April 11th, 2009
02:28 PM ET
9 years ago

Muslim issues dominate agenda

President Obama visits the Hagia Sophia in Istanbul during his bridge-building and sight-seeing trip to Turkey.

President Obama visits the Hagia Sophia in Istanbul during his bridge-building and sight-seeing trip to Turkey.

(CNN) - The collapse of the U.S. economy has dominated the first months of Barack Obama's presidency.

But after last week's G-20 summit in London, Obama was in Turkey and Iraq this week, underscoring a different point.

Once he's taken care of problems at home, most of his biggest business is in the Muslim world.

Iraq: Obama owes his election in part to his opposition to the war in Iraq. Now, he plans to withdraw U.S. combat troops. But Iraq is still so dangerous that Obama had to keep his visit a surprise and be content with a quick look from behind U.S. barbed wire. Will U.S. forces really be able to back out?

Afghanistan: Obama has made this war his own, vowing to win, promising to keep terrorists from again taking refuge on Afghan soil. Even after more than seven years of fighting, the challenge is daunting and some Americans are already musing about whether it will be 'Obama's Vietnam'.

The Obama administration sees Pakistan as both a base for insurgents in Afghanistan and a battleground in its own right. Militants threaten the stability of the country and also potentially the security of its nuclear weapons. What's the best way for Obama to respond?

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Filed under: President Obama
soundoff (77 Responses)
  1. DrMan

    I used to think I would rather have anyone but Obama as President. Dan, TX you finally moved him up a notch.

    April 11, 2009 03:16 pm at 3:16 pm |
  2. neil

    Hey what about us at home???

    April 11, 2009 03:19 pm at 3:19 pm |
  3. Tim, Roswell GA

    For six years we took a detour from the real theater, Afghanistan with the coalition of the willing and committed, to fight the Dick Cheney/Halliburton war in Iraq with the coalition of the bought and paid for. Now it is time to reengage fully in Afghanistan. It is only in Afghanistan and Pakistan we can defeat al Qaeda. We need the Muslim world to be behind this effort because the biggest victim of al Qaeda is Islam. We need to fully support President Obama in his effort to win back the support of those allies we abandoned in the war on terror to focus on the war for oil. This is a tall order but I am sure that with the current leadership, our allies will learn to trust us again.

    April 11, 2009 03:19 pm at 3:19 pm |
  4. Rodger Harris

    It is obvious that Islam is the number one evil in the world. We as Christians need to end it, outlaw it whatever it takes. Start burning mosques – send all Muslins into re-education camps where we can clean their minds away from this terrible ideology. It is only prevalent in 3rd world countries where there is poverty and no hope. No modern society would ever allow such a terrible thing to happen. I think that is why god gave us the weapons; technology is so we can end this terrible devil and his followers. We should never accept this or these people into the world for they are the evil that should not be allowed to walk the face of the earth.

    April 11, 2009 03:21 pm at 3:21 pm |
  5. JD

    By the time Obama's done, our women will be wearing burqas, we'll all have to bow to Mecca, and those who won't convert to Islam will be slaughtered in the name of "cultural sensitivity."

    April 11, 2009 03:22 pm at 3:22 pm |
  6. Dina

    These are Middle East security issues, not "Muslim" issues.

    April 11, 2009 03:22 pm at 3:22 pm |
  7. Greg

    Lesssons from the Russian experience in Aftghanistan makes it clear that anything other than keepin satelite surveilance and serious bombing is stupid. Obama makes Bush look like a military genius and that is just sad. One thing I give Obama credit for is better diplomatic skill but if he can't convince China and Russia to join with us to quell the danger that religous extremists that threaten them, as much as us, then he is useless as a Bush. Get allies or pull out and let Europe and Asia to there lonsome because we have distance in our favor. If Russia and China were smart we would all get rid of some nukes in Afghanistan. I'm not fond of nukes but they do pack a message.

    April 11, 2009 03:22 pm at 3:22 pm |
  8. Maggie

    He needs to get Presiden Bush to advise him and help him get a back bone and not bow to those enemy countries like he recently did. When the truth finally comes out everyone will see that underneath Obamas is really a Muslim, grounded in the Muslim religion. Of course he will support Islamic nations. They would disown him as one of theirs, He is finally showing that he wants to turn our nation into an Muslim nation. Will we allow that to happen, folks? I hope not. Please wake up, :WE THE PEOPLE" before it is too too late.

    April 11, 2009 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  9. Maggie

    sensible Cape Coral FL: I do not have to see you to know you are a muslum. Please admit that that religion is a very violent one with roots in paganism. God is God, Jesus is God;s son. Alah is not a god, he was a human at one time and his bones are stikll buried in some remote grave somewhere. He will be judged before ourt Almighty God one day just like we all will. God's word says that there is only one God and He is the on eand only God. He is the God of Abraham, The is the I AM of scripture. He came in the human form, was crucified on the cross for all who believe on Him. He dies on the cross but arose the 3rd ady and then acened to Heaven,. His bones are not here. He is in Heaven. He is a God of Love but also He is a righteous God. He will not be mocked by people who put other humanly gods befoer Him.

    April 11, 2009 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
  10. David

    We should stop propping-up Arab dictatorships, and the "muslim issues" will take care of themselves within a single generation. Islamic Terrorism is fermented by the lack of human rights and freedom of expression in most Arab states. Their cynical autocracies are using international terrorism as a pressure-valve to keep themselves in power. (i.e. These dictators and their cronies in the clergy say to their people: "Don't get mad at us; you are living in squalor because of America the Great Satan; go bomb them").

    Notice the strange lack of terrorists originating from those Islamic countries with greater freedoms of expression: Turkey, Malaysia, Indonesia, etc.

    April 11, 2009 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
  11. MarcPD

    Yes, these are good questions. Carting around a teleprompter might not be enough to resolve them. Sooner or later we'll find out if there's any more to this president than that. But we haven't found out yet.

    April 11, 2009 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |
  12. Alfredo Hernandez

    Diplomacy must be practiced by the new administration.The last one did not set an example of tolerance to the rest of the world. I believe that the new administration will focus on re-establishing a better relationship with the United Nations and the rest of the world. A relationship based on respect and trust.

    I believe Mr. Obama will look for conflict resolution via non-conflicting ways. This is not to indicate that force will not be used if needed, but to rush ahead and make the same mistakes of the prior administration based on quick and impulsive responses that costs thousands of lives is not acceptable ever!

    April 11, 2009 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |
  13. Tired of Being World Police

    I think it is time for the US to stop being World Police. I don't care about Afghanistan or Iraq. There was a point in time where i did. I also want to allow Europe to spend their own money to defend and protect themselves. They are like the 30 year olds who are still living at home living off of mom and dad. The next time there is civil unrest in their back yard they need to deal with it themselves. So when the Serbs, or whatever they call themselves today, start killing the Muslims or vis versa I say we should just see how the big EU handles it on their own.

    April 11, 2009 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  14. X

    Islam may be the fastest growing religion in the world, but 80% of the world is Hindu, Buddist, Christian, Jewish and athiest. If Bin Laden's goal was to strengthen the Muslim cause I would point out to him that he has instead tarnished the reputation. And even though 3000 innocent non-muslims were killed on 9/11 and 6000 more non-muslims killed in Iraq, Afghanistan, Spain etc....that is only 9000 people. On the other hand more than 100,000 muslims have been killed worldwide as a direct result of Bin Laden's actions, and maybe another 100,000 have been injured, displaced or imprisoned. He is a stupid man who has damaged muslims and the muslim religion worldwide. In the end, the US will win this war by being a successful country with freedom of religion and by supporting countries who are free and mostly non-muslim. The parts of the world that will dominate in the future: China, India, Europe, US, South America are not run by muslims. Muslims have a real problem and I think that they, not us are the key to the solution. I hope that Obama can help them to understand this.

    April 11, 2009 03:40 pm at 3:40 pm |
  15. Roger Heber

    I want to let you know Al Gore is the best current US politician and Gerald Ford should have beaten Jimmy Carter in 1976.

    April 11, 2009 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
  16. Theresa

    I know this probably won't get posted, but I have wondered where Obama has been with all of the natural disasters going on in our country. All he does is make a statement. The flooding in North Dakota was a big deal and yet all he did was make a statement. Now we are having fires and tornadoes. Where is he?!

    April 11, 2009 03:44 pm at 3:44 pm |
  17. George Washington

    if I was totally incompetent as your current secretary of state is i would continue to allow pirates to hijack american ships as well. politics as usual.

    April 11, 2009 03:46 pm at 3:46 pm |
  18. jimbo

    We dont have to accept radical Islamic philosophy or Sharia law and No-Bama will not be able to make that happen no matter how hard he tries to pacify the Muslims. Just because he is one of them doesnt mean we have to be.

    April 11, 2009 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
  19. Soren

    1. Get out of Iraq as soon as possible. That country will forever
    remain chaotic unless some psycho dictator runs it. American lives and money are totally wasted trying to change that fact.

    2. Afghanistan/Pakistan/Al quida will try to attack the US whether we
    are trying to defeat them there or not. If Europe and Russia do not participate on equal terms with the US, we are wasting lives and money again and again. When are we getting out of this corny and
    deadly dreamworld.

    3. Pakistan is deadly dangerous. The US has lost so much power
    and credibility thanks to Bush, that there is no way we can solve
    this problem. India and eventually China will have to deal with this
    when the chinese finally take over the world.

    April 11, 2009 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
  20. Michael

    Careful what you wish for. I may agree with you in regards to accepting the risk of national security by pulling out of Afgan/Iraq BUT not under this administration. Remember, just this past week a Turkish immigrant from Canada stole a plane, was greeted by two fighters, did not comply with their orders but was still able to land the plane and flee, only because there was no executive order to fire upon the plane. Can you say DRY RUN!!!!

    April 11, 2009 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
  21. mat

    Fanatic muslims were killing Americans long before President Bush came along (TWA 847, Pan Am bombing, first world trade center, millenium bomber, Berlin Disco, Achille Lauro, Khobar Towers, USS Cole, US Embassy bombings in Kenya and Tanzania, and on and on).

    Unfortunately, they will continue to attack us long after Obama is gone. If you could blame it on just one person or one country, what is the explanation for the constant attacks and bombings that have occurred throughout the world (Phillipines, Algeria, Indonesia, Pakistan, Indonesia, US, Spain, UK, India, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and on and on). The only thing in common is fanatic muslims. It's either their way or the bomb.

    April 11, 2009 04:00 pm at 4:00 pm |
  22. ron

    no no no everybody. they're a friendly religion which has nothing but positive influence on the world. we should keep importing them to america, and continue with the smart appeasement policies so that we can be trouble free like england and france...

    April 11, 2009 04:00 pm at 4:00 pm |
  23. Anonymous

    We as a nation that built this country was built by mostly white people and a white nation with very little help from anyone else and today if we even speak of this we can be called racist.The only racists here are anyone who is not white that cry racist cause they are not white,The white nation is sick of taking a back seat to everyone else that has stolen our country from us and turned it into a nation of absolute white bashing and condemnation of all white people.They have stolen our inhertiance and our future opportunity in this country that we built .All of this adds up to one conclusion.White people have given up the fight for our country and have given up to everyone that have bought us out ,and ruined our American dream for what it was and will never be ever again.And you may not print this but thats okay because the word is already getting out in more ways than one,

    April 11, 2009 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
  24. Where is Obama on the pirate issue?

    Not one word from our president on the pirates-where is our leader????

    April 11, 2009 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  25. No Hillary = No Obama

    What is Obama's pull toward Islam and Muslims? His heritage or perhaps his birth place? I hope Obama isn't the Bernie Madoff of politics.

    April 11, 2009 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |
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