Reflections by Comrade Fidel
OBAMAS SPEECH IN
On Thursday the 4th of June, at the Islamic University of
We meet at a time of great tension between the United Status and Muslims around the World...
The relationship between Islam and the West includes centuries of coexistence and cooperation, but also conflict and religious wars.
colonialism that denied rights and opportunities to many Muslims, and a Cold War in which Muslim-majority countries were too often treated as proxies without regard to their own aspirations.
Violent extremists have exploited these tensions
has led some in my country to view Islam as
inevitably hostile not only to
I've come here to
they overlap, and share common principles principles of justice and progress; tolerance and the dignity of all human beings.
but no single speech can eradicate years of mistrust, nor can I answer in the time that I have this afternoon all the complex questions that brought us to this point.
As the Holy Quran tells us, "Be conscious of God and speak always the truth."
I'm a Christian, but my father came from a Kenyan family that includes
generations of Muslims. As a boy, I spent several years in
It was Islam at places like Al-Azhar that
carried the light of learning through so many centuries, paving the way for
And since our founding, American Muslims have
And I consider it part of my responsibility as President of the
The dream of
opportunity for all people has not come true for everyone in
Words alone cannot meet the needs of our people..
When a new flu infects one human being, all are at risk.
When one nation pursues a nuclear weapon, the risk of nuclear attack rises for all nations.
any world order that elevates one nation or group of people over another will inevitably fail.
we reject the same thing that people of all faiths reject: the killing of innocent men, women and children.
there's still some who would question or even justify the events of 9/11.
The victims were
innocent men, women and children from
Now, make no
mistake: We do not want to keep our troops in
The Holy Quran teaches that whoever kills an innocent is as it is as if he has killed all mankind. And the Holy Quran also says whoever saves a person, it is as if he has saved all mankind.
I also believe
that events in
I have made it clear to the Iraqi people (applause) I have made it clear to the Iraqi people that we pursue no bases, and no claim on their territory or resources.
remove combat troops from Iraqi cities by July, and
to remove all of our troops from
Nine-eleven was an enormous trauma to our country.
in some cases, it led us to act contrary to our traditions and our ideals.
I have unequivocally
prohibited the use of torture by the
The second major source of tension that we need to discuss is the situation between Israelis, Palestinians and the Arab world.
On the other hand, it is also undeniable that the Palestinian people Muslims and Christians have suffered in pursuit of a homeland. For more than 60 years they've endured the pain of dislocation.
Many wait in
refugee camps in the
So let there be
no doubt: The situation for the Palestinian people is intolerable. And
two peoples with legitimate aspirations, each with a painful history that makes compromise elusive.
It's easy to
point fingers for Palestinians to point to the displacement brought about by
if we see this conflict only from one side or the other, then we will be blind to the truth.
The only resolution is for the aspirations of both sides to be met through two states, where Israelis and Palestinians each live in peace and security.
. For centuries, black people in
Hamas must put an end
to violence, recognize past agreements, recognize
Israelis must acknowledge that just as
This construction violates previous agreements and undermines efforts to achieve peace. It is time for these settlements to stop.
Progress in the
daily lives of the Palestinian people must be a critical part of a road to
The Arab-Israeli conflict should no longer be used to distract the people of Arab nations from other problems.
The third source of tension is our shared interest in the rights and responsibilities of nations on nuclear weapons.
In the middle of the Cold War, the
remain trapped in the past, I've made it clear to
I recognize it will be hard to overcome decades of mistrust, but we will proceed with courage, rectitude and resolve. There will be many issues to discuss between our two countries, and we are willing to move forward without preconditions on the basis of mutual respect.
I understand those who protest that some countries have weapons that
others do not. No single nation should pick and choose which nation holds
nuclear weapons. And that's why I strongly reaffirmed
any nation including
In these three first
topics of his speech we find the basic objective of his trip to that Islamic
University of Egypt. One cannot blame
the new president of the
Not even Obama could imagine when he was working in the black communities
He takes office
at an exceptionally complex time for his country and the world. He is trying to resolve problems that he
perhaps considers to be simpler than they really are. Centuries of colonial and capitalist exploitation
have given way to a world where a handful of overdeveloped rich countries
coexist with another handful of immensely poor countries that provide raw
materials and labor force. If you add
Obamas African roots, his humble background and his amazing ascent awaken hope in many who like shipwreck victims try to hold on to a piece of wood in the middle of the storm.
that any world order that elevates one nation or group of people over another
will inevitably fail is correct; or when he declares that people of all
faiths reject the killing of innocent men, women and children or when he
reaffirms to the world his opposition to the use of torture. Generally speaking, several of his abovementioned
statements are theoretically correct; he clearly perceives the need for all
countries, with no exceptions of course, to give up nuclear weapons. Well-known and influential personalities in
It is still
early to pass judgment on his degree of commitment to the ideas he presents,
and up to which point he stands firm in sustaining, for example, the proposal
of looking for a peace agreement built on fair bases, with guarantees for all
the states in the
presidents main difficulty lies in the fact that the principles he is advocating
contradict the policy the superpower has pursued for almost seven decades, from
the end of the last battles of World War II in August of 1945. I put aside at this moment the aggressive and
expansionist policy it applied on the peoples of
Each one of the
norms advocated by Obama in
They dropped and
tested the effects of two nuclear bombs over
If one were to
analyze the wars promoted, supported or waged by the
After the three
initial points of his speech in
The fourth issue that I will address is democracy, he said.
So let me be clear: No system of government can or should be imposed by one nation on any other.
But I do have an unyielding belief that all people yearn for certain things: the ability to speak your mind and have a say in how you are governed; confidence in the rule of law and the equal administration of justice;
These are not just American ideas; they are human rights. And that is why we will support them everywhere.
The fifth issue that we must address together is religious freedom.
Islam has a
proud tradition of tolerance
I saw it
firsthand as a child in
Among some Muslims, there's a disturbing tendency to measure one's own faith by the rejection of somebody else's faith.
fault lines must be closed among Muslims, as well,
as the divisions between Sunni and Shia have led to tragic violence, particularly in
it is important for Western countries to avoid impeding Muslim citizens from practicing religion as they see fit for instance, by dictating what clothes a Muslim woman should wear. We can't disguise hostility toward any religion behind the pretence of liberalism.
I reject the view of some in the West that a woman who chooses to cover her hair is somehow less equal, but I do believe that a woman who is denied an education is denied equality. And it is no coincidence that countries where women are well educated are far more likely to be prosperous.
the struggle for women's equality continues in many aspects of American life, and in countries around the world.
I am convinced that our daughters can contribute just as much to society as our sons. Our common prosperity will be advanced by allowing all humanity men and women to reach their full potential.
The Internet and television can bring knowledge and information, but also offensive sexuality and mindless violence into the home. Trade can bring new wealth and opportunities, but also huge disruptions and change in communities.
invest in online learning for teachers and
children around the world; and create a new online network, so a young person
we have a responsibility to join together on behalf of the world that we seek a world where extremists no longer threaten our people, and American troops have come home; a world where Israelis and Palestinians are each secure in a state of their own, and nuclear energy is used for peaceful purposes
That is the world we seek. But we can only achieve it together.
It's easier to start wars than to end them.
that we do unto others as we would have them do unto us
We have the power to make the world we seek, but only if we have the courage to make a new beginning, keeping in mind what has been written.
The Holy Quran tells us: "O mankind! We have created you male and a female; and we have made you into nations and tribes so that you may know one another."
The Talmud tells us: "The whole of the Torah is for the purpose of promoting peace."
The Holy Bible tells us: "Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God." (Applause.)
The people of the world can live together in peace.
As you can see, tackling the fourth topic in his speech at Al-Azhar University Obama stumbles into a contradiction. After beginning his words with a maxim as is his custom, stating that:
No system of government can or should be imposed by one nation on any other, a principle in the Charter of the United Nations as a fundamental element of international law, he immediately contradicts himself with a declaration of faith that turns the United States into the supreme judge over democratic values and human rights.
Then he refers to subjects related to economic development
and equal opportunities. He makes
promises to the Arab world; he points our advantages and contradictions. It would really appear to be a public
relations campaign carried out by the
At the end of the speech there is quite a mix of subjects.
If one takes into account the length of the speech, without using paper, the number of lapses is negligible as compared with his predecessor who used to make a mistake in every paragraph. He is a very good communicator.
I tend to observe historical, political and religious ceremonies with interest.
This one at
He left early for
Fidel Castro Ruz