JEDDAH: Muslim community leaders were unanimous in their opinion: Barack Obama’s re-election as president of the United States would promote global peace and strengthen America’s relations with the Islamic world.
Leaders and participants at the Islamic Development Bank community development workshop shared their thoughts about the re-election with Arab News. They urged Obama to withdraw US forces from Muslim countries like Afghanistan and stop plans to attack Iran.
Suhail Sabir of Aligarh Muslim University said: “I am excited about his re-election. Obama was doing well as the US president in terms of establishing good relations with Muslim countries. He is not aggressive like Republican presidents.”
Sabir was in the US when Obama was first elected. He said the president fulfilled most of the promises he had made during his first term. When asked what Obama should do to improve ties with the Muslim world, Sabir said: “At the least he should pull US forces from Muslim countries after helping them establish good governments.”
Yahya Ma Yuqian from China believes Muslim relations with the US have improved since Obama came to power. “Before him the situation was bad.” He said he had expected Obama to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict but it had not happen. “I don’t think he can do anything to resolve this conflict,” he said.
Kassim Haji Hussein from Somalia was optimistic Obama’s second term would enhance global peace. “During the past four years there was no US military aggression on Muslim countries,” he said. He hopes Obama will help end the civil war in Somalia that has undermined the lives of more than 10 million people.
“There is no way other than dialogue and reconciliation to end the Somali crisis,” Hussein said, adding military confrontation and violence has destroyed his country. “We have to accept each other in spite of our differences and sit face-to-face and reconcile.”
Rabia Danladi from Nigeria said she is happy about Obama’s re-election. “If he had not done something good he would not have been elected again. I hope he will continue to work for unity, peace, transparency and accountability.
"The president should use his God-given capabilities judiciously for the progress and prosperity of the whole world,” she said. “God has given him this second chance to fulfill his past promises.”
Khalifa Said Jallo from Colorado said it was a victory for the poor in the US. “If someone has to lead the country he should know his people and understand their problems and needs. He criticized the Republicans for their love of war. “We don’t want wars, we want peace.” Jallo hopes Obama will do better in this term, especially in resolving the Palestinian issue.