The Corner

Obama in Turkey

There is nothing wrong with outreach. However, Turkey should be treated as a democracy, not just as the representative of the Muslim world. Indeed, the phrase “Muslim world” is troubling, as it assumes a uniform Muslim identity and betrays those who seek individual or national identity. President Obama also misunderstands, again, some of the problems. Difficulties in the past, have not been for lack of listening. We have listened, and both sides understand the problems. This does not mean the difficulties are bridgeable just through listening or respect. Indeed, if a conflict exists between Western liberal notions of freedom of expression and Islamist sensitivity, we should not undercut our freedoms simply for the sake of respect. Rather, we should stand firm in our principles, and demand the same respect for them as some Muslims demand for Islamist precepts.

Michael Rubin — Michael Rubin is a resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute, senior lecturer at the Naval Postgraduate School’s Center for Civil-Military Relations, and a senior editor of the Middle East ...

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