And for the skinny, loyal wife that is Pakistan, there are lectures on greater efforts on the war on terror and lectures on democracy and nothing else. There is a sense of being let down, of being abandoned by an old ally.

 

INDONESIA · INDIA · PAKISTAN · JORDAN
 
The number one role model for Muslims

Amman, Jordan, March 7, 2006

 

Muslims' Role Model
Everywhere we go, we ask Muslims questions about who their role models are, from contemporary life and the past.  From contemporary life, the answers vary. For example, here in Jordan they may say, “The king is our role model.” In Syria they may say, “The president of Syria is our role model.”

 

But from the past, every Muslim--whether he’s a mufti, a sheikh, or a secular Muslim--will say that their number one inspirational person is the Prophet of Islam. And I would say that answer was almost 100 percent. Now what does this mean for American policymakers?

It means that if you want to win the hearts and minds of the Muslim world, which is what America is trying to do--and spending a lot of money trying to do--and you disrespect that person, then Muslims will not be happy. (So consider this when you wonder at the veracity of anger Muslims have for the caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad.)

Whatever logic is argued (about the freedom to spoof the Prophet), a lot of Muslims simply will be mad. These are conclusions that hopefully will benefit those people who want to know what to do about dealing with Muslims. Of course the U.S. had no involvement with this controversy, but it still is a good lesson to remember when we want to understand Muslims and what they hold important.

 

Giving the Friday Sermon in Damascus

Amman, Jordan, March 7, 2006