Marnia Lazreg

I have to admit that Barack Obama's last speech to the Muslim world—by telewhatever to the U.S.-Islamic World Forum in Doha, Qatar—did contain one subtle reproach to the umma after a year of fawning. And it was an important one although it was only three words: “including their daughters.” The president was ever so gently urging Muslims to include girls and women in the pursuit of knowledge which he right called “the currency of the 21st century.” It is, of course, more than that. But give him his due.

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I am back again to Barack Obama's speech in Cairo. And here's what I wrote about it in early summer. Among other topics, the president focused for a long moment on the hijab (and, in case you want to buy one, here is a link to Hijab Girl, a salacious hook, if you don't mind me saying so.)  And here is what Obama said on the topic word for word: “[F]reedom in America is indivisible from the freedom to practice one's religion. That is why there is a mosque in every state in our union, and over 1,200 mosques within our borders.

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