- Politics and Social Issues
Obama in Egypt on US-Muslim Tensions
US President Barrack Obama on his speech in Cairo Egypt discussed the sources of tension between Islam and the West by raising seven main points. As he have enumerated, the issues that have caused conflicts are: extremist Muslims, Israeli-Palestine conflict, (Iran’s) nuclear weapons, democracy, religious tolerance, women’s rights, and lastly, economic development and modernity. These issues were discussed based on their historical context to establish the root causes of these issues and to be able to fully present an alternative perspective towards these issues that have plagued the diplomatic relations between the US and Islamic nations.
The intended tone of the speech was to explain and present historical facts that have lead to the conflict between the United States—used interchangeably with the term ‘West’, and Islam. It aimed to persuade its audience to see reason through a paradigm shift of highlighting the difference between the West and Islamic countries in hopes of finding the middle ground and similarities in terms of belief and principles. Furthermore, the goal or objective of the speech was to help change the perspective of the audience on viewing the ongoing tension by exhaustively discussing each specific root causes and how these causes of conflict could effectively be addressed. It is also important to point out that there was a lot of promises that President Obama gave, packed in terms of civic operations in various countries and global initiatives towards peaceful and mutually beneficent co-existence.
Each ideas presented are developed in such a manner that it had successfully relate a very specific social issue such as women’s right and economic development and modernity and how these have becomes sources of conflict. For instance, women’s right is not an issue that could solely be associated with Islam but rather a social dilemma faced by other countries around the world. Denying women of education is tantamount to denying women of equality. President Obama proposed that the answer to this issue is to ensure that women are given the choice; the choice to pursue traditional role or pursue education and open up career opportunities. In terms of economic development and modernity, these become sources of tension because there is a belief that modernity and globalization is a threat to Islamic traditions. However, human progress cannot be denied. It is something that cannot be stopped and how people would look at it will define how it would be accepted by the society. Obama reminded the audience that Islam had been a main proponent of change and modernity in ancient times to which it could claim credit on advances in mathematics, sciences, medicine, and arts.
The ideas are arranged in a chronological manner starting with the most direct cause of conflict to more contemporary social issues to which the conflicts are attributed. As such, the discussion started with the influence of radical extremist Muslims followed by nuclear weapon and polity and ended up with women’s right and economic development and modernity.
And lastly, the speech of President Obama made use of simple sentence structure to ensure that he is better understood by his audience. He speaks in plain simple language and avoided any forms of jargon which made his speech even more effective and interesting.