Obama is an eloquent orator, possessing the communicative skill, where rhetoric and passion are finely blended with persuasive power. For establishing rapport, with otherwise disenchanted and even hostile audience, it is first necessary to 'agree' with the audience on issues, which are least 'controversial' and yet emotionally soul stirring for the listeners. The Cairo University provided audience which has abiding commitment to great Islamic thoughts and traditions and the finest civilizational accomplishments that Islam has gifted to humanity. Obama's opening expression of paying great tributes to Al-Azhar, as a "beacon of light for over a thousand years," and addressing them in the Muslim tradition, Assalam Alaikum, was a very insightful emotional appeal, which made the audience listen to him with rapt attention. He touched the Muslim sensibility by agreeing that they have been exploited in the past by the colonialists and "a cold war in which Muslims majority countries were too often treated as proxies without regard to their own aspirations." Such persuasive technique termed "flogging the dead horse" is the imperative of entering into the hearts and minds of the target group. Obama has brilliantly established the credibility by also quoting the relevant verses from the Holy Quran and highlighting his own linkage with Islam (his father being a Muslim) and his memories of living in Indonesia, in his early age and listening to 'Azzan' in the morning and at dusk, and the great tolerance that Islam exhibited towards all religious, whether, Christianity or Judaism. These are facts of history which Obama brought into salience, albeit with sincerity and he was not being hypocritical as some commentators' thought who are prone towards awful mistrust of the US Presidents particularly, his predecessor George Bush, who had a "divine" message to kill and obliterate Muslims, as they were against their civilization and way of life. Obama certainly is not prejudiced as his predecessor was who has degraded the image of his own country, and turned the lofty traditions, set by the great forbears like Jefferson and Wilson upside down. The truth is that Muslims have never hated USA or its great civilization and way of life as seven millions diaspora in USA is a testimony that USA attracted them for the qualities of freedom and opportunities to progress by attaining competence through higher learning. USA indeed had a great positive valence not only for Muslims but for people practically all over the world. The 'dignity of diversity' is preserved and Muslims follow their religious obligations, and that there are over 1,200 mosques in USA. Obama very rightly pointed out as a student of history that the civilization's debt to Islam was enormous and that Europe's Renaissance and Enlightment was a reflection of centuries of contributions to human knowledge made by the Muslim Scholars. He mentions the discovery of Algebra magnetic compass and tools of navigation besides diagnosis of diseases and their cure. Moreover, there were great cultural achievements like great poetry, music, calligraphy etc. To add to what Obama has said about Islam's contribution to knowledge, one can quote from the famous book. "The Making of Humanity," by Robert Brifault: "The debt of our science to that of the Arabs does not consist in startling discoveries of revolutionary theories. Science owes a great deal more to the Arabs, it owes its very existence. Muslim civilization, in short, was the embodiment of knowledge, innovative thinking and love for books. Will Durant in his great treatise, The Story of Civilization,' has listed quite exhaustively about the Muslim contributions, in diverse fields, which indicate that they were the torch bearers of great civilizational heritage. Tolerance and respect for others' religions and faiths is the quintessential value of Islam. The Holy Quran is very explicit on this. Lakum deen-o-kum wal ya deen (your religion is for you and my religion is for me). Coercion or compulsion is strictly forbidden - La Iqrah fiddeen (There should be no compulsion in religion). How does 'extremism, radicalism or fundamentalism can be associated to 'Islam'? Moreover, to contend that this great faith, is a breeding ground of 'terrorism' is totally absurd. This contrived stereotype has to be changed and Obama is very right in upholding this view. It is imperative to highlight that Islamic polity right from the time of the Holy Prophet (peace be upon Him) when 'Madina' was the centre of gravity, it was pluralistic and multi-ethnic in composition, and the Muslims, the Jews and Christians used to live in quite harmony with each other and there is not a single case of any Church or Synagogue being destroyed. They had the same rights and privileges. The stereotype created against Islam and Muslims in general is mainly to justify exploitation and aggression against them. What justification was there to kill around sixty million Muslims in Iraq and Afghanistan, mostly innocent men, women and children just for implementing the Neocon agenda, a stereotype had to be created to control their strategic wealth - oil and gas in Iraq, Central Asian States and a substantial reservoir of copper in Afghanistan, besides achieving the strategic objective of containing China, Iran and Russia's reemergence as a sizeable power. USA hopelessly failed in its mission. One, however differs from Obama that a stereotype against America as a "self-seeking empire," should also be corrected. It is no stereotype. It is essentially a well-earned reputation. No one denies the ideals of freedom and democracy, followed at home in USA, which was destroyed by George Bush by creating a phobia against Bin Laden and making the whole society paranoid. The innocent Americans surrendered their 'freedom' under 'laws' that were 'draconian' in nature, for the sake of 'security' as a function of much trumpeted fear. USA had a passion for prolonging 'unipolarity', sequel to the defeat of the then formidable Soviet power. This they owe to the Afghan Mujahideen, whom they abandoned after the Red Army, retreated from the soil of Afghanistan. This betrayal resulted in intense anger, no less in propensity than the 'anger' that the USA encountered due to 9/11 - a tragedy condemned by all as innocent lives of people around 3000 were lost for no rhyme or reasons. Osama Bin Laden was cultivated by CIA to lend his support in the Afghan War in order to defeat the Soviet occupation. When the objective was accomplished, he became homeless as Saudi Arabia deprived him of his Arab nationality, Sudan refused to accommodate him, and he then finally sought the hospitality of the Afghans. Some Muslims felt that they were being fooled and humiliated and the reaction emerged in the form of Al-qaeda and Taliban. They are the forces of resistance, which were instrumental in the defeat of USA in Iraq as well as Afghanistan. The problem of 'radicalism' is of their own making as very courageously accepted by the Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. With her statements, the whole geo-strategic reality changes. Some terrorists acts by Muslims should, in no case be attributed to Islam just as a Christian's act of bombing incident in Oklahoma City does not make all Christians terrorists. It was George Bush and his clans' outrageous policy to think that they could defame Islam (through an orchestrated plan) and discredit it as was the fate of Communism after the Cold War. Communism got a severe blow at the hands of the valiant Afghans. Islam - a divine ideology cannot be equated with man made ideologies - Capitalism and Communism. 'Talibanization' is an aberration of Islam. But Muslims never had any grudge against any ideology. Brezezinski in his article: "Hegemonic Quicksand" is very right when he says: "It is essential to recognize that the foment within the Muslim world must be viewed primarily in a regional rather than global perspective and through a geopolitical rather than theological prism. The world of Islam is disunited both politically and religiously... Hostility toward the United States, while pervasive in some Muslim countries, originates more from specific political grievances - such as Iranian nationalist resentment over the US backing of the Shah, Arab animus stimulated by US support for Israel or Pakistan's feelings that the United States has been partial to India - than from a generalized religious bias." It is the usurpation of their lands and plunder of their wealth, which have contributed to their 'anger'. Frustration leads to aggression in the well known empirical truth in psychology. Palestine issue needs to be taken out of the realm of policies and promises. Action is what is required and the real test of Obama would be how soon, he is able to overcome the despotic Israeli leaders' total disregard for justice. The same is true of Kashmir. Obama, lest he offends the Indian powerful lobby did not touch upon this issue, which is the vital source of conflict in the region, more than what we face in our tribal areas, which is maneuvered to put extra pressure on Pakistan in order to destabilize it. But Obama during his election campaign had rightly diagnosed the problem of the region, but soon he back-tracked just because the Indians do not want a judicious solution of the Kashmir, Pakistan, quite legitimately feels that India weighs for more heavily in USA's strategic plans than does Pakistan. This is a great moral drift. Obama must transcend the unethical and immoral policies of his predecessor, if he wants to perpetuate his name in history as the deliverer of justice. E-mail: friendsfoundation@live.co.uk