January 27th, 2009
06:48 PM ET

Mr. Obama goes to Al-Arabiya

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/POLITICS/01/27/obama.arabia/art.obama1.gi.jpg caption="President Obama has taken an early interest in the Middle East peace process."]

Arsalan Iftikhar | BIO
Founder, TheMuslimGuy.com

Echoing a key theme of his inauguration speech, President Barack Obama, during his first interview with an Arab news channel, told the Muslim world that he holds a world view based on the following principle:

…You will be judged on what you've built, not what you've destroyed….

After viewing the Al-Arabiya interview several times, some key quotes (fittingly) in bold:

On sending (former Senator) George Mitchell as Middle East Special Envoy: “Sending George Mitchell to the Middle East is fulfilling my campaign promise that we're not going to wait until the end of my administration to deal with Palestinian and Israeli peace, we're going to start now. It may take a long time to do, but we're going to do it now…

“…And so what I told him is start by listening, because all too often the United States starts by dictating…

Well, isn’t that a nice departure from the foreign policy disasters and garbled rhetoric of George W. Bush? Although there was little substantive ‘policy’ discussed in the Al-Arabiya interview, the ‘tone’ and message marked a stark departure from our previous president.

On communications with the Muslim world: “…Now, my job is to communicate the fact that the United States has a stake in the well-being of the Muslim world, that the language we use has to be a language of respect. I have Muslim members of my family. I have lived in Muslim countries…

…to the broader Muslim world what we are going to be offering is a hand of friendship…

Wow. During the presidential campaign, when certain nasty (and xenophobic) right-wing elements tried to paint President Obama as some kind of crypto-Muslim Manchurian Candidate, we Americans did not see candidate Obama go even once within 12 feet of an American mosque entrance or Muslim campaign event.

During the election, the ‘Muslim’ insinuation became so radioactive that two American Muslim women in Michigan were removed from an Obama event in Detroit by campaign volunteers last June simply because the two women wore hijab (headscarf).

Now that he has won the election, President Obama is now humbly flexing his Muslim world ‘street cred’ by highlighting the fact that his multi-ethnic (and multi-religious) family includes Christians and Muslims and that he has lived in the world’s largest Muslim country, Indonesia.

On Al-Qaeda’s ideology: “…Their ideas are bankrupt. There's no actions that they've taken that say a child in the Muslim world is getting a better education because of them, or has better health care because of them…

...In my inauguration speech, I spoke about: You will be judged on what you've built, not what you've destroyed. And what they've been doing is destroying things. And over time, I think the Muslim world has recognized that that path is leading no place, except more death and destruction…

Amen, brother.

As President Obama said in the interview, as Muslims worldwide continue to condemn and neutralize the hateful ideology of Al-Qaeda, this sort of nuanced clarity from President Obama shows that his rhetoric with the Muslim world will not include previous bone-headed presidential terms like ‘Crusade’ or ‘Islamo-Facism’.

On Islam-West reconciliation: “…And my job is to communicate to the American people that the Muslim world is filled with extraordinary people who simply want to live their lives and see their children live better lives. My job to the Muslim world is to communicate that the Americans are not your enemy. We sometimes make mistakes. We have not been perfect…

…But ultimately, people are going to judge me not by my words but by my actions and my administration's actions…

Wow, again. Once more, the humble, conciliatory and nuanced words our President used during the interview offer an olive branch to over 1.2 billion Muslims worldwide.

And President Obama is absolutely correct when he says the world will judge his legacy on his actions, not his words.

On ‘War on Terror’ slogan: “…I think that you're making a very important point. And that is that the language we use matters. And what we need to understand is, is that there are extremist organizations - whether Muslim or any other faith in the past - that will use faith as a justification for violence. We cannot paint with a broad brush a faith as a consequence of the violence that is done in that faith's name…

A truth that is 'self-evident,' but not said nearly often enough.

And one thought about his promise to make a major speech in an Islamic Capital: “…We're going to follow through on our commitment for me to address the Muslim world from a Muslim capital…

My prediction: Jakarta, Indonesia. (Amman, Jordan running a close second…)

Editor’s Note: Arsalan Iftikhar is an international human rights lawyer, founder of www.TheMuslimGuy.com and contributing editor for Islamica Magazine in Washington.

soundoff (200 Responses)
  1. Mike

    For those of you who did not like the title "Mr. Obama goes..":

    I agree that respect is due to the office, the title should reflect his position "Mr. President." However, it's a shame that the same people who are complaining about the title not representing President Obama's title said nothing when Presidnet Bush was referred to as "Mr. Bush".

    Western Civilization is not and never will be considered acceptable by Islamic terrorists, making it impossible for peace. Until we accept this, we will chase our tails until the terrorists are eliminated, or we are.

    January 27, 2009 at 11:15 pm |
  2. Mark

    Ummm, let me get this right....19 muslims killed 3,000 innocent Americans on our soil, and our new president is apologizing to them for being American. This makes me puke.

    Another nicely covered story by the the Obama News Network (ONN....whoops, I mean CNN)

    Thank you George Bush for keeping us safe and for doing the right thing! Imagine the world with the Taliban and Sadaam still in control along with Sadaam...YOU CANNOT NEGOTIATE OR APOLOGIZE TO TERROISTS!

    January 27, 2009 at 11:14 pm |
  3. Dana

    Obama must understand that muslims don't dislike americans. Its our government that they really can't stand.

    January 27, 2009 at 11:13 pm |
  4. Manny T

    As I read this board and the messages herein, it makes me wonder how people come to conclusions without even having left the confort and security of their native soil. I have traveled extensively including Israel and some Arab countries, and I find them extremelly civilized. The Coran states that even your enemy when he is under your roof he is under your protection and you are his keeper. The true civilized moslem (the majority of them), follow this rule and i have witness it personally. Hatred from them or from us is not the right solution, only positive talking is the only option in this dire times. Soon more arab countries will have nuclear capability and that is unavoidable. The moment to talk is now if we do not want a real mess in our hands. Remember we all share this blue sphere we call earth. For taking the initiative I commend our president, we need to talk, no more bombs and no more killing, and by the way we need to keep our noses out of other peoples bussiness. We had no bussiness being there in the first place. The russians tried it , many other tried it and it did not work. What made president Bush believe that he could be the one to conquer the arab world......Oh wait A DEVINE REVELATION..... OH well!!!!!

    January 27, 2009 at 11:07 pm |
  5. Bobby V.

    I am very proud of President Obama and I am so glad that he is our leader. He is considerate, intelligent, thoughtful, rational, logical, realistic..... he's exactly the kind of person who should be representing America to the world.

    I am also proud of most of my fellow Americans. To see so many people here responding to this interview with pride for our president... to see people recognize that he is doing an excellent job so far... makes me extremely happy and optimistic about our country's future.

    What I am disgusted by is some of the ignorance, stubbornness, and obvious denial that a few people are displaying here with their comments. I find it interesting (but sad) that there are STILL people trying to misrepresent who Obama is, trying to twist this interview into meaning something sinister or deceptive. Those few people should be ashamed of themselves, and they should know that their perspective is no longer that of the new America. We are open-minded. We are respectful of others. We are considerate. WE are America... you are not. If you aren't proud to have a president displaying the kind of characteristics that President Obama has displayed in this interview, you are not America.

    January 27, 2009 at 11:07 pm |
  6. Anjani and Rohit Kumar

    This is a emotional message for us. Today was a disappointing day. My husband is shedding tears for what is being lost by the world....rapidly.....President Obama's speech overnight created a new world – a "muslim world". Me and my husband grew up in a third world country, yes, that is what India was called when we were kids. Our teachers told us that we were from the third world. It was ok, that hurdle was crossed through economic prosperity; we learnt hard, worked harded and moved to the U.S., the first world / developed world. It was doable. But now. How does one cross religious worlds. What do we tell our kids???? – who are yet to be born! That the old imperial generation created the "first world" and the "third world" and that our generation created the "muslim world", "christian world" "hindu world"? President Obama is undoubtedly a well intentioned person. He is loved by people all over the world. Please someone tell him that world peace requires that religious segregation should not be promulgated. If the U.S. has a problem with Iran, please let him sit with the Iranians and sort it out. Muslims all over the world are not bad or terrorists or fundamentalists. India and Indonesia hold the worlds' highest muslim population. The Middle East has a high population of Americans, Europeans, South East Asians – it does not belong to Muslims. No part of this planet belongs to any religion. – the only redeemable way forward is to emphasize on "one planet" "one world"; "unity in diversity". Spread this message -for our kids, please.

    January 27, 2009 at 11:06 pm |
  7. Bill D.

    Talk is cheap and governments talking to other governments accomplishes ALMOST nothing. The people must be ready and willing to act on BOTH sides. I fear that most of the Arabic world is like some Americans, just looking for a handout. See bailouts and the epic failures they are/will be.

    January 27, 2009 at 11:06 pm |
  8. Fadwa

    I am a muslim woman and I sincerely thank Mr president. My tears start pouring when he said that muslims are normal people who seek the health and well being of their children. and that is the true, we just want to live in peace. we don't want to see our children sloughtered. Mr. president you gave the whole world a lesson in respect humbleness and wisdom. I am willing and honored to accept the friendship of American people whom I thank for electing you, and together we will defeat the sick minded crimials who kill innocent people and dystroyed the image of Isalm and muslims,as you said their thoughts are bankrupt. Your thought is the promising future for all of us.
    God Bless president Obama and God Bless American people

    January 27, 2009 at 11:05 pm |
  9. Mike

    Mylife2008, you are truly ignorant. I highly doubt you have ever read the Koran. The Islamic faith preaches acceptance of Christians and Jews. The Koran itself is supposed to be an extension of the Old and New Testaments. It is no more radical than either Testament. Have you even read the Bible? There are just as many passages that can be interpreted as hateful in both Testaments. Look at how the KKK interprets the New Testament. If you had any intelligence surpassing that of the common goldfish you might realize that there is a fundamental difference between certain groups (such as Al Queda AND the Aryan Nation) misrepresenting their books of faith and an entire people embracing hate (we'll leave that to you and your right-wing, anti-true Americans to do). By the way, I would think that you would be happy with President Obama's decision to untie the hands of our International Aid. Less unwanted and starving babies throughout the world means less of YOUR tax money going overseas to solve the problems of those countries depending on our aid.

    January 27, 2009 at 11:02 pm |
  10. Jacob DePew

    Obama means well; but he's wasting his time. Can he protect his country from terroris attackst like Bush did? We'll see. I simply cannot
    trust the Muslims after September 11th and all the madness in the
    Middle East. Is he beating a dead horse? Time will tell.

    January 27, 2009 at 10:59 pm |
  11. George

    I'm extremely proud of our president and stand by his move. We can only move forwards a peaceful and prosperous future when America strecthes out his hand to the muslim world.

    Bombing and terrorizing muslims countries, like many cronies in the west suggest, is not the option forward!

    January 27, 2009 at 10:59 pm |
  12. George

    I strongly suggest you read the Koran and become familiar with Islamic history. For those of you who say you are now proud to be an American, then move to an Islamic country, especially if you are a woman and enjoy all the rights and freedoms that environment provides. Any volunteers for the Peace Corps to go to an Islamic county and work for "peace"?
    If you are not Islamic, you are an infidel and, as such, there are no rules of engagement except what is convenient at the moment and for the individual. What makes you think they want peace? Did you ever ask what price they are asking for peace and what price we will pay? Maybe we can help them build a Muslim world too, all in the name of peace.
    I see you folks are easily impressed and critical thinking is not in vogue. How long is this Obama hangover going to last? For as long as people get drunk on fantasy and self-righteousness. Enjoy.

    January 27, 2009 at 10:57 pm |
  13. Cherise` from Gburg, PA

    Jim Fallbrook from CA,
    Where do you get your facts from? Have you met many Muslims or been to any Muslim countries to know that a whopping 85% of Muslims. Maybe you should get your facts straight before you judge other countries.
    I however do wish that President Obama had picked a better, more well known medium to make such a bold statement.

    January 27, 2009 at 10:54 pm |
  14. Anjani and Rohit Kumar

    This is a emotional message for us. Today was a disappointing day. My husband is shedding tears for what is being lost by the world....rapidly.....President Obama's speech overnight created a new world – a "muslim world". Me and my husband grew up in a third world country, yes, that is what India was called when we were kids. Our teachers told us that we were from the third world. It was ok, that hurdle was crossed through economic prosperity; we learnt hard, worked harded and moved to the U.S., the first world / developed world. It was doable. But now. How does one cross religious worlds. What do we tell our kids???? – who are yet to be born! That the old imperial generation created the "first world" and the "third world" and that our generation created the "muslim world", "christian world" "hindu world"? President Obama undoubtedly a well intentioned person. He is loved by people all over the world. Please someone tell him that world peace requires that religious segregation should not be promulgated. If the U.S. has a problem with Iran, please let him sit with the Iranians and sort it out. Muslims all over the world are not bad or terrorists or fundamentalists. India and Indonesia hold the worlds highest muslim population. The Middle East has a high polution of Americans, Europeans, South East Asians – it does not belong to Muslims. No part of this planet belongs to any religion. – the only redeemable way forward is to emphasize on "one planet" "one world"; "unity in diversity". fSpread this message -for our kids, please.

    January 27, 2009 at 10:52 pm |
  15. qabil

    It's an honour to have Mr Obama as our president. He is smart, intellectual visionary and yet very humble. He (Mr President) fully understand the global politics and that is why he has spoken to the Arab world directly on the Arabia. This is a step in the right direction. It's about time to mend our relations with not only the Muslim world but also with the Latin America.

    I fully agree with you Mr President when you said, " Two or thee dacades back America has wonderful relations with the Muslim world. Why can't we reverse that now."

    Yes indeed we can and we will.

    January 27, 2009 at 10:50 pm |
  16. james yu

    right on obama! it's a lot easier to be friends with the 1.2 billion muslims than to be enemies. now that truth is self-evident, if not common sense.

    January 27, 2009 at 10:47 pm |
  17. Logan

    One more coment,
    Muslim's human nature and religion are not naturally violent, for those who believe this. Through out the many Muslim countries and empires, there have been plenty of examples of them ruling with religious tolerance. Yes there were some, just like Christianity that forced on religion, but it is not part of their religion to kill anyone who is not a Muslim.

    January 27, 2009 at 10:45 pm |
  18. Nancy

    Funny. Obama did everything possible to deny and distance himself from his Muslim heritage, family and leanings (if not beliefs) during his campaign. Now he's "proudly" declaring it on Muslim networks. And the comments against those with opposite views to your’s, wow! Such tolerance! Interesting how far left liberals preach tolerance , love and admiration for the countries that hate us and kill us; but speak nothing but hate for anyone who does not think the way you do or are not fooled, mesmerized and drooling over every movement and every word Obama says. Be careful who you put your trust in, we’ve grown complacent in the years since 9 11, we’ve been safe, let’s not be fooled again. False idols ALWAYS have clay feet and always let you down.

    January 27, 2009 at 10:45 pm |
  19. Vincent

    President Obama is restoring America's leadership in the word at the most pressing time. He understands the damage that the previous administration has done to our country, specifically covert use of torture which will certainly stand as Bush's biggest failure. Obama in just a few days is showing what true leadership is all about.
    Well done Mr. President.

    January 27, 2009 at 10:43 pm |
  20. Michael

    The Palestinian issue must be resolved. He has the potential to change completely the way that the US deals with the rest of the world. The conduct that the US was displaying was an "old fashioned" way of doing business. It was just more of the same, like a broken record.
    President Obama spoke directly to the Arab world and spoke to them about poverty and is the way of the gun getting the results that they want?
    I think he is going to deal directly with the leaders of the the region and expose them to the population. He cannot let Israel get away with what has gone on and he will, in my humble opinion, deal evenly and fairly with both Israel and Palestine. The killing has to stop on both sides. The Palestinians have to be able to prosper and allow their people the opportunity to live a life in peace with their neighbours.

    January 27, 2009 at 10:43 pm |
  21. Deb Stroud

    OH yes Frances!!! A man with gusts!!
    hot air you mean.

    Yes we can, We can bow down to the terrorists so they can cut our heads off just like they did with Daniel Pearl.

    Roll the tape please.!!

    January 27, 2009 at 10:39 pm |
  22. Logan

    It is a shame that Obama had to put himself as far away from Muslims as possible during the elections. I do not criticize him for it, because anyone who wanted to win an election would do the same. I criticize the public as a whole for anyone who would base their votes off that. It is going to be hard for our President to make strides toward peace in the Middle East when a good portion of our nation is scared of someone for their choice in religion.

    January 27, 2009 at 10:39 pm |
  23. Hubert (South Carolina)

    President Obama doesn't seize to amaze me. Finally, a president who's open minded, intelligent, has common sense and is constructive. I'm sure the world sees those qualities as well.

    Now watch Fox News turns this story around into something that Sarah Palin Republicans will view as socialist and anti-American.

    January 27, 2009 at 10:39 pm |
  24. Dave in Georgia

    I am flush with pride at being represented by a person with both smarts and principles (a somewhat new and refreshing emotion). The choice of an arabic oriented venue to deliver a message of cooperation (not conciliation) is absolutely proper. It emphasizes the "Restart". This means talking to, and with, peoples of the world – not talking at them. The choice of Al-Arabiya was certainly a meaningful and intentional demonstration of "extending the open hand". Still, we have to hold to the ideologies (not demagogeries) that got us here. First and foremost is "of the people, by the people, for the people". When the actions that must, and will, follow this rhetoric arrive they have to be with the full force and meaning of this phrase. Democracy must be demonstrated not mandated!

    January 27, 2009 at 10:37 pm |
  25. Bonnie Crawford

    I am so proud of President Obama in reaching out not only to Muslim people but people around the globe. He's leading by example and I believe him to be a man of his word. I've traveled the world and have l life-long friends around the globe. Once you live in another country and get to know people you start thinking differently. Respect is earned as well as trust. Listening is a key component to understanding and communicating with people of other cultures. It's a good thing! I applaud his interview. Keep up the great work President Obama.

    January 27, 2009 at 10:36 pm |
  26. veronica

    You can not make peace with the muslim radicals. They don't want peace, they want cleansing... Way to go obama... just give them the keys to the pentagon. It will make it easier for them to wipe us out if they have all of our security secrets and your apology.. YBDA

    January 27, 2009 at 10:35 pm |
  27. T Abdikarim

    As a Muslim American, I am just so excited to have heard this interview. Since the last administration, I have seen a large rise in Islamophobia. I myself have been fired, assaulted, and harrased because of my faith. I feel hope now that Muslims will be seen as normal people who just want to live in peace.

    President Obama said, "...the language we use matters..." I think the language of the past administration was just as detrimental to peace as Al-Qaeda. We must strengthen the Muslim leaders and ordinary Muslims to erradicate the type of hate coming from terrorists.

    I pray for success in spreading peace. In a global society, global peace is needed for homeland security; President Obama has recognized this. Goodbye to old politics.

    I am so proud to have been born and raised in America!! God bless the USA!

    January 27, 2009 at 10:34 pm |
  28. Sarfaraz Khan

    I personally congratulate to Mr. President for giving his first Arab Channel TV interview that show his courage, understanding and leadership as a superpower to the other world. People in america and other nations must need to understand that NOT every muslim is a terrorist or USA enemy. There are some extremist in muslim religion that have used and abused this religion and interpreted wrong. None of the muslims whether in USA or any part of the world did not ever supported for those extremist calls. Think of millions of peace loving muslims that have been living in US for many generation. Are they terrorists? Of course not. I hope people in US or around the world once again become friends of muslims and treat them with respect. Amen.

    January 27, 2009 at 10:32 pm |
  29. Craig

    Jim from Fallbrook. I find your ignorant comments depressing and a reflection of the ethnocentric views of too many Americans. Could you show me the data used to calculate your percentages of uncivilized Muslims. You should judge people on their actions not on your prejudices of other religions.

    January 27, 2009 at 10:32 pm |
  30. Stewart in Charlotte, NC

    "At Last" was the perfect song to kick of this time of change. It will be a great thing when Americans no longer have to hear the misplaced slogan "War on Terror", a slogan that extremists love to combat. How about "Protecting the Peace" instead.....

    Extending a hand in peace shows our true strength, lessons our enemies resolve and recruitment, and makes us more friends than enemies.

    My favorite President in the last 50 years was The Great Communicator – after eight years, our friends list had grown greatly, and enemies list shrunk significantly. It appears we may be able to achieve some of that goodwill again.

    January 27, 2009 at 10:29 pm |
  31. sammy

    Our president is about to show his true "openmindedness" and begin to make friends with all of these arab countries. America, whether we like it or not, whether we wanto be an enemy of ther arab world or not,we are. According to the muslim belief we are all infidals, and although not every muslim believes in that idea, most do. They want us either to convert to their religion or wipe us out!!! Just think a few years back when muslims were storming into Isreal daily and blowing their own bodys up killing innocent men, woman and children!!! Most of them are animilistic human beings and im sure all of them truly believe in the same violent ideas deep down. If theres any change our new muslim president is going to make, is a change for the good of the muslim world not us Americans. I pray this doesnt happen and the American people realize who and what our president is all about. NOTHING.

    January 27, 2009 at 10:29 pm |
  32. Robert Chase

    An excellent start to rebuilding the image of the US. By taking the offensive, President Obama put the ball in their court. He has offered new hope to move forward without appearing weak. I am proud of our new President!

    January 27, 2009 at 10:28 pm |
  33. Lou Hooper

    On the topic of Pres. Obama’s interview with Al-Arabiya TV – Only a Liberal President would think that a few symbolic words would have any effect on changing the Arab worlds view on destroying America. Only our future actions will change the poor attitudes toward the US. And most all Arab countries believe "might is right", or they wouldn't be chanting "death to America" But we're sure to see and hear a lot more of symbolism over substance as the Obama years progress.

    January 27, 2009 at 10:28 pm |
  34. Pat

    What a smart move on the part of President Obama. I hope and pray he can bring peace to the Middle East.

    January 27, 2009 at 10:27 pm |
  35. larissa

    Wonderful. I'm not Muslim, but I have many Muslim friends. This is a breath of fresh air to thousands – Muslim and non-Muslim alike. I love that he is so open and honest; and his precision, clarity and discernment couldn't be more timely. Thank you President Obama.

    January 27, 2009 at 10:27 pm |
  36. Joe

    I am shocked at how much I like the president, so far. Keep talking, sir, to everyone.

    January 27, 2009 at 10:26 pm |
  37. Jamell in the ATL

    I've listened to him. I've understood what he has said. His actions are fitting to what he has spoken about. He is using common sense and that in and of itself is change. Historically politicians have not looked out for the people of this nation. In my opinion it has been about self gain and prosperity. The office of President should he held by someone that is not of a selfish nature and looks to the greater good for the country. I must say that I have a very good feeling about President Obama. I just hope and pray that we can fight off the downward spiral long enough for his new policies to take hold and start to reverse some of the damage that has been done. Keep in mind that we all are at risk of loosing our jobs, homes and savings if things do not change. That kind of loss does not discriminate against color or religion. So I urge you all to stay positive and to uplift one another. We will get through these times as a people united. With that said I hope to see you all in better times. May god bless you all and keep you safe. Mr. President, I would like to thank you and I pray that you stay the course in getting us back into shape. We have been great and still have the means to be great. Bring the jobs back to our soil so that we can get things moving in the right direction for all. This is an absolute must. Common sense thinking will bring back common good for us all.

    January 27, 2009 at 10:22 pm |
  38. Binh Tran

    An old saying: It is wiser to have one more friend than an enemy. We won't have peace if we have so many enemies. Good work President Obama.

    January 27, 2009 at 10:21 pm |
  39. Abdul Khalid

    I am proud to have Mr Obama as our president.

    January 27, 2009 at 10:20 pm |
  40. SK Las Vegas

    President Obama showed that we Americans have to step up and be an example for the world, and thats what he did. He is starting off in a right direction and i hope it can help save us all from the mess the Bush Administration put us in

    January 27, 2009 at 10:20 pm |
  41. RJ

    Mr President is getting things right. The swearing in ceremony was a fine example. He is being politically aware and appropriate. Politics is the science of running a country not acting out petty emotional differences and flaunting your brightest colors.

    There is every possibility for him to get a lot done not because he is first black president or 44th or any other happy co-incidence but because he wants to understand and deliver something effective.

    The middle east is a fine litmus test of his character, there are many more to come. We all cant be republicans, we all cant be democrats but we all can be humans and appreciate a fellow human's promise of change.

    January 27, 2009 at 10:18 pm |
  42. Sarah

    Finally a president that does not make us look like a bunch of "ignorant conservatives". We are cultured and differeniate between a terrorist and an Arab. I have lots of Arab friends and they are so much different from what our media protrays to us.

    I hope this is the beginning to a new world and to a great America

    January 27, 2009 at 10:17 pm |
  43. Rob

    Now lets see if we get positive reaction from the muslim world, like condemning all those terrorist groups. I don't think we will. The USA was the last power in the world fighting the untrustworthy muslims. Soon we will have the same domestic problems as most of europe, where muslims are slowly taking over. Hopefully the American people will never let that happen.

    January 27, 2009 at 10:11 pm |
  44. Aaron - PA

    "It is a well known fact that 85% of muslims are not civilized."

    Jim Fallbrook from CA, are you honestly that ignorant? Are you that stupid to insult over 1 billion people in one shot? YOU are part of the reason the muslim world hates us right now. Your ignorance and your xenophobia is why the muslim world hates us.

    How about getting with the program so we can have a little bit more peace in this world?

    January 27, 2009 at 10:10 pm |
  45. yvon

    jim Fallbrook, if america is 99% civilized then you must represent the 1%... it still amazes me when I find people who believe in the way you do.. you are just feeding the hatred and I'm glad Obama is leading.. he is civilized and america will earn that title again

    January 27, 2009 at 10:10 pm |
  46. Diana

    I 'm so glad that Obama is president. For all you nasayers, at least he's trying to solve problems and communicate with the world. It's a helluva alot better then what we're used to. I finally feel proud to be called an American. Diana

    January 27, 2009 at 10:09 pm |
  47. Zoester

    To Jim:

    He's not muslim. Please do your research before you make accusation like that. But what if he was, it shouldn't matter. He's our President.

    January 27, 2009 at 10:09 pm |
  48. Ray

    I admire president Obama for reaching out to the Muslim world. I truly wish they will respect him the same way. This is our chance to show the world and America that not all the Muslims are haters (they are only hand full who are bad). I also wish the media also stop putting us on the edge. How about showing a video of a Muslim who just save someone life?

    January 27, 2009 at 10:08 pm |
  49. David

    New Yorker & Lee:

    "Mr. Obama goes to Al-Arabiya" is a play on "Mr. Smith goes to Washington." It's not a slight against the president.

    January 27, 2009 at 10:06 pm |
  50. Bravo

    I sincerely hope that the Muslim world will follow this Obama example of openness and freedom; and open up to allow converts from Islam to other religion follow their hearts and worship in other faith backgrounds of their choosng, other than Islam. If only they know the connection of Judaism, Christianity and Islam to one father – Abraham!!!

    January 27, 2009 at 10:04 pm |
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