A Major Obama Speech From The Islamic World?

Aides say Barack Obama may make a major foreign policy speech from an Islamic capital during his first hundred days in office, the New York Times reports.

Though no location for the potential address has been set, the Times' Helene Cooper suggests that Cairo, Egypt may be the most logical choice.

A speech by Obama in the Muslim world could have broad implications. During the campaign, then-candidate Obama had to knock down false rumors that he is Muslim, spurring some anger among U.S. Muslims over the way their faith was being portrayed.

Obama had to tread carefully in his denials – he stressed his Christian faith while also noting (though not always as loudly as some would have liked) that there is nothing inherently wrong with Islamic beliefs. The speech would offer an opportunity to address the issue more forcefully.

The international implications could be even more significant. Al Qaeda number two Ayman al-Zawahiri recently called Obama a "house Negro" in an apparent attempt to diminish whatever positive response Obama's victory has had on the U.S. image in the Islamic world. An appearance by the president-elect in an Islamic capital will be closely watched and could set the tone for U.S.-Muslim relations during his term.


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