New York Times, January 27, 2009:
In an interview broadcast Tuesday on one of the Middle East’s major news channels, President Obama struck a conciliatory tone toward the Islamic world, saying he wanted to persuade Muslims that “the Americans are not your enemy.” He also said the moment was ripe for negotiations between Israelis and Palestinians.George W. Bush, September 20, 2001:
The interview with Al Arabiya, an Arabic-language channel based in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, signaled a shift — in style and manner, at least — from the Bush administration, with Mr. Obama offering what he depicted as a new readiness to listen rather than to dictate.
I also want to speak tonight directly to Muslims throughout the world. We respect your faith. It's practiced freely by many millions of Americans and by millions more in countries that America counts as friends. Its teachings are good and peaceful.MORE:
Charles Krauthammer in the January 30th Washington Post:
Look. If Barack Obama wants to say, as he said to al-Arabiya, I have Muslim roots, Muslim family members, have lived in a Muslim country -- implying a special affinity that uniquely positions him to establish good relations -- that's fine. But it is both false and deeply injurious to this country to draw a historical line dividing America under Obama from a benighted past when Islam was supposedly disrespected and demonized.(via Best of the Web)
As in Obama's grand admonition: "We cannot paint with a broad brush a faith as a consequence of the violence that is done in that faith's name." Have "we" been doing that, smearing Islam because of a small minority? George W. Bush went to the Islamic Center in Washington six days after the Sept. 11 attacks, when the fires of Ground Zero were still smoldering, to declare "Islam is peace," to extend fellowship and friendship to Muslims, to insist that Americans treat them with respect and generosity of spirit.