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Speculations over what US President Barack Hussein Obama has in store for the Muslim World is rife, in the media as well as among the Muslim masses, as he prepares to deliver his address to the Muslim World tomorrow on Thursday from Cairo University in Egypt.


“Your statements since the inauguration have raised the level of hope for real change in our nation’s foreign and domestic policies,” Cairo based website has quoted Nihad Awad, Executive Director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), America's largest Muslim advocacy group, as saying in a letter sent to the US President ahead of his Thursday's speech.


“It is imperative that your positive statements now be backed up with concrete policy initiatives that will help move us all toward a more peaceful and prosperous future", Awad told Obama in the letter.


Obama is scheduled to arrive in Egypt, home to Al-Azhar University on June 4 to address the US-Muslim relations, in his latest effort to repair the strained US relations with the Muslim world. Before visiting Al-Azhar, Barack Obama would deliver his long-promised speech to the Muslim world from the prestigious Cairo University. Before that Obama would be meeting King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia on Wednesday in Riyadh.


"I want to use the occasion to deliver a broader message about how the United States can change for the better its relationship with the Muslim world," US President Barack Hussein Obama had himself said last week after meeting Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in Washington while referring to his Thursday's speech.


On the expected lines, the Palestinian issue, the main source of anti-American feeling in the Muslim world, is on top in the list that the Muslim World is eagerly waiting to see if the US President has anything else than the previous regimes.


Lamenting that for too long US has claimed to be champions of freedom and democracy, while turning a blind eye to repression, occupation and authoritarian rule the CAIR letter has said, “Now is the time to tell Israeli leaders that we will no longer support the denial of the legitimate rights of the Palestinian people and that we will take concrete actions to back up that declaration."


Interestingly amid the speculations, the White House has already dismissed speculation he will unveil a new Middle East peace initiative.


Obama spent last week working with aides to craft the speech, which he has said will address the Palestinian-Israeli question, but possibly not in the detail that many Muslims would like.


His administration has embraced a proposal by Saudi Arabia that offers Israel normal ties with all Arab states in return for a full withdrawal from the lands it seized in the 1967 Middle East war, creation of a Palestinian state and a "just solution" to the Palestinian refugee problem. It will likely feature in Obama's talks with Saudi King Abdullah in Riyadh on Wednesday on his way to Egypt.


At the same time, there are others who are skeptical and feel the much-hyped Obama's address to the Muslim World would be a customary effort.


"He will speak only in general terms to give the impression that America is not the enemy of the Arab and Muslim world. He will not be specific," Reuters has quoted Diaa Rashwan, an analyst at Cairo's Ahram Center for Political and Strategic Studies as saying.

















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