frgavin on June 20th, 2011

June  2011

By George Conger, CEN

The former Bishop of Rochester has roundly condemned US President Barack Obama’s May 19 speech on the Middle East, calling it naïve and insubstantial.
In an article printed on the website of the National Review, a conservative American political magazine, Bishop Michael Nazir Ali stated the president’s euphonious phrases on ‘hope’ and ‘change’ for peace in the Middle East were lovely to hear, but amounted to little more than “sugar coating.”
To Dr. Nazir Ali’s ears, the speech was not written for an American audience, but to assuage Muslim opinion. “Some scholars have written about the dhimmi mentality, i.e., a subservient attitude developed towards Muslim rulers by Christian, Jewish, and other communities that were allowed to survive, but under heavy restrictions, in the Muslim world. It has sometimes been held that the West’s response to events in the Muslim world betrays a similar mentality, brought about by fear. Was the president’s speech an example of this?,” he asked.
The president’s optimism that the death of Osama bin Laden would see the “end of radical Islam” was unduly optimistic, and “extremist Islamism is now so decentralized” the death of the mastermind behind the 9/11 attacks “will have little effect.” Bin Laden’s death “may in fact lead to his becoming an icon or a martyr in exactly the way that the president does not wish.”
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