obama-w-arab-tv-crew.jpgIn his first formal interview as president, Barack Obama sat down with an Arab television station to offer a welcoming message to the Muslim world. He first expressed his interest in reaching out to Muslims as president, and pursuing a different approach to foreign policy than his predecessor, in his inaugural address — the only inaugural speech ever to mention the subject.

“My job is to communicate to the American people that the Muslim world is filled with extraordinary people who simply want to live their lives and see their children live better lives,” President Obama told Al Arabiya. “My job to the Muslim world is to communicate that the Americans are not your enemy.”

(Photo from Al Arabiya, Obama with news team Yamen Abdal Wahab, Nate McCray, Hisham Melhem and Muna Shikaki)

In the interview, conducted in the White House map room, President Obama also expressed his commitment to tackling the Middle East peace process immediately.

“Sending George Mitchell to the Middle East is fulfilling my campaign promise that we’re not going to wait until the end of my administration to deal with Palestinian and Israeli peace, we’re going to start now,” he said. “It may take a long time to do, but we’re going to do it now.”

The interview is part of the President’s broader outreach to the Muslim world, which includes a promise to make a major address from the capital of a Muslim nation.

Al Arabiya is a 24-hour Arabic-language news channel based out of Dubai.



  1. President Obama’s comments to the Muslim world are disparaging to the US which has fought for Muslim freedoms in five prior campaigns in Bosnia, Kosovo, Kuwait, Afghanistan and Iraq. The US has not only respected Muslims but did not have a single riot agains the Muslim religion or people in the wake of the murders of September 11, 2001 – all planned and executed by Muslim terrorists. The United States of America has nothing to apologize for to the Muslim world. The peace loving Muslim people need to stand against violent people of their own faith. Publishing this arcitle in Good News Network perpetuates the erroneous comments of a new President who is criticizing the very country he is now priveleged to lead.

  2. J,

    There is no criticism of America contained in any of the president’s comments!

    He did not disparage or discount efforts of past presidents to stand up for Muslims.

    Reaching out an open hand *is* good news, as the Arab world has not seen, rightly or wrongly, the policies of America in the last 8 years to be friendly toward Muslims. Perceptions are everything! And, winning the hearts and minds of Muslims worldwide is of the utmost importance in the fight against Islamist extremists.

    In America after 9-11, just because there was no riot doesn’t mean that many Americans didn’t shun, persecute and hold prejudice against other Americans who were Muslims. It happened.

    And it is so apparent to me that we need leadership at the top to bring this message home to our county, that just because someone is Muslim, doesn’t mean they are DIFFERENT than us, or that their religion condones attacks on innocents.

    The moment that Bush created an “Axis of Evil” and named whole countries as being in that cabal, two of which were Muslim, he created an “us v.s. them” that was not helpful to peaceful diplomacy. When he did not sit down with, OR REACH OUT to, Muslim countries after 9-11, he threw away a chance for understanding and unity that was IN HIS GRASP. He lost opportunity for worldwide brotherhood against terrorist acts that was unprecedented.

  3. Whille the smoke and dust from September 11 was still in the air former Preseident Bush was in New York making a national plea to the American people not to judge all Muslims by the acts of a few. He said the same to all Muslim leaders. What President Obama is doing is fine but he should not portray this as something new. It is not.

  4. What *WILL* be new (compared with the last administration) is if the president does something more than say it once or twice.

    Not to mention if he adheres to centuries of foreign policy and refrains from invading other countries (Muslim) that haven’t done anything to us and is not engaged in gross genocide against his own people (neither were happening in early 2000’s)

    I am not one who thinks Bush did nothing good during office, but his failed legacy in the Muslim world and failed diplomacy around the world are staggering, in my opinion.

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