President Barack Obama took the stage today at Cairo University with the eyes of many upon him. Politicians and other intellectuals looked on to see how the 44th President of the United States, still somewhat easing into his new title, would respond to the crisis in the Middle East as well as the prejudices and discrimination here in the United States. President Obama did not hesitate to address the topic of Islam, quoting the Holy Quran several times and even saying “salaam alaikum”, a variant of “peace be upon you”. The crowd took well to this, cheering at the esteem of President Obama.
Throughout his speech, the president discussed his endless ties to Islam, reminiscing back to his days as a young boy in Indonesia, hearing the “azaan” which called Muslims to prayer. Even in his earliest days in Chicago, President Obama could recall being surrounded by people of a religion that did not preach extremism or acts of terrorism, but rather religious tolerance and peace among all. President Obama credited the followers of Islam for many inventions both physical and psychological.
From algebra to a compass, President Obama showed his gratitude to a religion that may have seen in a dimmed light in society. President Obama has called for peace not only in Arab nations but also in the world. The actions of a few terrorists do not constitute the actions of a nation, and President Obama looks to step on the dying embers of religious segregation. Furthermore, President Obama addressed the ongoing crisis between Israel and Palestine for the Holy Land. He like many presidents before him looks to initiate peace in this region as well as recognizing both states as a nation.
Nonetheless, President Obama realizes that the tasks at hand are strenuous, and the road to peace is an arduous one. However, we as a people, as a civilization must persevere and move forward toward the common good. President Obama also discussed in his speech the need for nuclear disarmament, and how nuclear power should be used in more peaceful aspects. President Obama finished his speech and allowed it to come full circle by using an example of ideals set down in all religions.
“Do unto others as you would have them do unto you”. Putting the icing on the cake, the President of the United States used his final minutes to resolutely push for equality in treatment and in opportunity one more time. Putting things such as skin color, race, and gender aside, President Obama left the podium at Cairo University with the hope that eyes across the globe had been opened to an ongoing crisis, and that affirmative action would be the next and final step toward a better tomorrow.