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President Barack Obama addressed a wide array of issues, including the Iraq war and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, in his address to Muslims in Cairo Thursday. (June 4)
U.S. President Barack Obama's speeches regularly command considerable attention in Kenya, where he has long been adopted as a native son. The president's Cairo speech was being watched particularly closely by Kenya's sizable Muslim community.
President Obama's Kenyan father, born in the western village of Kogelo, has become an integral part of the president's personal narrative. And early on in his speech at Cairo University, President Obama drew on a particular angle of his Kenyan heritage, noting there are many Muslims on his father's side of his family.
Reporting from Cairo -- He came with goodwill and pretty sentences, but the question kept echoing: Were they enough?
President Obama's long anticipated speech Thursday to the Muslim world sought to dissolve the mistrust between Islam and the West by highlighting his personal appeal as he called for an end to intolerance and violence and a move toward a shared future. It was a carefully textured blend of history, the president's experience with Islam and the need to quell religious extremism.
I have come here to seek a new beginning between the United States and Muslims around the world; one based upon mutual interest and mutual respect; and one based upon the truth that America and Islam are not exclusive, and need not be in competition. Instead, they overlap, and share common principles – principles of justice and progress; tolerance and the dignity of all human beings.
By MARGARET COKER
Muslims in the Middle East and beyond praised U.S. President Barack Obama for the tone of his speech Thursday, but they had more of a mixed reaction to the substance of the address.
Mr. Obama won over many Muslims for delivering what many viewed as a respectful address -- peppered with the moral message Muslims receive at weekly homilies and the straightforward talk they rarely get from their own leadership.