The 44th President: Muslims 'Still Waiting' for Results

February 9, 2009

Author: Calum Davey

Source: The Daily Pennsylvanian

Since the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, "there has been a sense of fear about being a Muslim" in America, said Fariha Khan, associate director of the Asian American Studies program who teaches a class on Muslim identity in the United States.

For the last eight years under President George W. Bush, the USA PATRIOT Act - which carried the threat of wiretapping, random questioning and searches at airports - made life "a nightmare."

Obama's election and his first few weeks in office have offered many promises for America's Muslim community - promises that have raised expectations and leave many waiting to see how they will unfold.

The waiting started early. During the campaign, Khan said, she was disappointed with his response to being called a Muslim.

"I waited anxiously for him to say something," she said. And she is also "still waiting" for Obama to comment on the situation in Gaza.

A number of students see Obama as reaching out to the Muslim world. Notably, Obama chose to do his first televised interview as President on Al-Arabiya, an Arabic-language news channel based in the United Arab Emirates.

College senior Amanda El-Dakhakhni, the former vice chairwoman of the Muslim Students Association, said this "definitely impressed [her]" and that he seemed to be "offering a listening ear that was not done in the last eight years."