What Denver Author Asma Hasan Thinks of Obama's Most Recent Thoughts on Muslims

June 5 2009, 11:27 AM

During a speech in Cairo yesterday, President Barack Obama boldly changed the tone of how the United States deals with the Islamic world by expressing sympathy for the "daily humiliations" of Palestinians under Israeli "occupation," sparking intense debate over the future of the nation's cozy relationship with Israel. That's according to The New York Times, which points out that while Obama spoke of the United States' "unbreakable" relationship with Israel, he also reprimanded the Jewish homeland for its "intolerable" treatment of Palestinians who have lived in a stateless limbo for six decades. Reactions to the speech were mixed: from the West Bank (via The Los Angeles Times) to American Jewish communities to far-flung Denver. Asma Hasan, a Denver lawyer and the author of "Red, White and Muslim: My Story of Belief," applauded Obama. "When he started his speech by pointing out that Muslims had suffered under colonialism and globalization, I knew he was on the right track. So many Westerners gloss over these major historical events and ignore how hard it has been for Muslims," she told CNN via e-mail. But Glen S. Lewy and Abraham H. Foxman, respectively the national chairman and national director of Anti-Defamation League, a group that battles anti-Semitism, say Obama failed to put the Arab-Israel conflict "into its proper historical perspective--six Arab nations attacked Israel from day one and the occupation of Palestinian land was a product of Israel's wars of self-defense."