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Goodwill on a collision course with hostility.

Reader comment on item: Obama, "Respect" and Muslims
in response to reader comment: Ah - the mutual respect!!!

Submitted by Peter Herz (United States), Feb 6, 2009 at 15:06

Oh, what times in which we live! I write as a Republican who is sincerely offering prayers for the Obama administration!

Obama probably sincerely wishes a rapprochement with the Islamic world, and sincerely wants to back away from a stance of confrontation. Unfortunately, Dubya Bush also wanted peace with the Islamic world, and tried to take aim only at Al-Qaeda and those who expressed hostility towards the USA in those days after 09/11/01--and said quite plainly that we were not at war with Islam per se. Indeed, it was on Dubya Bush's watch that the USA mended fences with Libya; and during which problems between the USA and Turkey were entirely on Turkey's side (the USA never ceased viewing Turkey as an ally and continued to support her entry into the EU). Further, I have seen nary a peep from the younger Bush's administration supporting Communist CHina's suppression of Muslims in places like Yunnan, Qinghai, Gansu, Ningxia, Henan, and other Chinese provinces where they live; I have heard nary a peep of an apology to the Serbs for supporting Bosna and Kosova from the Bush administration. Indeed, it was with the help of US troops that Iraqi Shi'ites were able to reclaim hundreds of thousands of their dead whom Sodom Hussein made to disappear in anonymous mass graves.

Herein hangs a tail for the Obama administration: we may desire peace and see nothing wrong with America having a vibrant Muslim community, but it is clear that people like al-Qaeda, Hamas, the Iranian mullahs, Sadr, and others will still see us as the Great Shaitan as much for who we are as for what we say and do. Indeed, such folks probably hate the idea of Muslims and non-Muslims sharing mutually acceptable food at a party more than they hate the thought of the IDF pushing all of the Gaza Strip into the Med.

I am a little heartened that the look on Obama's face after his first intelligence briefing seemed to be that of somone suddenly sobered up. Maybe he now knows that it takes two to make peace, just as it takes two to tangle, and that a US charm offensive will not be enough.

Jaladhi, your points on the bad old days are well-taken.

I write as a Christian who has often prayed that God will spare us inter-civilizational war (of the sort prophesied by the late Samuel Huntington), for I love grace and peace rather than punitive judgment (in Christianity, the salvation given in the death of Jesus the Messiah is also a vicarious judgment on those who believe, whereby the righteous one took on the sins of the unrighteousness) and war and war--itself, I believe, a dreadful providential judgment. Yet so far, I believe that God is probably still telling me "no" (His right)--and I fear that the Obama administration may have to wake up to the same mournful conclusion that I have (may I be proven wrong).

Submitting....

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Note: Opinions expressed in comments are those of the authors alone and not necessarily those of Daniel Pipes. Original writing only, please. Comments are screened and in some cases edited before posting. Reasoned disagreement is welcome but not comments that are scurrilous, off-topic, commercial, disparaging religions, or otherwise inappropriate. For complete regulations, see the "Guidelines for Reader Comments".

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