Monday, June 01, 2009

Obama to seek reconciliation in Egypt

In his column for Newsweek, Howard Fineman writes about President Obama's scheduled visit to Cairo:

Barack Obama believes in his voice and his life story. Autobiographical speeches powered his campaign. ... Now comes the ultimate test of autobiographical speechmaking. Obama this week speaks at Cairo University, in the hub of Muslim-Arab culture. Obama "has privately told friends that his goal is far higher: nothing less than to help 'reconcile Islam and modernity.' ...

He will pay homage to the Golden Age of that culture—its glorious achievements in mathematics, science, literature and diplomacy—and note that Muslim scholars rescued from oblivion the Greek and Roman (i.e., the "Western") canon. He also will draw on the by-now-familiar story of his own life. A Christian son of an African-Muslim father, he spent years in Muslim-majority Indonesia, attending a public school run by, but not suffused with, the teachings of Islam. All of this, Obama thinks, not only allows him, but obliges him, to play a grand role as bridge builder.

The world will be watching as the president seeks reconciliation.

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Mobashir Ahmed said...

Obama's reconciliation is, so far, restricted to words. I hope that these words are followed up by good deeds as well.

Deb S. said...

Mobashir: The world will be watching.