Afganistan. Once their financial need is over those very countries will turn against the US and will be in a brother-brother relation with Iran.

    April 7, 2009 at 3:15 pm |
  57. JF

    I’m glad that SF pointed those verses out.

    Most people listen too often and do not read and study the religion they defend. The bottom-line is that when you actually take a look at the origins of the Koran you’ll find a great amount of differences from the widely believed “spread love and peace” mainstream ignorance.

    In all honesty, if you compare the Koran with the Torah, you’ll find that both have just the perfect amount of similarities, however, the Koran is twisted so perfectly into an opposite, evil direction.

    I challenge anyone to study and read the Koran for themselves and then compare your findings with the Torah or Old Testament of the Bible – for those of you who don’t already know, you’ll be quite surprised.

    April 7, 2009 at 3:15 pm |
  58. Demet

    It is unbelievable how not one Turkish person has commented on the fact that they are referring to Turkey as the Muslim world!! Turkey is not a part of the Muslim world or the Arab world or the middle east. It is NOT CATEGORIZABLE. STOP IT! I live in LA and was born and raised in Istanbul, and can easily say that I am more European/western/mannered and cultured than any American I have ever met, and a lot of Europeans. So stop trying to categorize Turkey as a part of one thing ("the muslim world") because it is WRONG and if you do not know this by now, you better start reading some books, or travel, or even listen to Obama's speech in the Turkish parliament a couple of days ago. It is the most infuriating aspect of living abroad and being exposed to comments like this in the media.

    P.S. Bubba: Obama looks nothing like a Turkish person. Maybe a Kurd from the eastern part of Turkey. You have no idea what you are talking about. Open your eyes and learn something.

    April 7, 2009 at 3:15 pm |
  59. Rachell

    It's so annoying to hear people harp on about how moderate Muslims should condemn the actions of extremist Muslims. When was the last time you heard the moderate Christian community condemn the actions of Christian, right wing zealots after they go on homicidal rampages or blow up abortion clinics or start wars with non-Christian countries (you know, like Bush said – going on a "Crusade")? The fact is, many moderate Muslims DO condemn these actions, but they are not given a forum to get this message to the rest of us. It's much more fun to watch right wingers blast Islam on a talk show than to give a forum to people who voice peace and moderation.
    Also, people need to be able to distinguish between a crime committed by a person who happens to be Muslim and a crime committed in the name of Islam. The language "Muslim extremist" and "Islamic Terrorist" is used to describe any violent conflict in the region regardless of the true intent (tribal conflicts, ethnic cleansing, etc) and it gives the impression that anytime a violent act is committed, its motive is always religious in nature when that is just not true. It's simplistic at best.

    April 7, 2009 at 3:15 pm |
  60. Mike

    “If there is no enemy and all Muslims are as gentle as Jews, Christians, and Buddists then why are we in Iraq?”

    Most idiotic comment I've heard in a while...There are extremists in every religion. And as a Christian, Christianity in its fringes can be just bad as extremist Islam. The war in Iraq was initially intended for American dominance in the middle east.

    April 7, 2009 at 3:14 pm |
  61. Josh

    Getting the moderates to trust you is a solution to the bigger problem, and that is: why are these kids going off to training camps in the first place. Also, if the moderate population are in agreement with backing the US, we would have much more military help from countries like Pakistan, whose border regions we desperately need help in. Defining your enemy is the only way to get helpful allies. If we have a war on terror, which looks a lot more like a war on a bunch of islamic countries, muslims will start to see us as an enemy, right when we want them to help us find terrorists.

    April 7, 2009 at 3:14 pm |
  62. Bobbi

    The speeches were lovely, the sentiments noble, but none of this is gong to mean spit unless moderate arab's develop a backbone and stand up to the fanatic's among them.

    And aren't we all glad we are not living in Afghanastan right now if we are a woman? Nothing like giving the thumbs up to rape and yes, I'm sure all the women there are absolutely thrilled with a law that requires any of them to need permission to leave the house.

    April 7, 2009 at 3:13 pm |
  63. Walter

    If killing innocent is terrorism then Bush regime has killed 500000 innocent iraqis..hmmmmmmm

    April 7, 2009 at 3:11 pm |
  64. Jay

    What our president is trying to do is create a more positive image of the U.S. for the Muslim world through respect, which a portion this country doesn't have much of for Islam. If a pro-American culture blossoms in the Middle East, don't you think that will lessen the amount of Islamic militants wanting to suicide bomb us? It would definitely be worth Pres. Obama "embarrassing" us, as Fox News puts it, by using good diplomacy.

    April 7, 2009 at 3:10 pm |
  65. Cliff

    You better do a little studying on Islam before you go applauding all this propoganda. The stated purpose of Islam is to take over the world and the Koran says it's OK to do it by lying, cheating, stealing, murder and anything else the "faithful" want. If you don't believe me then you should read about how the muslim world is waiting on the 12th Iman. This Iman will arrive and cause terror and destruction throughout the world in the name of Islam. This Islamic belief is why the entire Islamic world does not speak out against terrorism. In fact, this guy calls 9/11 "a fine September morning". Even when trying to deceive us he slips up. Obama is an idiot for believing their rhetoric. Common people, quite being blind sheep and take the time to study and understand what we're up against.

    April 7, 2009 at 3:10 pm |
  66. Thomas, Madison, WI

    SF, you claim : "The crusades were attempts by Christians to maintain their values and all those other things that come with the love of ones own culture."
    Did you know that the crusaders were also ordered to kill as many Jews as possible while on the crusades?

    April 7, 2009 at 3:10 pm |
  67. Matt

    For all those ignorant please read when somehting isn't properly exaplined like SF's comment. Context is important. I am a Christian who is tired of reading nonsense from those who have no lcue. I spent 2 years in Iraq, studied Islam and couldn't believe how similar it is to Christianity. Christainity has its own violent past.

    1) In Leviticus 25:44-46, the Lord tells the Israelites it's OK to own slaves, provided they are strangers or heathens. (THis was actually used by American Preachers to defend slavery)

    2) In Samuel 15:2-3, the Lord orders Saul to kill all the Amalekite men, women and infants.

    3) In Exodus 15:3, the Bible tells us the Lord is a man of war.

    4) In Numbers 31, the Lord tells Moses to kill all the Midianites, sparing only the virgins.

    5) In Deuteronomy 13:6-16, the Lord instructs Israel to kill anyone who worships a different god or who worships the Lord differently.

    6) In Mark 7:9, Jesus is critical of the Jews for not killing their disobedient children as prescribed by Old Testament law.

    7) In Luke 19:22-27, Jesus orders killed anyone who refuses to be ruled by him.

    April 7, 2009 at 3:10 pm |
  68. Kiimu

    Christians, muslims, budhist, shintoist, animist, believers and non-believers should come together to fight terrorism, injustices and anger throughout the world. His Excellecy Obama reached out to the Muslim, and that is good. It is up to the Muslim hierarch to start in their mosques by preaching to the young adults that terrorism is anti-muslim and has no place in that religion. This will not be enough, but it is start that will help.

    April 7, 2009 at 3:09 pm |
  69. Sherry in SC

    Well, who would have imagined that??? Of course they like him and what he says. He is one of them and is selling Americans down faster than the Titanic hit the bottom of the ocean. You liberals keep on and see where it gets you – Don't come crying to us when you or one of of your loved ones is blown to pieces by Nobama's little terrorist playmates.

    April 7, 2009 at 3:09 pm |
  70. Mike

    "I am not sure how much more Muslims in America have to say over and over again that we reject violance of any kind by any religion including ours over and over. If its not getting through to you then God help you."

    Mo – You can become an Atheist like myself and realize there is no god. Go ahead open your eyes and see the light. Religion is not required to lead a moral life.

    April 7, 2009 at 3:08 pm |
  71. Gdub

    Just a view from outside the US. I'm from Ontario Canada and thought maybe some might appreciate an outside view.

    As has been mentioned on numerous occasions and confirmed by US national polls, most americans believe their image on the world stage was greatly tarnished under the leadership of the Bush administration. This is true, in fact when i was travelling in Europe last year I met two Americans who had fixed pins of the Canadian flag on their luggage and in talking they said they did it because people respected them and treated them better as a result. I see this not as an indication of Americans themselves, but rather an indication of their government's foreign policy. To be sure, there are radical religious and political groups in almost every country in the world, whether operating in plain view or underground, they exist. Had one of those groups attacked another country or international institution, America would never have allowed another country to wage war on their soil, and from that, what right does it give them to do the same eslewhere in the world? It was discussed at several points in discussion groups here what scenarios people would have been more supportive of the 'War on Terror' and general consensus was this: That had the US approached the countries and requested their help/permission to engage the enemy, and respected that response... the worldwide response would have been much more supportive, as has been the case with Afghanistan, albeit this process didn't unfold idilically either. The point is that as a world power, they US has taken liberties to pursue their interests because of their 'moral superiority' and 'obligation' to 'save to world'. While admirable in their cause, is it their choice and willingness to act unilaterally without proven cause or permission that has set them apart. For this, people resent the US, whether it be for their boldness or the principles of their actions, the result is the same; A mistrust and distaste for their leadership based on the boldness in acting unilaterally without regard for situational politics.

    April 7, 2009 at 3:08 pm |
  72. frederick lee

    President O is preaching to the choir. As a successful American politican he must follow the ancient adage: When in Rome do as the Romans do.

    Nothing will come of this reaching-out because Muslims will fail to acknowledge tan internal shortcomming that exacerbates the instability (Who is to blame for the 150,000 killed in Algeria?). The PC culture of our times forbids Americans from holding critical views of others (e.g. Jews, gays, blacks etc.) without being labeled as bigoted. It is because of this convention of what is allowed to be said or written that President Carter was not allowed to speak at his own party's convention.

    April 7, 2009 at 3:08 pm |
  73. KP

    For Maddawg – your statement (well all of them were pretty weird, but this one really made me laugh) "ANY book that tells you to hurt others is WRONG!"

    Have you ever read the Bible ?

    April 7, 2009 at 3:08 pm |
  74. Time to move forward

    Whether we like it or not its time to move forward America. I'm ready to move forward, are you? .

    I'm slippin' into the lava
    And I'm tryin' keep from goin' under
    Baby, who turned the temperature hotter?
    'Cause I'm burnin' up, burnin' up for you baby

    April 7, 2009 at 3:08 pm |
  75. Dano

    What a difference it makes when the speaker projects intelligence and not just cowboy rhetoric. The time is past when America can threaten and cow the world into cooperation. It's time we took our place as a member of the world body and not its commander. The US will need the help of moderate Muslims to defeat al Qaeda, and the way to get that is to treat them with respect.

    April 7, 2009 at 3:08 pm |
  76. len

    Obama is another Jimmy Carter.....Hopefully he'll be more successful..

    April 7, 2009 at 3:08 pm |
  77. Nick

    @ Lee:

    Please refrain from your conspirital and inflammatory trolling. You must be one of the 19% of misinformed, ignorant people who believe that President Obama is diminishing the country in the eyes of the world.

    April 7, 2009 at 3:08 pm |
  78. Merv

    What is it that separates the hateful propaganda of some of the posters here and the hateful propaganda that brings support for people like the Taliban in Pakistan? Nothing.

    April 7, 2009 at 3:07 pm |
  79. April

    Comments like that from "Chuck" make my blood boil. Obama is NOT a Muslim, he has said over and over that he is a christian. And trust me, if Muslims were all so hate filled as all of the backwards thinking people who post these kind of comments here believe, then he would NEVER claim to be christian! Don't you get it? Muslims are not all bad just as I as a Christian am NOT a bad person even though others who call themselves "christians" do horrible evil acts in the name of christianity. Please open your minds and escape from the bigotry that you all are dwelling in. That is the ONLY way to make our world better. Wake up people I mean seriously, the president has an arabic middle name. So that automatically means he's Muslim? Guess what? I have a Polish last name and that's because it is the last name of the man who adopted me. I actually don't have any Polish blood in me at all! But using your logic I MUST be Polish.
    I have many friends who are Muslim. I live in a state (Michigan) which has the largest Muslim population outside of the Mid East and you know what? I know just as many beautiful, wonderful Muslim people as I do beautiful, wonderful Christians. And I think that makes my life a more full and happy one. I wish for peace in our world and I thank God we have a president who is more tolerant and intelligent than so many of you on this board.

    April 7, 2009 at 3:06 pm |
  80. Sandy Black Hills

    I think it is very telling that those who are right wing will quote George Bush as if he is a living God, while those on the far left would like to burn him in effigy. I guess no one feels that there are centrists who believe that some of Bush's policies worked (like the surge, which I totally agreed with simply because I felt Geo did not put enough troops on the ground at the get go), however, I also feel there is room for Obama's brand of diplomacy.

    I dont think it makes me or anyone else wishy washy who just want to see an end to the war in Iraq and Afghanistan and hope that a combination of troops, tactics and skillful diplomacy from Obama (lets all agree that was not Geo's forte) will do it.

    It takes and has taken more than one political party to make America the power and the great country it is today. We must stop being party loyal, stop allowing the media to shape our political and idealogical opinions, we must begin to think and shape our own thoughts regardless of what party thinks is right. Stop labeling people whose opinions differ from yours, stop looking down on and name calling, and begin to really consider different options even if someone from a different party attempts to make a difference. I am aghast that many One Party feel they are religously and morally superior to to other and call them Godless! I am appalled that many of the opposite party feel the others are fundamentalist backwoods hicks.

    Lets just focus on ending the wars and doing the right thing.

    April 7, 2009 at 3:05 pm |
  81. Cat

    I think its GREAT that Obama is engaging with the Muslim community. As a recent convert to Islam, I can not say how sad I feel that there is so much ignorance out there on the perception of Islam. These extremest who blow themselves up, who kill, who threaten are NOT Muslims. Al-Qaeda uses Islam to their benefit, everything Al-Qaeda does is forbidden in Islam. They interpret the Koran their OWN way. Just like the early Christian did to justify the Crusades!.......

    And by the way.....Jihad DOES NOT MEAN HOLY WAR!

    April 7, 2009 at 3:05 pm |
  82. Maggie

    It is very disturbing that some thinks that "muslims" are the "enemy." They are not. Radical islamists are the enemy...not normal, everyday muslims.

    Also, Obama is not Muslim. Although, honestly...whats wrong with being muslim anyway?

    What Obama said is great. It is what a true leader would do. Bush lead out of fear, not with facts.

    April 7, 2009 at 3:05 pm |
  83. Larry S

    Again and again, I see so many comments from those with very little intelligence. And, if anyone want to do a little analysis, if is evident the lack of intelligence and hatrid comes from the liberal side. The biggest difference between liberals and conservatives is the liberal hatrid shown by their by their actions and comments. The other main item is the unability of the liberals to take responsibility for their own actions . . . they get great enjoyment about blaming others. Come on people, try to give some positive ideas or comments.

    April 7, 2009 at 3:05 pm |
  84. Jay

    The right wing of America is no different than the Taliban. We need to confront our home-grown extremists.

    April 7, 2009 at 3:04 pm |
  85. Anne

    I agree, Peter. Some of them also think President Obama is a Muslim. Following their logic that would make him a terrorist, too. We really need to improve education in this country.

    April 7, 2009 at 3:04 pm |
  86. same old same old

    assumption: the extremists and terrorists who guard their secret plans until execution share them with moderate muslims.

    April 7, 2009 at 3:03 pm |
  87. KP

    For Jennifer : – With that kind of attitude and intolerance, I find it difficult to believe you are Christian.

    I really really wish people would educate themselves thoroughly on a topic before debating it.

    April 7, 2009 at 3:03 pm |
  88. AKR

    Hey Republicans, we tried it your way for 8 years and look where it has gotten us. So, stay in your 20% zone and keep listening to Limbaugh your leader. The remaining 80% of us are looking forward to a much better world to live in..

    Oh, Jojo, President Bush had been in office for 8 months when we were attacked on September 11, 2001. In fact, he had received a Presidential Daily Briefing a month before that while he was clearing brush in Crawford. This memo, received on August 6, 2001 contained a two-page section entitled "Bin Ladin Determined to Strike in US". And, Bush chose to ignore this memo.

    April 7, 2009 at 3:03 pm |
  89. Bram

    Ned wrote: The NAZIS WERE CHRISTIANS! That doesn’t make every Christian a nazi
    Think again, guy. The Nazi movement was not Christian, in fact, it was decidedly unchristian. They actually had very similar views to that of the early Communist leaders in USSR. Hitler and his top cronnies were a mix of pagan/athiest/and some kind of white supremacist prophets of a new religion. Ugh, why do so many people know so little of history? Stop distorting the past to fit your incoherent ramblings.

    April 7, 2009 at 3:02 pm |
  90. Tim

    "Maria April 7th, 2009 2:11 pm ET Islam does not teach you to Hate anyone or any religion. Islam teaches us to spread love. there are people like Clark who twist words and give Islam a bad name."

    OR

    Read any quote from the Taliban, Al-Queda, etc regarding the justification for killing they quote . . wait for it . . . THE KORAN YOU MORON.

    April 7, 2009 at 3:02 pm |
  91. Marco

    "...when will the moderate Muslims begin to take a stand against the Islamic extremists?"

    An excellent question Dan!

    Hopefully, those who are educated and not living in third world conditions, can have their voices heard.

    This is why Obama started his reach out to the Muslim world in Turkey. It is a very moderate, modern country by western standards, and one of, if not the least anti-Amercian Nations in the Middle East that is predominantly Muslim. And they have a bit more freedom of expression in their nation.

    Those who are living in poor conditions really don't have an out let,...or are much more concerned with day to day living.

    "Moderate muslims have the potential to become extremists if you continue to (accidentally) bomb their villages and kill their innocent families."

    EXACTLY.

    April 7, 2009 at 3:02 pm |
  92. MJB

    The moderate Muslims cannot go against the Terrorists as they will be found out and their heads cut off including all of their family. This Koran they read from day one is full of hate if everyone in the world does not follow their religion. They do not believe in anyone with a believe system other than theirs and thats a fact. These radical Terrorists that Obams can't for some reason come right out and say would like nothing better than kill all of us..

    April 7, 2009 at 3:02 pm |
  93. Ruth

    He will be a friend to all..........................just a warning.

    April 7, 2009 at 3:01 pm |
  94. AAK

    I do not care if the President is a Muslim, Christian, Jew, atheist or Buddist. What I do care about is the Constitution and upholding it, as the Bush administration did NOT. President Bush thought he was charged with God's work (his intrepretation) so he could do whatever he pleased, and was within his right to ignore the Constitution.

    I am pleased the current President is reaching out to build a stronger alliance with Europe and the Middle east. We are stronger as a nation when we work in concert with others.

    April 7, 2009 at 3:01 pm |
  95. Thomas, Madison, WI

    Sohel, do you really believe the crap you said? You must be pretty horrible at math and ignorant of the beliefs of Christian Americans, because there aren't NEARLY enough Jews in the US to make your statement feasible, and American Christians are significantly less tolerant of different people people than Jews. Get a clue!

    April 7, 2009 at 3:01 pm |
  96. Dan

    Distrust of Muslim governments stems not from "misunderstanding" but from repeated failures by Pakistan and Afganistan to act against our common enemies.

    April 7, 2009 at 3:01 pm |
  97. VLUVU

    Dan, from an Islamic standpoint, terrorists are never Muslims because they commit some of the basic "Sins" such as: Murder, Suicide, Back Biting, etc. So to call them Muslims is a disgrace to the religion of Islam. Second, "moderate" Muslims as you call them will oppose these terrorists if three fundamental criterias are met: one is that the US government as well as its public respect the religion of Islam much like they do with Judaism and Hinduism and etc. By respect I mean, leave the people alone in the Muslim countries and don't try to destroy their integrity. IT's natural for people to support the terrorists when they see foriegners recking their land and fighting what seems like their saviors(Afghan Civilian Deaths) . You have to educate the public about these terrorists and how they mean harm to the society. Pakistan comes to my mind where a MOSQUE was bombarded by terrorists.
    Second, the local leaders of ISlamic countries should have their own campaign and propaganda where they fight the terrorists as well. Again Pakistan is a good example. Diplomacy is very much required and Obama should actually meet with the locals although Security is a big concern there.
    Third is that no matter how much respect you give to Moderate Muslims, all muslims condemn the actions of Israel which has been a caustic barrier between America and Muslim world. US should limit their relationship with Israel to trade, and US should be an Ally of Israel as well. But when it comes to Israel doing things such as in December 2008, that has to be condemned. Many western EU nations condemned that but US never officially did. You have to use humanity for everyone. The ratio of death toll of 6 to couple ten thousands will anger anyone. If US shows that it does not support the way Israel conducts certain things, and takes actions such as sanctions and withdrawal of funding, then that itself will gain America 70% Muslim approval. Through diplomacy and education (on both sides), terrorists will not be as supported nor will they be born.

    April 7, 2009 at 3:01 pm |
  98. SF

    AH – show me one verse in the Bible that says "to kill Jews", show me one verse in the bible that says Jesus slept with a nine year old, show me one verse in the bible that says that you or I should kill an ex-Christian from converting. You will not find one. I can go on and on about the lovely things you will find in the Quran.

    Look I am a civil rights attorney in Miami, FL. I represent many people including muslims because I believe in our freedoms and the rule of law and all those other things that are incompatible with islam. This, incidentally, is how I came to know about Islam. Muslims tell me islam is not a religion of peace, it is a religion of submission.

    I too want my family, friends and my country to be safe, that is why people need to know.

    April 7, 2009 at 3:00 pm |
  99. Mitch

    What a strong, positive, and educational point of view. I would like to applaud CNN.

    I think we should all take a collective sigh of relief when we see such a drastic turn of rhetoric pointed at our policy makers. Clearly, this is because of a new vision from the policy makers themselves.

    Here is to hoping for positive results in our effort to reach out to those people who have wrongly been targeted as "Terrorists."

    No Christian, Jew, Muslim, Taoist, or any other religion should or can doubt what is central to all religions, that of peace and an aim of mutual understanding.

    It is important that we give all people their room to be angry, as certain events like 9/11, as well as Guantanamo Bay will invoke. Let us do our part to help calm such situations starting with those around us. Rejecting anger as being housed only in "idiots", is unfair, and will likely only incite more anger. Give people their space, and if there lies a lack of understanding in that anger, may we all be educated enough to show them a light.

    Cheers

    April 7, 2009 at 2:59 pm |
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