Yes, Obama said “asalaam aleikem” in Cairo: as a greeting to his audience *from American Muslims.”

Naturally, the same pack of bigots who think that it’s improper to pronounce Judge Sotomayor’s name properly were shocked to hear the President say “asalaam aleikum” (that’s how you say “sholom aleichem” in Arabic) to his audience in Cairo. What I hadn’t picked up from the internet chatter was the context in which he offered that greeting.

I am also proud to carry with me the goodwill of the American people, and a greeting of peace from Muslim communities in my country.

Author: Mark Kleiman

Professor of Public Policy at the NYU Marron Institute for Urban Management and editor of the Journal of Drug Policy Analysis. Teaches about the methods of policy analysis about drug abuse control and crime control policy, working out the implications of two principles: that swift and certain sanctions don't have to be severe to be effective, and that well-designed threats usually don't have to be carried out. Books: Drugs and Drug Policy: What Everyone Needs to Know (with Jonathan Caulkins and Angela Hawken) When Brute Force Fails: How to Have Less Crime and Less Punishment (Princeton, 2009; named one of the "books of the year" by The Economist Against Excess: Drug Policy for Results (Basic, 1993) Marijuana: Costs of Abuse, Costs of Control (Greenwood, 1989) UCLA Homepage Curriculum Vitae Contact: