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“For over a thousand years, Al-Azhar has stood as a beacon of Islamic learning; and for over a century, Cairo University has been a source of Egypt's advancement.”
A beacon of learning? What advancements have come out of Islam? The only thing I can think of is the advancement of barbarism from rape, pillage and plunder to high tech explosives – good job.
“time of GREAT TENSION BETWEEN the UNITED STATES and MUSLIMS around the world — tension ROOTED IN HISTORICAL FORCES that go beyond any current policy debate. The relationship between Islam and the West includes centuries of coexistence and cooperation, but also conflict and religious wars. More recently, tension has been fed by colonialism that denied rights and opportunities to many Muslims, and a Cold War in which Muslim-majority countries were too often treated as proxies without regard to their own aspirations. Moreover, the sweeping change brought by modernity and many Muslims to view the West as hostile to the traditions of Islam.”
This whole paragraph does not make sense. What historical forces cause great tensions between United States and Muslims? Putting aside the fact that Islam destroyed some of the greatest cultures in history, in what context did the United States participate in colonialism of Muslim countries? What case is the president talking about U.S. using Muslim countries as proxies during the cold war? Is he talking about when Jimmy Carter DIDN’T back the Shaw of Iran, when he should have, that brought these fanatics to power? If that is the case, then that is a sin of omission rather than injecting our influence through a proxy. Also, if that is the example of an American proxy, then we really suck at the proxy business.
To lump the US with the “west” with treatment of Muslim countries is just flat out wrong. Is he speaking for the US or for the whole west? If I was a European country, I would be deeply offended by his condemnation and arrogance to speak on their behalf; good job – irritate our allies while appeasing those that want to kill us.
“Violent extremists have exploited these tensions in a small but potent minority of Muslims. The attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, and the continued efforts of these extremists to engage in violence against civilians has led some in my country to view Islam as inevitably hostile not only to America and Western countries, but also to human rights. All this has bred more fear and more mistrust.”
What tensions is he talking about that precipitated unprovoked attacks on the US for more than a decade? There is no moral equivalency with the supposed proxy actions of the US and the direct acts of war directed against Americans in the name of Islam. To use only Sep 11th as a point of reference is just wrong again: direct attacks have gone on for a decade and over two decades if you include Lebanon and the American embassy hostages.
“So long as our relationship is defined by our differences, we will empower those who sow hatred rather than peace, those who promote conflict rather than the cooperation that can HELP ALL OF OUR PEOPLE ACHIEVE JUSTICE AND PROSPERITY. And this CYCLE OF SUSPICION and discord must end. “
Again, the moral equivalency by which he compares the American culture to the Muslim is puzzling. What does he mean when he says that “cooperation that can help ALL of our people achieve justice?” What does that mean? Who is he talking to and about what?
“I've come here to Cairo to seek a new beginning between the United States and Muslims around the world, one based on mutual interest and mutual respect, and one based upon the truth that America and Islam are not exclusive and need not be in competition. Instead, they overlap, and share common principles — principles of justice and progress; tolerance and the dignity of all human beings.”
American culture based of freedom and Islam based on subjugation are not exclusive? Are you kidding me? Does the president believe in the American culture or Islamic culture? In every case where Muslims have taken over a country or grown to significant numbers to wield influence in a country, esp a democracy, they sowed the seeds of discord, competition and violence. And again, where is the moral equivalency between the U.S. and Islam with regards to the “principles of justice…progress; tolerance and dignity?” If this wasn’t so serious, it could be a comedy sketch.
“As a student of history, I also know civilization's debt to Islam. It was Islam — at places like Al-Azhar — that carried the light of learning through so many centuries, paving the way for Europe's Renaissance and Enlightenment. It was innovation in Muslim communities — (applause) — it was innovation in Muslim communities that developed the order of algebra; our magnetic compass and tools of navigation; our mastery of pens and printing; our understanding of how disease spreads and how it can be healed. Islamic culture has given us majestic arches and soaring spires; timeless poetry and cherished music; elegant calligraphy and places of peaceful contemplation. And throughout history, Islam has demonstrated through words and deeds the possibilities of religious tolerance and racial equality.”
If he is a student of history, then he didn’t learn very much history or his history is different from mine. If one is to be honest, there is NO WAY, Islam can be said to have “Paved the way for Europe’s Renaissance and Enlightenment” – NO WAY! If anything, the onslaught of Islam conquering southern Europe, including Spain, wasted resources for its defense that could have gone towards further “enlightenment.” Everyone continues to give Islam credit for our Arabic number system, which is also bogus. Our number system actually comes from the Indian Hindu culture – NOT Islam. The magnetic compass? Well… that as a Chinese invention. The majestic architecture be talks about came from conquered southern Europe and Russia and spread to the middle east; Islam didn’t invent that either - they just take credit for it. All these things happened in the so called Islamic golden years where the Ottoman empire conquered and destroyed great cultures such as the Greek and Byzantine empires. The great philosophies, reasoning, and technologies of these cultures was so strong that it lasted for centuries after they were conquered. The real effect of Islam is to look at these cultures today and see what an extended period of Islam has done for them. In my opinion, it has been more like a disease than “paving the way for enlightenment.” Another test: Tell me… what great doctors have come from Islam? Name me one great scientist, just one, to come from Islam in a 1000 years. Where is there an example of Islamic humanitarian aid to those that are not Muslim? Where is this enlightenment?
“I worked in Chicago communities where many found dignity and peace in their Muslim faith.”
What dignity and peace is he talking about? Chicago has already sowed the seeds of terrorism in the US. Several Islamic extremist have been tied to south Chicago. Also, the extremist rhetoric and acts of the Nation of Islam, including extremist leaders such as Elijah Muhammad, Malcom X, and Louis Farrakhan.
“America, but its promise exists for all who come to our shores — and that includes nearly 7 million American Muslims in our country today who, by the way, enjoy incomes and educational levels that are higher than the American average.”
7 million Muslims in America?! I don’t think so, at best maybe 3 million.
“Moreover, freedom in America is indivisible from the freedom to practice one's religion.”
This sentence is a non- sequiture: your either free or not free; freedom can not be divided by itself.
“Over seven years ago, the United States pursued al-Qaida and the Taliban with broad international support. We did not go by choice; we went because of necessity.”
Again, another nonsensical statement: of course we had a choice. Jimmy Carter had a CHOICE and chose not to act and we are still reaping the repercussions of that bad CHOICE.
“And that's why we're partnering with a coalition of 46 countries. And despite the costs involved, America's commitment will not weaken.”
Was this taken from one of George Bush’s speeches? Why hasn’t the media jumped all over it like they did president Bush?
“The Holy Quran teaches that whoever kills an innocent is as — it is as if he has killed all mankind.”
Sounds good but…Wow… this was taken out of context. I pulled out my Kuran and turned to verse 005-032: “On that account: We ordained for the children of Israel that if anyone slew a person – unless it be for murder or for spreading mischief in the land – It would be as if he slew the whole people: and if anyone saved a life, it would be as if he saved the life of the whole people…”
Interestingly, he left off the next verse that is used by terrorist to justify religiously killing innocent people worldwide that puts his quote in context: 005-033,034. “The punishment of those who wage war against Allah and His Messenger, and strive with might and main for mischief thorough the land is: execution, or crucifixion, or the cutting off of hands and feet, from opposite sides, or exile from the land…Except for those who repent before they fall into your power; In that case, know that Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.” Shorthand: you either submit to our way and receive mercy or we can justify doing whatever we want to you. And while taking the first verse out of context, the president states further, “Islam is not part of the problem in combating violent extremism — it is an important part of promoting peace.” This is the religion of peace that he quotes from…wow, just wow.
“Let me also address the issue of Iraq... I also believe that events in Iraq have reminded America of the need to use diplomacy and build international consensus to resolve our problems whenever possible."
President Obama is way out of line with this statement. UN resolution after UN resolution was directed to Iraq since they invaded Kuwait. The final UN resolution that authorized the use of force consensus came after years of trying diplomatically to bring Sadaam into compliance. All this failed and either we need to dissolve the UN and kick it out of New York (not a bad idea on second thought) or follow through with the mandates. We can agree or disagree on the wisdom of invading Iraq but this is extremely irresponsible to imply that the US acted as a rogue nation with regards to Iraq – simply wrong.
“And finally, just as America can never tolerate violence by extremists, we must never alter or forget our principles. Nine-eleven was an enormous trauma to our country. The fear and anger that it provoked was understandable, but in some cases, it led us to act contrary to our traditions and our ideals. We are taking concrete actions to change course. I have unequivocally prohibited the use of torture by the United States, and I have ordered the prison at Guantanamo Bay closed by early next year.”
FORGET OUR principles, traditions, and ideals?!? What is he talking about? Again, he is cementing in the mind and justifying the actions of those that want to harm by telling them that we torture people as a matter of practice. This is not only wrong but obscene for any leader of our country to say such a thing. Furthermore, what does this so called torture have to do with forgetting our principles, traditions and ideals?
To be honest with you, Lynn… this whole speech is crap and I got tired of even reading it much less commenting on it. It’s Anti-American rhetoric only to win favor of people who want to destroy our culture. Am I the only one who gets the feeling that these speeches are auditions and he that he is paving a way for some type of “speaker for the world” position. These speeches are so inaccurate and illogical that its kind of surreal watching them.
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