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EGYPT: What Barack Hussein Obama told Muslims

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President Barack Hussein Obama, born to a Muslim father and educated in a Muslim country, won a rousing response in Cairo today with an outreach to a Muslim world that reviled his predecessor George W. Bush.

He won a gasping cheer at the start, greeting a packed audience at Al Ahzar University with words of Arabic: ‘I am also proud to carry with me the goodwill of the American people, and a greeting of peace from Muslim communities in my country: assalaamu alaykum.’

And toward the end of the speech, when someone shouted, ‘We love you!,’ Obama replied, ‘Thank you.’

He thrilled them with a recitation of Muslim countries’ contributions to world civilization -- algebra, the compass, pens and printing, medical treatment of disease, architecture, poetry, calligraphy, music. He used the speech to teach as well, reminding the Egyptian audience that the first nation to recognize the United States was an Islamic country, Morocco, and that recently, when Keith Ellison became the first Arab-American elected to Congress, he took the oath of office on a Koran that had been in the personal library of founder Thomas Jefferson.

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