Muslims hope Obama to address Gaza tragedy as first step
"I hope it ends the rift between the US and the Muslim world which has grown further and further in the last eight years," the heade of a Muslim Council said.
British Islamic groups expressed hope to end the rift between U.S. and Muslim world under the term of new presedent Barack Obama, saying his policies needed to match his words.
Dr Muhammad Abdul Bari, Secretary General of the Muslim Council of Britain, said that he hoped Obama would adress the tragedy in Gaza as a first step.
In his inauguration address on Tuesday, Obama promised a "new way forward" based on "mutual interest and mutual respect" following tensions that followed the Sept. 11 attacks, wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and U.S. support for Israel.
Bari also said the new president's intentions were "noble".
"I hope it ends the rift between the US and the Muslim world which has grown further and further in the last eight years," Bari said.
"As a first step, I hope the president will address the tragedy in Gaza. The strength of feeling against what the Israelis have done should not be underestimated."
Former President George W. Bush's foreign policy led to much anger among Muslims and is regarded by many commentators.
Mohammed Shafiq, chief executive of Muslim youth organisation the Ramadhan Foundation, said the fact that Obama spent time as a child in Indonesia, the most populous Muslim nation, would help Muslims warm to him.
But he said what Obama did would be more important than his words.
"He will be judged on his actions not based on his rhetoric, not based on soundbites," he said.
He said they wanted to see equal treatment of Palestinians in the Middle East and an end "to the occupation in Iraq and Afghanistan".
Reuters Last Mod: 21 Ocak 2009, 15:34