WASHINGTON – A year after Barack Obama came to office, American Muslims believe the winds of change are blowing, but are still waiting to see that reflected in their daily lives and want Obama avoid the mistakes of his predecessor.
"I would like to give Obama credit for reaching out to the Muslim community," Mohamed Majid, vice president of the Islamic Society of North America, told IslamOnline.net.Funny how Islam Online always likes to throw that number around. Memo to the hopeychanger with the "Hussein" in his name: If these guys think you're on the right track outreach 'n' "terrorism"-wise, you can be certain you've taken a very wrong turn.
In his historic inauguration speech, Obama raised hopes of change for all Americans and particularly for American Muslims, who longed for a new era in which their civil liberties would not be compromised on security grounds.
He followed that with two trips to Muslim-majority Turkey and later to Egypt, from where he delivered his long-awaited key speech to the Muslim world.
"What he said about Muslim charities among others, he spoke very well. I think he did a very good job," says Imam Shaker El-Sayyed, of the Dar Al-Hijrah mosque in Virginia.
He notes that one thing that Obama should be commended for is that he has removed the war rhetoric from the White House.
"This is very vital because it was about to leave huge civil rights violations in the American Muslim society."
The Fort Hood attack, when Muslim army psychiatrist Major Nidal Hasan went on a shooting spree killing 13 soldiers and wounding 30 others, was a major test for Obama.
"No one can ignore that president Obama has shown his leadership on the Fort Hood incident by urging calm and cautioning against jumping to conclusions," says Nihad Awad, Executive Director of the Council on American Muslim Relations (CAIR).
Salam Marayati, president of the Muslim Public Affairs Council, agrees.
"I think it could have been much worse in the previous administration.
"It could have created an environment to stigmatize Islam and Muslims. But Obama handled the situation very well."
Though there are no official estimates, the US is home to from nearly 7-8 million Muslims...