Decades before JFK spoke to Germany in German, Roosevelt did something similar during WWII.
|Franklin Delano Roosevelt addressing Americans during
fireside chat. He also addressed the Muslim world in an
Arabic letter. Government photo.
Daniel Pipes writes that in October 1942, FDR Addresses the Arabs, sending an appeal in Arabic to the Muslim world in Arabic. The British forces had just succeeded in stopping Hitler's Afrika Korps, giving the Allies hope that they could successfully keep Germany out of the Middle East. In an effort to take advantage of this and win Muslim favor, Roosevelt sent the following message:
Read the whole thing for Pipes' background information and analysis.
Praise be unto the only God. In the name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful. O ye Moslems. O ye beloved sons of the Maghreb. May the blessing of God be upon you.
This is a great day for you and us, for all the sons of Adam who love freedom. Our numbers are as the leaves on the forest tress and as the grains of sand in the sea.
Behold. We the American Holy Warriors have arrived. We have come here to fight the great Jihad of Freedom.
We have come to set you free. We have sailed across the great sea in many ships, on many beaches we are landing, and our fighters swarm across the sands and into the city streets, and into the wide country sides, and along the highways.
Light fires on the hilltops; shout from your housetops, and from the high places, and say the sound of the drum be heard in the land, and the ululation of the women, and the voices even of small children.
Assemble along the highways to welcome your brothers.
We have come to set you free.
Speak with our fighting men and you will find them pleasing to the eye and gladdening to the heart. We are not as some other Christians whom ye have known, and who trample you under foot. Our soldiers consider you as their brothers, for we have been reared in the way of free men. Our soldiers have been told about your country and about their Moslem brothers and they will treat you with respect and with a friendly spirit in the eyes of God.
Look in their eyes and smiling faces, for they are Holy Warriors happy in their holy work. Greet us therefore as brothers as we will greet you, and help us.
If we are thirsty, show us the way to water. If we lose our way, lead us back to our camping places. Show us the paths over the mountains if need be, and if you see our enemies, the Germans or Italians, making trouble for us, kill them with knives or with stones or with any other weapon that you may have set your hands upon.
Help us as we have come to help you, and rich will be the reward unto us all who love justice and righteousness and freedom.
Pray for our success in battle, and help us, and God will help us both.
Lo, the day of freedom hath come.
May God grant his blessing upon you and upon us.
No, this definitely wasn't a fireside chat.
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