On Jun 4, 2009, President Obama went to Cairo, Egypt and gave a speech to the Islamic World. It was entitled, A New Beginning. One has to wonder though both what President Obama plans to end and what new thing he wishes to begin.
His speech followed his normal format. It was a mixture of apologies for America’s beliefs and actions and vilification of the Bush-Cheney administration, as are most of Obama’s speeches to foreigners.
There was something new in President Obama’s Cairo speech though. Well into it, after the apologies and the vilification of his predecessors, after the praise of Islam and reiterated commitment to see it flourish in America, after the now-expected lack of support for Israel, was something very chilling and outrageous. It was the promise to pay Muslims for peace in our time.
qaatilul-ladhiyna laa yu’minuuna bil-laahi wa laa bil yawmil aakhiri wa laa yuHar-rimuuna maa Har-ramal-laahu wa rasuuluhuu wa laa yadiynuuna diynal Haq-qi minal-ladhiyna uutul kitaaba Hat-taa yu’ÅTul jizyata ‘Ay yadiw wa hum Saagiruun
Fight against the People given the Book(s) who do not accept faith in Allah and the Last Day, and who do not treat as forbidden what is forbidden by Allah and by His Noble Messenger, and who do not follow the true religion, until they pay the tariff with their own hands with humiliation.
— Ahmed Raza Khan: Mohammed Aqib Qadri
Qur’an Chapter 9: Al-Tawba (Repentence) Verse 29
Essentially, in Obama’s ever-nuanced fashion, he promised that the US would pay Jizyah, the Dhimmi’s tax to the Muslim World.
On education, we will expand exchange programs, and increase scholarships, like the one that brought my father to America, while encouraging more Americans to study in Muslim communities. And we will match promising Muslim students with internships in America; invest in on-line learning for teachers and children around the world; and create a new online network, so a teenager in Kansas can communicate instantly with a teenager in Cairo.
On economic development, we will create a new corps of business volunteers to partner with counterparts in Muslim-majority countries. And I will host a Summit on Entrepreneurship this year to identify how we can deepen ties between business leaders, foundations and social entrepreneurs in the United States and Muslim communities around the world.
On science and technology, we will launch a new fund to support technological development in Muslim-majority countries, and to help transfer ideas to the marketplace so they can create jobs. We will open centers of scientific excellence in Africa, the Middle East and Southeast Asia, and appoint new Science Envoys to collaborate on programs that develop new sources of energy, create green jobs, digitize records, clean water, and grow new crops. And today I am announcing a new global effort with the Organization of the Islamic Conference to eradicate polio. And we will also expand partnerships with Muslim communities to promote child and maternal health.
I’m fairly sure that those Muslims who heard President Obama’s speech were far more impressed with his willingness to pay for peace, or at least a reduction in violence, than they were with the rest of his words. Muslims aren’t stupid about these things; they understand words, actions, and power – and the relative worth of each.
I’m also fairly sure that a lot of Americans, with the exception of the Muslims residing here and the more devoted of Obama’s followers, who heard President Obama’s speech were quite upset – as I obviously was – over his promise to spend our money to placate the Muslims. Last I heard – even from President Obama and others in his administration – we can’t afford to be spending like that anymore.
Also, America does not pay tribute to Muslim rulers or states. We settled that matter when we took Tripoli during First Barbary War in 1805.