This, quite frankly, is the finest speech I've heard/watched/read Obama give, and should lay to rest any of the "Obama's a closet muslim" nonsense. In this, he not only nods to the achievements of the Muslim world, but also, for the first time--first real time--in Obama's presidency, I've seen him truly praise America as a great place. And when I say praise, I don't mean the sort of back-of-the-hand compliment liberals like to give America ("well, yeah, we're better than some backwater where the people eat bugs, but we're eeeevillle!"). My favorite part:
Much has been made of the fact that an African-American with the name Barack Hussein Obama could be elected President. But my personal story is not so unique. The dream of opportunity for all people has not come true for everyone in America, but its promise exists for all who come to our shores – that includes nearly seven million American Muslims in our country today who enjoy incomes and education that are higher than average.
Moreover, freedom in America is indivisible from the freedom to practice one's religion. That is why there is a mosque in every state of our union, and over 1,200 mosques within our borders. That is why the U.S. government has gone to court to protect the right of women and girls to wear the hijab, and to punish those who would deny it.
So let there be no doubt: Islam is a part of America. And I believe that America holds within her the truth that regardless of race, religion, or station in life, all of us share common aspirations – to live in peace and security; to get an education and to work with dignity; to love our families, our communities, and our God. These things we share. This is the hope of all humanity.
America is a different and special place, regardless of what detractors wish us to believe. We directly elected a black man as president; this is something most democracies don't and cannot do (in a parliamentary system, you elect a party which has a leader; you don't vote for the leader). So, for all the America-is-a-racist-country bashing, we are heads and shoulders above other places.
There's much to criticize in this speech, as RedState acknowledges, but I'd rather focus on what Obama said that was right for a change. There was woefully little of that spirit when George Bush was president.