Ten Republican members of Congress have sent President Obama a letter urging him to be frank and direct when he addresses the Muslim world next week from Egypt.
The Middle East once was home to tolerance and diversity, the letter said. But that has been squelched by a radical form of Islam "intent on dividing humanity into Muslims and non-Muslims." The President should urge the international community to declare Al Qaeda and the Taliban threats to humanity and advocate on behalf of reformists.
"We ask you to call upon the governments of the Middle East to commit to defend freedom and democracy in pluralistic Lebanon, and to call for a stop to political assassinations and a disarmament of militias within their borders. We urge you to ask the Arab League to help the mostly Muslim population of Darfur, which is subjected to a genocide at the hands of a regime whose president is under indictment by the International Criminal Court. We urge you to ask them to help Pakistan in its war against the Taliban, al Qaeda, and other terrorist organizations. We ask you to call on the Organization of Islamic Conference to abandon its goal of imposing so-called "Defamation of Religions" laws which will repress reformists and groups seeking democracy in Muslim and non-Muslim societies alike."
The letter also urges the President to demand recognition of the state of Israel as the first step in any peace efforts. Read the entire letter here.