On the Path of Mutual Understanding

Addressing the Muslim world for the first time after taking over the responsibilities of his position, American President Barack Obama has said that America is not an enemy of the Muslim World.

During his inaugural speech too, he had mentioned about improving relations with the Muslim world on the basis of ‘’understanding’’, but now he has addressed the Muslim world in particular and for this he has chosen the Arabic T.V. channel, through which he has tried to convince them that he wants to change the Muslim world’s perception of America.

He further said that due to some misunderstandings, the Muslims have a biased view of America which, though right to a certain extent has been aggravated because of the sorrow, anger and hatred that the Muslims feel.

This shows that he realizes that the anger and hatred of Muslims is not misplaced and their legitimate grievances must be done away with.

He also realizes that America cannot march forward by ignoring the Muslim world nor can it become a leader by alienating them. It is necessary to pay special attention to the Muslim world in order to relieve their anger and hatred and establish world peace.

He is also aware of the way Muslim world issues were handled by his predecessor and wants to undo the damage and improve relations.

During his interview with arabic T.V. channel, he mentioned that relations between America and the Muslim world can be established as well as maintained on the basis of equality.

He accepted that America had committed grave mistakes as no one in this world is perfect, but it is time now to rectify the wrongs done. He expressed his wish to have friendly relations with the Muslim world based on equality and mutual respect.

He further stated that America is a well wisher of the Muslim world and does not want destruction and devastation but wishes to march forward together with them on the road to progress. He also emphasized his appreciation and respect for the Muslim world.

Giving his own example, he spoke specifically about his ties with his Muslim family and how he spent his childhood in Indonesia which is a Muslim country. He has travelled to many Muslim countries and found that every community has its own values and aspirations which need to be respected.

Through all this, he tried to give the impression that he is aware of the perceptions of the Muslim world and reiterated his point that America is not an enemy of the Muslim World but wishes to walk the path of understanding.

Now is the time for Mr. Obama to prove by his deeds that he really wishes to improve relations on the basis of equality and understanding.

Sehroza DAWAT, 01 feb 2009 Editorial Translated by: salma nazir, riyadh

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