Affirming Muslim grievances has only increased the Arab world’s sense that Obama is weak.
When President Obama entered office, he dreamed that his hope-and-change messaging and his references to his familial Islamic roots would win over the Muslim world. The soon-to-be Nobel Peace Prize laureate would make the U.S. liked in the Middle East. Then, terrorism would decrease.
But, as with his approach to racial relations, Obama’s remedies proved worse than the original illness.
Obama gave his first presidential interview to Al Arabiya, noting that he has Muslims in his family. He implicitly blamed America’s strained relations with many Middle Eastern countries on his supposedly insensitive predecessor, George W. Bush.
The new message of the Obama administration was that the Islamic world was understandably hostile because of what America had done rather than what it represented.
Accordingly, all mention of radical Islam, and even the word “terrorism,” was airbrushed from the new administration’s vocabulary. Words to describe terrorism or the fight against it were replaced by embarrassing euphemisms like “overseas contingency operations,” “man-caused disaster,” and “workplace violence.”
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