Yes We Can! Even in the Muslim World!

, by Luca Caruana

All the versions of this article: [English] [français]

Yes We Can! Even in the Muslim World!

‘We have the power to make the world we seek, but only if we have the courage to make a new beginning,’ Barack Obama declared to the Muslim crowd in the Cairo University. This is certainly a far cry from George Bush’s aggressive policy against the Muslim World which comprises 1.4 billion of the world’s population. In the Cairo speech Obama made it clear that he understood the importance of using diplomacy and not full handed conflict to solve problems. This certainly gives hope to the world that the new American President will extend his promised hand even to USA’s enemies.

Quoting constantly the ‘Holy Koran’, Mr. Obama tackled a number of issues which are not only causing tension nowadays but have also been sources of tension in the past years. He made it clear that America’s bond to Israel is ‘unbreakable’, but he also made sure to point out that the Palestinians must have a state of their own. This provides great hope as unlike his predecessor, President Obama seems that he will tackle the Israel-Palestine issue in the beginning if his legislature in the hope of finding a solution; which without doubt must be a two state solution. In fact, Mr. Obama made sure to point out that the settlements the Israelis are building in Palestinian territory must stop immediately. Many perhaps ask if Obama’s determination will match Netanyahu’s aggressive policies vis-a-vis the Palestinians. The question of how much the new American president will succeed in this Middle East issue can only be answered with time alone; however, things are looking much brighter than in the past years.

If we choose to be bound by our past, we will never move forward.

Although it has been an essential truth for many decades, the fact that Obama declared that ‘Islam is part of America’ was a formidable step forward towards bettering USA’s relations with the Muslim World. The most powerful man of the world was at last acknowledging the fact that Islam was important and that there was no shame in living with it. Obama used his personal past experience to the full especially when he made it clear that he lived in Indonesia where Muslims tolerated other religions. Tolerance was in fact a main issue in the speech. Obama praised Muslims’ tendency of tolerating other beliefs since centuries ago; however, he also made it clear that extremism is never justified as ‘whoever kills an innocent, it is as if he has killed all mankind’. That is why terrorist groups like Al Qaeda must be fought to the very end.

The American President also tackled the issue of nuclear weapons, making particular reference to Iran. Obama made it clear that ‘if we choose to be bound by our past, we will never move forward’ again offering the Islamic Republic of Iran to solve its differences with the US and the West through diplomacy. America has made the first step; it is now up to Iran to choose its direction. Iran’s leaders cannot blame the US’ pride and arrogance anymore and the way they want to construct their future now depends on them.

After justifying the invasion of Afghanistan, Obama acknowledged that his country made certain mistakes when invading Iraq. He made it clear that no kind of ideology, not even democracy, must be ever imposed. He also declared that America does not seek military bases neither in Afghanistan nor in Iraq. The safety and stability of humankind is what the US President is aiming at; proof of this is the financial help America is giving to Pakistan. Obama does not seek to impose stability through war and destruction, and that is why he is the shining beacon of hope also for those who in the past regarded the USA as hostile.

‘The cycle of suspicion and discord must end,’ and that is why Mr. Obama is offering a new beginning to the Muslim World out of which the whole world will benefit from. Nothing is impossible even after years of conflict. Things are already looking brighter and it is now up to Muslims to believe in the three golden words which have brought Barack Obama so much success: ‘Yes we Can!’

 Obama in Cairo, source: google images

Your comments
  • On 16 June 2009 at 23:51, by Daniel Sammut Replying to: Yes We Can! Even in the Muslim World!

    Oh good one luca!! Well done!! The Muslim world should never be mand to understand that there is a war or a sort of crusade against it!! I am happy Obama says that Israeli setlement building should stop. Israel has the right to exist and be safe. But it must not be permitted to do whatever it likes in the Palestinian Territories (at the expense of Palestinians. Regarding Iran, now they made their choice (although it is very much disputed). Unfortunately, it was not a good one. Ahmadinejad is not the way forward definitely. Although if Mousavi was elected, I think he would not make a large difference since it is the Supreme Leader and the 12-man Guardian Council who control the levers of power in Iran. But on the whole, it is quite an excellent article. Well done and keep it up my friend!!

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