President Obama's speech received well

June 4, 2009 6:21:26 PM PDT
President Obama spoke and the world listened to his highly anticipated speech about the Middle East. Speaking in Cairo, President Obama tried to change the tone of U.S. relations with the Muslim world.

MOST POPULAR: Video, stories and more
SIGN-UP: Get breaking news sent to you

There are said to be nearly seven million Muslims in America. At this mosque in San Francisco, those we talked to praised President Obama's speech in Cairo.

"What I feel good about is the respect that he shows to the Muslim world and that America is not the enemy of the Muslim world," said Khaled Olaibah, a Muslim-American.

The president cited verses from the Koran in his address before 3,000 people at Cairo University and he stressed the need for a new era between the U.S. and the Muslim world.

"So long as our relationship is defined by our differences, we will empower those who sow hatred rather than peace, those who promote conflict rather than the cooperation that can help all of our people achieve justice and prosperity," said President Obama.

President Obama's conciliatory tone was balanced by tough talk about the region's challenges, his support for establishing a Palestinian state alongside Israel, Iran's nuclear ambitions, and the continued threat and spread of extremism.

"We have the power to make the world we seek, but only if we have the courage to make a new beginning," said President Obama.

The Israeli consul general in San Francisco says the president did a great service for everyone in the region.

"He explained to the Arab world what Zionism is and why there is a Jewish state and why there must be a Jewish state and why the U.S. and Israel are joined together by bonds of culture and history," said Akiva Tor, the Israeli consul general.

Outside the consulate Code Pink peace activists were protesting Israel's blockade of Gaza. But on Capitol Hill, many Republicans feel the president was too critical of Israel, and not tough enough on its Muslim neighbors.

"He seemed to place equal blame on the Israelis and the Palestinians. I have concerns about this," said John Boehner (R) of Ohio.

The White House tried to reach as many people in the Middle East as possible by making the president's speech available on television and the web. Of course the challenge now is to turn words into action.

       Today's latest headlines | ABC7 News on your phone
Follow us on Twitter | Fan us on Facebook | Get our free widget


Load Comments