President Barack Obama’s June 4 speech in Cairo, in which he addressed Muslims across the Middle East, “went as far as one can go with one speech” to reframe the relationship between the United States and Islam, said Scott Appleby, director of Notre Dame's Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies. Watch Appleby YouTube video here.
“The way the speech was delivered, the high publicity given to it, the expectations that were raised by it, this was intentional on the part of President Obama,” Appleby said. “It signals a shift he would like to see occur that he is trying to lead.”
In his address, Obama called for a three-way partnership between the United States, Israel, and the Muslim world. "That came across very clearly in a way that has not come across in previous presidential pronouncements from earlier administrations," Appleby said.
“This is a way forward that in no way diminishes U.S. support for Israel, but wants to be an equal partner with Israel in determining how that support should be understood and how Israelis themselves must act within the context of a three-way partnership. The president has to make the case that without stinting one iota on U.S. support for Israel we have to move forward in a different direction — that’s the best way to secure Israel and to make it a peaceful and safe and prosperous place.”
Scott Appleby’s research examines the roots of religious violence and the potential of religious peacebuilding. He teaches courses in American religious history and comparative religious movements.
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