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14 July 2009 

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Tension Marks US-Muslim Relations


14 July 2009

Since President Obama's inauguration speech, and especially after his Cairo address to the Muslim world, Muslims around the world have been waiting for concrete steps to improve U.S.-Muslim relations. A group of scholars, diplomats and American-Muslim leaders are recommending practical steps to achieve that goal.

President Obama took a step toward mending U.S. relations with the Muslim world with his speech in Cairo
President Obama took a step toward mending U.S. relations with the Muslim world with his speech in Cairo
Since the September 11th attacks, U.S. relations with the Muslim world have been tense, with a rise in anti-American sentiment on one side and rhetoric linking Islam with terrorism on the other.

President Obama's speech to the Muslim world called for a new beginning based on mutual respect and mutual interest.

"So long as our relationship is defined by our differences, we will empower those who sow hatred rather than peace and who promote conflict rather than the cooperation that can help all of our people achieve justice and prosperity," the president said.

President Obama said he will fight the stereotyping of Muslims.

Professor Shaun Casey says Obama's speech drew a distinction between the vast majority of Muslims and violent extremists
Professor Shaun Casey says Obama's speech drew a distinction between the vast majority of Muslims and violent extremists
Shaun Casey is professor of Christian ethics at Wesley Theological Seminary in Washington. He says the president already started in Cairo.

"The president said in his speech that violent extremists represent only a tiny fraction of the Muslim world, and I think that is the distinction that he needs to make," Casey says. "He needs to avoid somehow feeding the stereotype that all Muslims are terrorists, and he needs to spend a lot of energy educating the American public on that distinction and those facts."

There are more than 1,000 mosques and Islamic centers in the United States, serving between five and seven million Muslims.

Amr Ramadan, of the Egyptian Embassy in Washington, says politics, not religion, are the source of tension between the United States and Muslims
Amr Ramadan, of the Egyptian Embassy in Washington, says politics, not religion, is the source of tension between the United States and Muslims
Amr Ramadan is deputy chief of mission at the Egyptian Embassy in Washington. He says tensions between the Muslim world and the United States are not religious but political.

Muslims, he says, are waiting for President Obama to take steps to solve the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. He says the president's approach requires improving the dialogue between Muslims and non-Muslims.

"One very positive consequence after the speech in Cairo is that many Christians in America are engaging with American Muslims and trying to talk more on religious and cultural issues. We have seen that starting."

Nihad Awad is executive director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations. He says President Obama should speak out against anti-Muslim rhetoric and discrimination against Muslims.

"We should have [a] clear stance by the U.S. government and intellectual leaders to fight against Islamophobia and anti-Muslim discrimination that has been rampant after 9/11."

Singer Youssef Islam, once known as Cat Stevens, was barred from the United States for a time
Singer Youssef Islam, once known as Cat Stevens, was barred from the United States for a time
Muslim activists, like pop star Youssef Islam, once known as Cat Stevens, have been barred from the United States, although recently Islam was admitted.

Awad says U.S. visa policies should be changed to allow Muslim intellectuals and business leaders to travel to America without fear of harassment at points of entry.

Awad notes that President Obama cannot act alone and Congress must help to fix the damage done to U.S.-Muslim relations over the past several years.



Comments:

1. Quoting Nihad Awad

CAIR's Nihad Awad - historical supporter of Hamas terrorist group: "I am in support of the Hamas movement" http://www.investigativeproject.org/223/cairs-awad-in-support-of-the-hamas-movement
Submitted by: Jeffrey Imm (USA)
07-15-2009 - 03:46:23

2. Islam is the problem.

The US is not the problem, Muslims and Islam are. They cause the same problems everywhere they go and than cry victim. It is time to end all their immigration. Michigan:Muslim Mob Surrounds and Attacks Christians~Video http://islaminaction08.blogspot.com/2009/07/michiganmuslim-mob-surrounds-and.html
Submitted by: Christopher (USA)
07-14-2009 - 22:41:01

3. Beware of CAIR

The FBI has declared the Council on American-Islamic Relations to be a Front Group created for Hamas. Nothing Nihad Awad says or does should be considered in the best interest of American Muslims - they only care for what they can do to promote the interests of a terrorist group. CAIR cares not for the American Constitution, except to crush it under the weight of Sharia.
Submitted by: dre (usa)
07-14-2009 - 21:43:24

4. America-muslim relation

Obama's actions have reduced suspicion that muslims had for america.he needs to demonstrate his respect for human right,fairness and justice between israel and palestine.never should america allow bush to occupy whitehouse.may God protect obama for the world
Submitted by: Pharm bashir yusuf (Nigeria)
07-14-2009 - 16:59:50

5. Have to be very careful

I understand President Obama's kindness and strategy to conciliate all groups. And I think that harmony will only descend on the earth by conciliation and compromise finally. But there is some precondition that all groups involved should share the same goodwill, otherwise it might be disasters for some innocent people. Have a look at the western part of China, some favoured ethnical group are never satiable. They do not work for their happiness as wished. They do not want to improve themselves by education as encouraged. What can you do with these people? I have to say maybe that their background or environment prohibit them for good changes. So you have to wait for a change in their innermost minds. So be careful when dealing with the touchy problem which lingered for centuries.
Submitted by: Jerry Sun (China)
07-14-2009 - 16:36:22

 
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