President Obama told members of Parliament in Turkey, a majority Muslim nation, that the U.S. “would never be at war with Islam,” said Helene Cooper in The New York Times. It was risky for the new president to drive home the point by mentioning his family ties to Islam, especially since right-wing websites have falsely called him a closet Muslim. But Obama hopes to use Turkey as an example of the kind of alliance the U.S. can strike with a Muslim country.
There’s absolutely nothing objectionable about that, said Ed Morrissey in Hot Air. What’s objectionable is the way the media treat this like “some sort of sea change for American statesmanship.” George W. Bush “emphasized friendship with Muslims from the very start of the war,” yet Bush-bashing reporters can’t stop perpetuating the myth that the former president blamed the entire Muslim world for the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.
Come on, said Spencer Ackerman in The Washington Independent, the Bush administration made it pretty easy for al Qaida and other extremist groups to demonize America—Abu Ghraib, Guantánamo, the invasion of Iraq. Conservatives will once again say that Obama is “obsequiously” trying to curry favor with Muslim leaders, but forging relationships with Muslim nations based on “mutual respect” is a powerful counterterrorism strategy.
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- Why is the Pentagon stuffing caves in Norway full of tanks?
- 43 TV shows to watch in 2014
- The U.S. government is actually trouncing Ebola. When will it get credit?
- How to be the most productive person in your office — and still get home by 5:30 p.m.
- The one thing the New Atheists get right about religion
- The uncomfortable truth in The Giving Tree
- Gamergate has backfired spectacularly on its nincompoop perpetrators
- The simple trick to making better decisions in every aspect of life
- Syrian women know how to defeat ISIS
- 6 things the happiest families all have in common
Subscribe to the Week