Reviewing Obama's Cairo commitment
A year after he promised to repair ties with the Muslim world, has Obama kept his word?
Last Modified: 05 Jun 2010 07:15 GMT

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One year after his speech in Cairo promising to repair ties with Islamic nations, has Barack Obama kept his word? 

The US president pledged to seek a new beginning between the US and Muslims around the world "one based upon mutual interest and mutual respect".

Trying to distance himself from his predecessor, George Bush, Obama said it was time to end mutual mistrust and suspicion.

He said the US had made mistakes in Iraq and renewed Washington's calls for a two-state solution in the Middle East saying: "America will not turn our backs on the legitimate Palestinian aspiration for dignity, opportunity, and a state of their own."

But on the first anniversary of that speech, many Muslims say Obama has not only failed to honour his promises, but in certain respects has continued the policies of George Bush.

They point to his increasingly stern language against Iran over its nuclear programme, the White House's refusal to join the broader global condemnation of Israel's attack on the Gaza-bound aid flotilla, and the intensified drone attacks in Pakistan as some of the reasons.

His supporters argue that Obama has succeeded in reaching out to the Muslim world but must be given more time to carry out his policies.

On Thursday's show we ask: Has Obama has succeeded in changing the tone of US engagement towards Islamic nations or has he defaulted on his Cairo commitment?

Joining the show will be Rashad Hussain, President Obama's special envoy to the Organization of the Islamic Conference.

This episode aired on June 3, 2010.

Al Jazeera
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