Aslan spoke with Harry Smith on The Early Show this morning to explain what messages delivered by the president will resonate with the Muslim world and where the president's speech fell short.
The president's approach to issues like the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, the fight against Al Qaeda and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict was very frank, Aslan said.
"There were some words that Obama used that had never been used before by any American president, including the word 'occupation,' and the word 'Palestine,'" he said. "I think this is going to be really remarkable the way that the Muslim world reacts."
The crowd's reaction to Mr. Obama's words about women's rights was mixed, he said, and is likely to keep people talking, "which is precisely what Obama wanted."
"I reject the view of some in the West that a woman who chooses to cover her hair is somehow less equal, but I do believe that a woman who is denied an education is denied equality," the president said (read the full text here). "And it is no coincidence that countries where women are well educated are far more likely to be prosperous."
He added that women's equality is still an issue in many aspects of American life and that the U.S. will partner with any Muslim country to expand the literacy rate and economic opportunities for women and girls.
Still, in a country that has been under the rule of the same man since 1981, Mr. Obama could have spoken more forcefully on promoting political development, Alsan said.
"This was something that Egyptians especially wanted to hear some more from the Obama administration," he said.
Watch the whole video below:
Obama's Trip: Complete Coverage
- Obama "Will Not Forget" Concentration Camp
- "Moment Is Now" For Mideast
- Transcript: Obama & Merkel
- Lara Logan: Arab World Saw Obama's Speech As Historic
- e-Jihadists Rail Against Obama's Speech
- Analysis: New Language Key In Obama Speech
- Obama Urges "New Beginning"
- Full Transcript Of Remarks | Full Video
- Key Passages
- Obama Checks Out Sphinx And Pyramids
- World Watch: Egyptians Hope Obama Words "Turn Into Reality"
- Bob Schieffer: Obama's Speech "Remarkable"
- Reza Aslan: Remarks On Women's Rights Could Start Debate
- Ari Fleischer: Obama Speech Too "Balanced"
- Photo Gallery: Obama In Egypt
- Hot Topic: The Price Of Diplomacy
- Interview With Egyptian Prime Minister
- Opinion: Busting Down Stereotypes In Cairo
- Opinion: What The Syrians Wanted Obama To Say