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              The United States has taken a big step in U.S.-Muslim relations… we hope.  Secretary of State Hillary Clinton appointed the very first State Department envoy to Muslim communities—Farah Pandith. [1]   This follows President Obama’s promising speech in Cairo, Egypt which was lauded by Muslims, Europeans, and many Americans. People continue to have high hopes in this administration’s dedication to reach out to the naitonal and worldwide Muslim communities. 

For what it’s worth, the following is my wish list for Ms. Pandith; I hope she does not let this awesome opportunity slip away.  She could do an outstanding job by doing this and more: Read the rest of this entry »

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Americans are having trouble believing it—their president is not making regrettable statements about the Iranian election.  Millions of facebook networkers, twitter users, and bloggers responded to what was immediately called an unfair election and its brutal aftermath.  Politicians and political junkies on both sides of the aisle chastised the great Obama for not taking a stand on the contested outcome and sequential outcome.  President Obama responded appropriately and thoughtfully.

As a huge Obama fan, I’m unapt to begin criticizing our President without all the facts.  He has responsibilities to his own people, to those who came before him, to the Iranian people, to the world’s people.  Completely isolating and insulting either Mahmud Ahmadinejad or his challengers could prove disastrous later in international affairs.  Illegitimating the unfavorable outcome of the election in Iran, a nation that had so hoped for a fair election, did not really feel right, especially while we were all still a little high on HOPE.  The appalled president condemned the actions of the Iranian government in a timely manner, but did not take the stand that so many Americans still thought was necessary

He still walks a “tightrope,” as CNN called it.[1] Jon Stewart joked that America can’t win and that seems to be true… or at least, Obama can’t win.  He was criticized by almost everyone when he didn’t say much and then was called a meddler and compared to President George W. Bush when he called for the violence to stop.  America got in trouble for meddling in 1953 and again in 1979, and now that we’re not meddling, suddenly we’re not doing enough.

I thought I was crazy or ignorant for being proud that Obama was taking the time to mull things over and react wisely.  My qualms were soothed after attending the June 22 New America Foundation forum on the Iran Election.  Most of the expert panel agreed that Obama was for the most part, doing the right thing: Read the rest of this entry »

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