December 04, 2008

Obama Policy Speech In Muslim World?

Well, that is the word out of the New York Times. The newly elected president wants to give such a speech sometime in the first hundred days of his term -- possibly in Cairo

President-elect Barack Obama’s aides say he is considering making a major foreign policy speech from an Islamic capital during his first 100 days in office.

So where should he do it? The list of Islamic world capitals is long, and includes the obvious —Riyadh, Kuwait City, Islamabad — and the not-so-obvious — Male (the Maldives), Ouagadougou (Burkina Faso), Tashkent (Uzbekistan). Some wise-guys have even suggested Dearborn, Mich., as a possibility.

Clearly it would be cheating for Mr. Obama to fly to Detroit, talk to Dearborn’s 30,000 Arab residents and call it a day. And Male and Ouagadougou, while certainly majority Muslim, can’t really be what Mr. Obama’s aides have in mind when they talk about locales for a high-profile speech that would seek to mend rifts between the United States and the broader Muslim world.

In other words, look for a kow-tow. The dhimmification of America will be in full swing with such a speech. After all, these are folks who aren’t happy with the fact that the US dared to strike back against al-Qaeda after 9/11. These are folks who aren’t happy that the US dared to remove Saddam Hussein from power after multiple violations of UN resolutions and the brutal oppression of his people. These are the folks who are unhappy about our support for Israel. These are thepeople who want our civil liberties and human rights be curtailed lest they be offended by the free expression of non-Islamic views. How do we “mend rifts” with those who insist that we have been wrong to defend ourselves, oppose dictatorship, support our allies, and live in freedom without repudiating things that are quintessentially American?

But if Obama is going to a Muslim capital to speak, he ought to carry a message of freedom. He ought to speak out against authoritarianism and oppression, and in favor of democracy and liberty. He ought to speak out on behalf of women who are relegated to subservience in much of the Muslim world. He ought to call for full respect for the rights and dignity of non-Muslims in the Muslim world, including freedom of speech and religion. What’s more, he ought to speak out against the application of sharia law to those who Islam calls apostates due to their decision to reject Islam in favor of another faith or none at all.

And should Barack Obama be so courageous and honorable as to give such a speech in the Muslim world, it ought to be given in the Saudi Arabian capital of Riyadh, in the presence of the ruler who is also custodian of the holiest sites in Islam. After all, the only terms on which America can legitimately mend the rifts that exist are those that echo the clarion call of freedom that is central to our founding documents – and one which offers no apology for exercising, protecting, and promoting the inalienable rights with which we are endowed by our Creator.

H/T Don Surber (who proposes the speech be in Baghdad), Hot Air (Ed would like Mumbai, but would settle for Dubai), Commentary's Contentions (where Abe Greenwald notes that Obama's "ability to move mountains by speechifying hit its career high exactly one month ago, when it got him elected President of the United States of America.")

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