Monday, December 15, 2008

What Will Obama's Message Be To The Muslim World?

Amir Taheri notes that Obama's current plan to speak at "a major address in an Islamic capital" comes on the heels of previous plans--convening a White House summit with Muslim leaders and attending the Islamic Summit Conference, convened once every three years.

The question that remains is: what is the message?
"The message I want to send is that we will be unyielding in stamping out the terrorist extremism we saw in Mumbai," Obama told The Chicago Tribune last Tuesday.
Taheri draws attention to the fact that of all possible terrorist attacks to use as an example, Obama does not refer to one of the numerous Islamist attacks carried out against Western targets.

Likewise, Taheri notes, Obama makes reference to "terrorist extremism," as opposed to "Islamic" or "Islamist" terrorism.
The reason, of course, is his desire not to ruffle Muslim feathers. And herein lies the fundamental weakness of his position.

If the terrorism we saw on 9/11 and many other occasions has nothing to do with Islam, then why bring up the issue with Muslim leaders rather than Buddhist monks? Alternately, if this type of terrorism does have Islamic roots, why not give it its proper designation?
Taheri frames the issue in stark terms:
To be sure, not all Muslims are terrorists. But virtually all terrorists are Muslims.

...What Obama ignores is that Islamic terrorism isn't limited to suicide attacks against the "infidel"; it also comes in the form of terrorizing ordinary Muslim citizens into conformity with rites and rules that should have no place in a civilized society.

The vast majority of the victims of Islamic terrorism are Muslims. They would resent an American leader who tries to ignore or relativize the broader reality of Islamic terrorism in the name of political correctness.

His election victory has no doubt left Obama very confident in his powers of persuasion. Perhaps he figures that will be enough to turn around both America's image and the situation in general in the Middle East. 

Maybe, but considering recent events that have plagued Obama even before taking office it should become clear how ephermal mere charisma can be.

Technorati Tag: .

No comments: