June 3rd, 2009
03:39 PM ET
14 years ago

Obama looks to reach the soul of the Muslim world

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/POLITICS/06/03/obama.muslim.outreach/art.obamapic.gi.jpg caption="President Obama hopes to start a 'new chapter of engagement' with the Muslim world, a spokesman says."]
(CNN) - Winning the hearts and minds of a majority of people is a nearly impossible feat, especially when you're a politician.

And it's even harder when religion is involved, namely Islam, which some estimates put at 1 billion followers.

But President Obama looks to do just that Thursday as he delivers what the White House is billing as a major speech to the Muslim world in Cairo, Egypt.

Obama hopes to start "a new chapter of engagement" between the United States and the Muslim world, speechwriter Ben Rhodes said Wednesday.

This engagement would be based on mutual respect and mutual interest, and Obama plans to speak "openly and candidly" about issues that have caused "tensions in the Muslim world," Rhodes said. "This can't be just [about] what we're against, but what we're for."

Obama asked staff members to "cast a wide net" to gather a range of viewpoints, including those of Muslim-Americans, as he was preparing his Cairo comments, Rhodes disclosed.

But just as the White House lays out its vision, al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden purportedly issued another statement Wednesday, saying U.S. policy in Pakistan has generated "new seeds of hatred and revenge against America."

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Filed under: Middle East • President Obama
soundoff (132 Responses)
  1. Steve (the real one)

    Lynda/Minnesota June 3rd, 2009 4:51 pm ET
    @Steve (the real one)
    Judges 4:6 "Barak said to her
    Thank you!

    June 3, 2009 05:05 pm at 5:05 pm |
  2. Mich

    So Ralph your saying 9/11 is our fault. More respect ,and understanding of the muslim world. Come on it's because of people like you that we are a joke in the world. I guess
    Saving kawuit in 1991 I guess we weren't understanding to help.
    Saving Phil. in World War 2 I guess we weren't understanding.
    Saving North Africa form the nazi's I guess we weren't undrstanding.

    It seems to me everyone who follows Obama has forgot what made our country great. P.S. read a history book.

    June 3, 2009 05:05 pm at 5:05 pm |
  3. Brian in AZ

    @Kevin B June 3rd, 2009 4:58 pm ET

    The GOP wing nuts and Al Qeada want to see the president and the USA fail,

    They both hate america and both use cowardly tactics. case closed.

    Case closed? There wasn't even a case MADE in that comment. Just unsupported assertions. The strange things about this non-case is that it's approach is to hate the haters so they'll stop hating on otehr haters. Sounds reasonable.

    I mean, hey, why should we promote our own position when we can just demonize the opponent (or, rather, make non-cases for the demonizing of our opponents)? Karl Schmitt would be proud...

    June 3, 2009 05:06 pm at 5:06 pm |
  4. donttreadonme

    Sniffit June 3rd, 2009 4:57 pm ET
    And tell me what incentive they have to give a flying rat's pink patoot that we want those demands met before we sit down at the table? What's their incentive?----------------–

    I have one ...you wont have to deal with our military bombing the crap out of you! Typical liberal taking the side of thoes who are commiting the crimes.

    June 3, 2009 05:06 pm at 5:06 pm |
  5. anita

    Obama reveals his treacherous hypocrisy with his own words. The media machine runs over the freedom of speech with their repeated inquistions and accussations of those who dissent with this DEM messianic travesty called a government.
    CNN, put your commentators on the line to uncover the ugly truth instead of promoting this charlatan rule.

    June 3, 2009 05:06 pm at 5:06 pm |
  6. w.l. jones

    I can see the Sahara Desert turning into a lust green market for our able business men. It is a market nelected far to long. We no longer can let good business opportunity get away from us soley on illogical different.

    June 3, 2009 05:07 pm at 5:07 pm |
  7. MatthewDetroit

    You love to throw Bush out there but the fact is that his deficit was 500 Billion. That was the ENTIRE budget.

    Barack could have taken an aggressive stance on the budget and he chose not to. He used OHIO state Troopers as an excuse but they just go laid off. They used the Michigan state Troopers as an excuse but they were laid off as well.
    794 Billion dollars spent and losing jobs.
    Taking over GM instead of letting it go bankrupt.
    1.8 -1.9 Trillion added to the National Debt this year alone.
    The new estimate from the OAB (congress) is 1 trillion in additional national debt next year.
    The 4 year estimate from the OAB is 8-10 Trillion dollars added to the national debt in ONLY 4 years.
    You sure loved to rip President Bush on it as do I, but you wont blame your boy Barack. Hypocrisy my man, hypocrisy.

    June 3, 2009 05:08 pm at 5:08 pm |
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