President-elect Barack Obama has announced his intention to present a “major” speech in the capital of a Muslim country soon after his inauguration. Obama says this is an opportunity to repair the damage done to America’s global reputation in the past eight years, especially in the Muslim world. According to Yahoo! News, Obama intends to “create a relationship of mutual respect and partnership in countries and with peoples of good will who want their citizens and ours to prosper together.”
So which capital of which country teeming with “good will who wants their citizens and ours to prosper together” will he choose?
Will he speak in Tehran, Iran—where mullahs and ayatollahs have for nearly thirty years preached “death to America,” where young men and women are stoned to death or hanged in public for the “crime” of being gay, and where critics of the government are thrown into jail?
Or will he speak in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia—where women are forced to endure life under the effacing repression of the hijab, where religious police arrest men and women for enjoying each others’ company if they are not related, where a woman who suffered a gang-raping was sentenced to 200 lashes and six months in prison because she violated those same laws segregating the sexes?
Perhaps he will speak in Kabul, Afghanistan—where a young man was sentenced to death for suggesting the “blasphemy” that women have rights and the public cheered the fact that an innocent man was to be murdered by judicial decree.
Or maybe Obama meant he will speak to the peoples of good will in Mogadishu, Somalia or Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso or one of the dozen other Islamic African capitals where young girls experience the horror of genital mutilation and forced marriages.
This is but a sampling of the horrendous and revolting rights abuses that men, women, and children experience under Islamic regimes every day. These are not the actions of good willed nations seeking prosperity, but of barbaric despots seeking to create Jahannum on earth. Countries of goodwill that want their citizens to prosper uphold the individual rights of their people. There is no basis for or possibility of a “relationship of mutual respect and partnership” with countries that brutalize and murder their own citizens. That the President-elect of the freest, most prosperous, and most good-willed country on earth suggests there is such common ground between America and any Islamic nation makes one wonder if this is merely his typical empty rhetoric or a forewarning of hellish things to come.