[Imam Mohammad Ali Elahi heads the Islamic House of Wisdom in Dearborn Heights.]

President Barack Hussein Obama’s historic speech at Cairo University last week ignited new hope to re-start relations between America and the world’s Muslims on the basis of mutual interest and mutual respect.

The president offered dialogue, diplomacy and engagement. Obama’s message reminded me of his book, “Dreams from My Father,” which ends: “We need to remind ourselves, despite all our differences, just how much we share: common hopes, common dreams, a bond that will not break.”

Muslim Americans appreciated the president’s concept of a “new beginning.” Islam has always been a part of American’s story, the president said. The partnership between America and Islam must be based on truth, not paranoid fantasies.

The promise to combat the demonization of Islam serves justice and constitutional integrity. By referring to Quranic verses, recognizing the contributions of the Muslim community in American social life and defending the right of Muslim women to dress traditionally while enjoying equal opportunities, Obama demonstrated his genuine desire to be a unifying leader.

One day after the Cairo gathering, while Osama bin Laden, Rush Limbaugh and fanatic Israelis united in hate against Obama, a big interfaith crowd met at the Islamic House of Wisdom to listen to internationally known Christian speaker and healer Marilyn Hickey. (More)


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