President Obama has been criticized for his approach to the Muslim world prior to his visit to Turkey, by those who see Obama’s promise to open a dialogue with the Muslim world as endemic of being soft on terrorism. Yet, others wonder why the president would waste time on words and glowing speeches, when imported policy is imminently needed. Others point to Obama’s virtual silence on Israel’s war on Gaza.
The criticisms are based around one major concern – actions speak louder than words. While scholars and intellectuals alike agree that Barack Obama has worked to set a new tone in US-Muslim relationships and a significant shift has been made since end of the Bush era, Munir Jiwa of the Graduate Theological Union in Berkely writes that Muslims are asking to be more active and participatory in public discourse, and the misunderstandings that have amounted over the past eight years must finally be addressed and talked about instead of ignored, and active mutual understanding over just talking about finding common ground will ultimately lead to resolution.