Maybe I’m just a dreamer, but I can’t help but think that this is a good thing:
It’s not only that our new president is giving his first televised interview on a network based in Dubai, but also that he’s saying things like this, directly to the Muslim world:
Now, my job is to communicate the fact that the United States has a stake in the well-being of the Muslim world, that the language we use has to be a language of respect. I have Muslim members of my family. I have lived in Muslim countries … the largest one, Indonesia. And so what I want to communicate is the fact that in all my travels throughout the Muslim world, what I’ve come to understand is that regardless of your faith – and America is a country of Muslims, Jews, Christians, non-believers – regardless of your faith, people all have certain common hopes and common dreams.
And my job is to communicate to the American people that the Muslim world is filled with extraordinary people who simply want to live their lives and see their children live better lives. My job to the Muslim world is to communicate that the Americans are not your enemy.
One of the key goals of the work we do in international education, exchange, and development is building and promoting a sense of respect between the United States and other countries (especially, it goes without saying but often still needs to be said, the Muslim world). Obama understands this and is projecting that respect with an interview like this. The Daily Show understands it too: