How Obama Talks To Christians Versus How He Speaks to Muslims
Posted by Mats on 15/07/2009
Anne Bayefsky of took careful note of the difference in tone between how Obama pandered to the Muslim World in his Cairo speech and the virtual tongue lashing he administered during his speech in Ghana, a predominatly Christian country:
Speaking in Ghana on Saturday President Obama lectured Africans on local repression, corruption, brutality, good governance and accountability. The startling contrast to his June speech in Cairo was revealing. Stroking Muslim and Arab nations has become the hallmark of Obama’s foreign policy.
In Egypt, he chose not to utter the words “terrorism” or “genocide.” In Egypt, there was nothing “brutal” he could conjure up, no “corruption” and no “repression”.
In Ghana, with a 70% Christian population, he mentioned “good governance” seven times and added direct calls upon his audience to “make change from the bottom up.” He praised “people taking control of their destiny” and pressed “young people” to “hold your leaders accountable.”
He made no such calls for action by the people of Arab states–despite the fact that not a single Arab country is “free,” according to the latest Freedom House global survey.
Before the Muslim world Obama donned the role of apologist-in-chief. Over and over again his examples of shortfalls in the protection of rights and freedoms were American: the “prison at Guantanamo Bay,” “rules on charitable giving [that] have made it harder for Muslims to fulfill their religious obligation,” impediments to the “choice” of Muslim women to shroud their bodies.
Christian Africa was to be treated to no such self-flagellation. In a rare tongue-lashing for Africans from any American president, he chastised: “It’s easy to point fingers and to pin the blame of these problems on others. Yes, a colonial map that made little sense helped to breed conflict … But the West is not responsible for the destruction of the Zimbabwean economy … or wars in which children are enlisted as combatants … tribalism and patronage and nepotism … and … corruption.”
He might equally have said to the Arab and Muslim world: “It’s easy to scapegoat Israel and blame your problems on the presence of Jews–albeit on a fraction of 1% of the territory inhabited by the Arab world–but Israel is not responsible for poverty, illiteracy, torture, trafficking, slavery and oppression rampant across your countries.” But he did not.
In Ghana he pointed to specific heroes that had exposed human rights abuse, singling out by name a courageous investigative reporter. In Egypt, though journalists and bloggers are routinely threatened, jailed and worse, no such brave soul came to mind.
In a Christian African nation he said, “If we are honest, for far too many Africans, conflict is a part of life, as constant as the sun. There are wars over land and wars over resources. And it is still far too easy for those without conscience to manipulate whole communities into fighting among faiths and tribes.”
To the Arab and Muslim world he could have said: “Since the day of Israel’s birth Arab and Muslim countries have made conflict with Israel a part of life, warring over land and manipulating whole communities into fighting in the name of Islam to render the area Judenrein.”
Instead, he turned on the only democracy in the Middle East and said the presence of Jews on Arab-claimed territory–settlements–is an affront to be “stopped.” It didn’t matter that agreements require ultimate ownership of this territory to be determined by negotiation or that apartheid Palestine is hardly a worthy pursuit.
Read the whole thing..