Is Obama's Muslim "Problem" a Problem?
Posted by Shadi Hamid
The whole Obama madrasa story turns out to be nothing more than an empty right-wing smear-attack. But even if it was true - so what if Obama went to a madrasa? Maybe that's actually a plus. Madrasa reform is (or should be) on the US foreign policy agenda. Maybe someone who actually knows what a madrasa is - or, even better, has attended one - might be able to suggest some useful policy prescriptions for this very serious problem.
Problem #2: Apparently, some people are worried that Obama's father was Muslim. Why is this a bad thing? Wouldn't you think that a president who actually knew something about Muslims (or had one as a father) would do a better job convincing the world's 1.4 billion Muslims that we're not out to get them? George W. Bush probably hadn't met one Muslim before he ran for governor and look where that's got us. One of the prerequisites for becoming "leader of free world" should be knowing the difference between Sunni, Shia, and Kurd. I hate to state the obvious (or is it?) but knowing about other religions and cultures is not a bad thing. Moreover, it's especially not a bad thing when we're trying to fight Islamic radicalism, understand Muslim grievances, and win the hearts and minds of what happens to be 1/5 of the world's population.