One View of Obama From The Muslim World

By | Nov 14, 2008

obamaBy Benjamin Schuman-Stoler

Over at the Islam’s Advance blog, writer Wajahat Ali has a post about how Barack Obama and the various foreign policy decisions he will inherit from the current administration are viewed across the Muslim world. Although the post goes into the Wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, as well as the situation in Pakistan, we’re focused on what he says about Israel.

Ali says that even though American Muslims came out and voted for Obama in record numbers, the feeling abroad is a touch less enthusiastic.

Overseas, however, Muslims are treating Obama with considerable skepticism born from a fear that once in office, he will be overwhelmed by imperial desire and will perpetuate the rhetoric of the “War on Terror.”

Much of this consternation comes from Obama’s appointment of Rahm Emanuel as White House chief of staff. Some see this as confirmation that Obama will not change American policy when it comes to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, at least.

The “ultimate litmus test,” according to Ali, will be how much pressure Obama places on Israel to remove settlements.

As historian and writer Will Dalrymple told me, “At the heart of U.S. problems with the Muslim world lies America’s complacent attitudes to Israel’s continuing colonization and balkanization of the West Bank.”

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