This past Thursday, at approximately 1:30 pm Cairo time President Barack Obama achieved something no other president before him ever did. In a speech directed at healing relations between the US and the Muslim world, Obama quoted the Koran on several occasions, calling it “holy” and showing respect for Islam by saying “may peace be upon them” when speaking of Abraham, Jesus, and Mohammad.
Obama touched upon many points , including Muslim extremisim, Women’s Rights, and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, however the center of his message was clear: The United States is open for dialogue between nations so long as they are democratic, peaceful, and do no harm to their citizens. Furthermore, he made a clear distinction between the vast majority of middle-eastern Muslims who seek peaceful discourse, and the “small but potent” minority of violent extremists who have sought to exploit them.
“The sweeping change brought by modernity and globalization led many Muslims to view the West as hostile to the traditions if Islam.” he explained, “Violent extremists have exploited these tensions.”