[Al-Arabiya, Unlited Arab Emirates]



Izvestia, Russia

Russia Can Help Obama With Muslims


"In the United States, out of a population of 305 million, there are 7 million Muslims; whereas of the 142 million Russians, there are about 20 million Muslims. Russia has tremendous experience dealing with Islam - both good and bad - and that must be exploited to the fullest."


By Malor Stuorua


Translated By Yekaterina Blinova


June 8, 2009


Russia - Izvestia - Original Article (Russian)

President Obama makes his case in Cairo: One reaction from the Muslim street is that Islamic leaders ought to show the same dedication to their own people as Obama does to Americans.


EGYPTIAN TV: President Obama delivers his long-awaited speech to the Muslim world, June 4, 00:55:45RealVideo

"East is east, and West is west, and never the twain shall meet," wrote the great bard of the British Empire, Rudyard Kipling. Last week, U.S. President Barack Obama decided that they shall "meet," and left Washington for Cairo, which is considered an unofficial capitol of the Arab world. There he delivered a speech conceived on the banks of the Potomac as a peace overture to conquer of the hearts of the billion Muslims who populate our planet.


Obama's "Cairo Declaration" is a masterpiece of political rhetoric. Both he and his talented young speechwriters went for glory, beginning with the very first words - "assalam aleykum!" Not one of the current political leaders in the West has the advantages for dialogue with the Muslim East as Obama. His father - a Kenyan, practiced Islam. His spent his childhood in Indonesia, the largest Muslim country in the world. Finally, his full name Barack Hussein, and his last name, Obama, inadvertently remind one of Osama. And he's African American.


Obama skillfully threw all of these "special qualities" into his peace offensive against the Islamic world. He was as witty as Omar Khayyam [Persian polymath, mathematician, philosopher, astronomer and poet], and as sweet-talking as Hafez [celebrated Persian poet], praising the Muslim contribution to world science and culture. Like the Pope, he confesses to the evildoings of colonialism. And he promised, promised, promised


Omar Khayyam and Hafez, two

of old Persia's greatest minds.


The more specific points of tension - the "painful prose" of the U.S. president's current political life - took the form of seven points. Those are, "violent extremism in all its forms" - including the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq; the Israeli-Palestinian conflict; the issues of Iran and nuclear weapons; the problem of democracy and Islam; religious freedom; the rights of women in the Islamic world, and finally, "economic development and opportunity." In none of his seven points did Obama say anything new, although he was more balanced (to ours and to yours) than his predecessors - more specific and more generous.


When the Soviet Union crumbled, futurist Francis Fukuyama proclaimed "the end of history," having mistaken this for the defeat of communism in the "Cold War" with the West. But nature abhors a vacuum. Another futurist Samuel Huntington (both of them are Americans) in his famous book The Clash of Civilizations, insisted that if the 20th century was a century of Western civilization's struggle against dictatorial regimes - Nazism and communism, the 21st century will be the arena for the struggle of the Christian world against Islam. The beginning of this century so far confirms Huntington's prognosis. In spite of all the horrors of the "major" hot and cold wars of the 20th century, they were battles against the "ugly aberrations" of human history. After the removal of the cancer of fascism, Germany became an exemplary democratic state. Russia, having rejected communism, is now on the difficult path toward the temple of democracy.


But Islam is a different matter. It is a religion, not an ideology like fascism or communism. It's not an "ugly aberration" or a cancer - it is the essence of essences of the Muslim world. German Nazism and Soviet communism were only phenomena of the 20th century. Islam has a thousand year history. The Koran cannot be defeated with either the help of the Bible, missiles or nuclear weapons. The Koran is something to coexist with. Peacefully.




At the end of his "Cairo Declaration," President Obama quoted from the Talmud, the Koran and the Bible, quotes full of love for peace and humanity. But his speechwriters could have been just as successful finding horrific quotes that would freeze the blood in one's veins in those three books. They adorned the banners of those who fought on both sides of the Crusades in the remote Middle Ages, and those on both sides of the recent Arab-Israeli battles.


The historic tragedy of the Muslim world is the fact that it has fallen unacceptably behind in terms of economic development. This isn't the place to exhaustively dissect the reasons for this phenomenon, except to point out the major role of Islamic fundamentalism and Western colonialism. But the fact remains. And it's far easier to take a "Kalashnikov" away from a mujahidin than a veil from a Muslim woman.


And as long as there is economic backwardness, there will be no lasting peace between the Cross, the Star of David and the Muslim Crescent. But that's not all. Perhaps what I say now will sound sacrilegiously paradoxical and irresponsible, but one condition of lasting peace must be military parity. As long as the Western powers and Israel can attack any Muslim country on a whim and with impunity, one cannot expect trust and a sincere desire to cooperate. The economic and military weakness of the Islamic world - that's the true explosive hidden in the robes of Muslim men, women and even children! The Islamic kamikaze will disappear only when Muslim countries are able to successfully defend their freedom and independence with more "civilized" means.


The issue of "what to do with Islam?" isn't an exclusively American problem. And to make it so is to condemn it to intractability fraught with catastrophe. Washington cannot be left alone with Islam. In such a case, both will chop so much firewood it'll be enough for a number of global conflagrations. Let us recall Iraq, for example. The solution to this problem is the business of the entire global community, and to no small degree, Russia. (Note that in the United States, out of a population of 305 million, there are 7 million Muslims; whereas of the 142 million Russians, there are about 20 million Muslims). Russia has tremendous experience dealing with Islam - both good and bad - and that must be exploited to the fullest. It is to be hoped that at the upcoming Moscow summit between presidents Medvedev and Obama in July, this problem will be the subject of very deep discussion.




Sunni Scholar Sheik Yousuf Al-Qaradhawi Protests: 'This is

a biblical notion annihilate them totally, do not leave a

living soul among them. How could Obama draw a parallel

between the Koran and the Torah?'



Does all this mean that Obama's "Cairo Declaration" is merely, as Lenin liked to say, an empty resonance of air, empty of sound? Far from it. Dialogue with Islam is necessary. It is long overdue. Yes, the East is east, the West is west and never the twain shall meet - if neither side makes the first move toward the other. The initiative here should belong to the West - and not because it's smarter, but because its fault in this historic drama of conflict and confrontation is far greater.



de Volkskrant, The Netherlands: Muslims' Great Fear: 'Obama Can't Do It'
Al Madina, Saudi Arabia: With Obama, a 'New Beginning'
Kitabat, Iraq: Thank You, Mr. Obama. We Hope Our Leaders Got the Message

Le Quotidien d'Oran, Algeria: Muslim 'Suspicion' Over Obama's 'Operation Seduction'

L'Orient Le Jour, Lebanon: 'Hussein' is for Bold

L'Express, France: U.S. Republicans Don't Get It: Bush Soiled Term 'Democracy'

Die Welt, Germany: Can the Words of Obama Begin to Change the World?

Liberation, France: Obama Calls France Out on Banning Muslim Veil

Liberation, France: Obama: Speaker of Verities

The Nation, Pakistan: Obama Must Make Real His Belief in Koranic Principles

Amal Al Ummah, Egypt: Prince Obama and His Muslim Cinderella

Amal Al Ummah, Egypt: If America Can Change, Why Not Egypt?

Al Araby, Egypt: Five U.S. Presidencies is Too Long for Mubarak

Kuwait Times, Kuwait: For an Obama on the Make, Egypt is the Wise Choice

Alhayat Aljadeeda, Palestine: As Palestinians Await Obama's Speech, We Must Unify

Amal Al Ummah, Egypt: Don't Be Fooled By Obama's Egypt Speech

Amal Al Ummah, Egypt: Egypt's Comments on Israeli Nukes a Betrayal of Muslims

Al-Arab al-Yawm, Jordan: World Must Not Fall for Obama PR Onslaught

Al Riyadh, Saudi Arabia: Obama: A Humble Leader Worthy of His Great Nation

Al Riyadh, Saudi Arabia: Obama Interview with Al-Arabiya Cause for Arab Shame

Le Quotidien d'Oran, Algeria Arab Leaders Prefer to 'Listen to Obama's Fables'

Al Watan, Oman: When 'Hussein' is the Most Beautiful Word

L'Orient Le Jour, Lebanon: Stars, Stripes and the Muslim Crescent

L'Orient Le Jour, Lebanon: Arab Leaders Should Heed Obama's Words




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[Posted by WORLDMEETS.US June 12, 11:33pm]


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