18 May 2011
President Obama and the Arab Spring Fling
President Obama is due to give a Middle East policy speech tomorrow. I'm sure he'll address the pro-democracy movements sweeping the region. As the law professor he was before becoming president, he may want to give them a few "do"s and "don't"s of how freedom works.
* Do have majority rule in a democracy but don't forget that religious minorities are to be protected and respected.
*Don't burn down Coptic churches and kill members of their community.
* Muslims do believe that Mohammed was a prophet and had the "final and definite words of Allah".
*If you want to have freedom of expression - don't - riot when you see your prophet poked fun at through newspaper cartoons.
* Oh yes, we also know that Muslims don't supposedly believe in compulsion in religion and do understand the concept of freedom of religion. If so, then the Pew poll that found that the death penalty was appropriate for those who wished to convert out of Islam is a big DON'T in a freedom loving culture that is known to be found in the Middle East these days.
Such minor details. I hope Obama mentions those sorts of things.
However, such hopes aside, I rather expect him to bang on the "peace-talk" drum once again. Once again we must pressure Israel to bow to the wishes of American foreign policy and make concessions and sacrifices in the name of "peace". Never mind that there is now a unity deal between Hamas and the Palestinian Authority. Not that Hamas has renounced terrorism or violence against Jews - they haven't. And the Palestinian Authority continues to name streets and camps after their own "martyrs" and contributes monies to the families of those "martyrs". I'm still waiting to hear about Hamas and the PA's own concessions and sacrifices in the name of this elusive "peace".
Ultimately, I expect President Obama's speech tomorrow night to be a bust. He will continue along the wrong road. He will pressure the wrong people, and will expect those who believe that minorities are to be abused and murdered to be more than just thugs stuck in the 7th century. It isn't going to happen.
Posted by Shira at 2:32 PM