Has Obama Lost Popularity Among Muslims?

on Sunday, July 14, 2013

Obama’s election as the United States president came with lots of optimism from the world. All corners of the globe had something to say about this historic election. In the Muslim world which has often been against the US, a ray of hope swept across the Muslim world and for the first time, a US president was highly endorsed in the Muslim world. This was partly due some Islamic contacts Obama had in the past. It was even mentioned that Obama was a Muslim in the past. Nonetheless, his popularity among the Muslims has largely soared and it’s now at an all-time low. How did this happen?

To begin, despite the election and consequent re-election of Obama to the White House, the perception of the Muslim that the US acts unilaterally irrespective of the others interests has not changed. This is largely due to actions taken by the US across the Muslim world under the watch of President Obama. Additionally, despite the optimism that with Obama’s election, anti-terrorism efforts by the US will decline, it has sadly remained widespread. This has largely contributed to President Obama’s unpopularity across the Muslim world.

A number of surveys have shown that the increased drone attacks by the US targeting extremist leaders have largely contributed to the rise of Obama dislike among the Muslims. These drown attacks are largely viewed by Muslims as attacks on their leadership and are meant to suppress the Muslim world.

Obama dislike among the Muslims was also fueled by the manner in which he, as the US president, handled the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. This is an area where Muslims were largely disappointed as they hoped the U.S under Obama leadership would be able to curtail unilateral actions being taken by Israel against Palestine, which is largely Islamic. In many Muslim countries, the image of the U.S has largely declined over the recent years and so has the image of its president.

Despite the global perception that America’s economic clout is rapidly declining, there is still lots of fear, not just among the Muslims but across the world of how America uses it military power, more especially in international affairs. Many Muslims believe the US rampantly acts in a unilateral manner more especially against the Muslims. In nearly all Muslim countries, anti-terrorism policy under Obama’s watch, particularly the drone strikes targeting Islam leaders is a main reason why Obama’s popularity has declined. This is in addition to the perception that he was unable to act fairly in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

In general many in the Muslim world believe that when Obama stood and said, “we want to go before the world community and say ‘America is back,” it was all but words and no effort was made to live up to these words. To them, Obama failed the hopes and aspirations of the Muslim world.

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