The much-heralded speech to the Muslim world is upon us. But just what will Obama say to the throng in Cairo tomorrow? Three writers share their guesses.
Reza Aslan knows what Obama is unlikely to articulate in his speech: any mention of democracy. It's an irony of ironies that the president choose Egypt for his podium, a country, Aslan points out, that has an abysmal record when it comes to free speech and protecting civil society. "It will be surprising if the word "democracy" even escapes Obama's lips," Aslan writes.
Ramez Maluf reminds readers in Foreign Policy that the issue closest to listeners' hearts will be the same issue that has existed for decades: the Israeli-Palestinian dispute. Selling America back to the Muslim world, he says, is contingent upon some overture to the Palestinian sympathies in the six decade old imbroglio.
Similarly, Roger Cohen writes in the Times that the continued expansion of Jewish settlements within Palestinian territory is the linchpin in any regional peace. He offers the original 1967 Israeli borders, that have shrunk and expanded countless times over the intervening decades, as a point of departure at the U.S.-led negotiation table.
Essential pre-speech viewing:
A great number of Big Think experts have addressed the issues close the hearts of Muslims, among them are:
Director of the Muslim Studies Group Dahlia Mogahed
Businessweek editor Paul Barrett
Council on Foreign Relations fellow Vali Nasr
Professor of Islamic Studies Reza Aslan
What can 3D printing do for medicine? The "sky is the limit," says Northwell Health researcher Dr. Todd Goldstein.
- Medical professionals are currently using 3D printers to create prosthetics and patient-specific organ models that doctors can use to prepare for surgery.
- Eventually, scientists hope to print patient-specific organs that can be transplanted safely into the human body.
- Northwell Health, New York State's largest health care provider, is pioneering 3D printing in medicine in three key ways.
Torn between absolutism on the left and the right, classical liberalism—with its core values of compassion and incremental progress whereby the once-radical becomes the mainstream—is in need of a good defense. And Adam Gopnik is its lawyer.
- Liberalism as "radical pragmatism"
- Intersectionality and civic discourse
- How "a thousand small sanities" tackled drunk driving, normalized gay marriage, and could control gun violence
As Game of Thrones ends, a revealing resolution to its perplexing geography.
- The fantasy world of Game of Thrones was inspired by real places and events.
- But the map of Westeros is a good example of the perplexing relation between fantasy and reality.
- Like Britain, it has a Wall in the North, but the map only really clicks into place if you add Ireland.
The lost practice of face-to-face communication has made the world a more extreme place.
- The world was saner when we spoke face-to-face, argues John Cameron Mitchell. Not looking someone in the eye when you talk to them raises the potential for miscommunication and conflict.
- Social media has been an incredible force for activism and human rights, but it's also negatively affected our relationship with the media. We are now bombarded 24/7 with news that either drives us to anger or apathy.
- Sitting behind a screen makes polarization worse, and polarization is fertile ground for conspiracy theories and fascism, which Cameron describes as irrationally blaming someone else for your problems.
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