A reader writes:
I, too, was struck by this interview. I am Muslim (a convert) and have been on board with Obama since Iowa. My husband's family (Lebanese Sunni) have always been skeptical about Obama, his motives and his intentions throughout the campaign. I always forwarded them information during the campaign about Obama's positions on the Middle East, the I/P situation, etc. telling them "This guy is different". Their response has been "Just because his middle name is Hussein doesn't mean he will be a friend to the Muslim world", preferring to wait it out and see his actions.
Well, this interview changed a lot of their minds! The most skeptical, my brother in law, who is from Syria, was shocked that he mentioned his Muslim family, knowing that during the campaign he tried to downplay this information. He was also surprised (and elated) when Obama said "[The U.S] needs to start by listening...typically in the past we have started by dictating". The rest of my family was pleasantly surprised, and very happy when he said (paraphrase) "But these are just words, and what we need now are actions." This impressed them greatly. The most striking aspect they liked was his empathy for Muslim children and their lives. This really resonated for them.
If the reaction of my family is any indication (cynical, jaded, suspicious of American influence) he hit it out of the park.
When the tectonic plates shift a little below ...
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