As part of broader effort to recast Muslim-American relations, the Obama White House released a new video on Wednesday night highlighting the work of Muslim-Americans in federal government.
The clip, roughly three-and-a-half minutes in length, compiles the stories and testimony of three young employees, one from USAID, another from the White House Counsel's office and a third from the Department of Justice. The underlying message, while not directly stated, was fairly clear: These individuals are just as committed to the nation's fabric as the non-Muslims with whom they work.
"There is a prophetic tradition in our faith that if you see something objectionable that you should change it with your hands, if you are unable to change it in your hands than you should speak out against it, you should change it with your tongue," said Rashad, the White House lawyer. "And if you are unable to do that, it means you should dislike it in your heart."
The video tackles the Muslim-American dynamic from a slightly different perspective than the accompanying (and far more watched) address Obama delivered in Cairo on Thursday morning. The president insisted that America was "one of the greatest sources of progress that the world has ever known," a place where opportunity was abundant and the Muslim community appreciated. But his main objective was to forge a middle ground on the United State's foreign policy, whether it be in Iraq, Afghanistan, Israel or Palestine.
"Whatever we think of the past," said Obama, "we must not be prisoners of it. Our problems must be dealt with through partnership; progress must be shared."