Obamas to host Ramadan-focused podcasts on Spotify featuring Muslim voices
Barack and Michelle Obama are set to deliver a series of Ramadan-focused podcasts aimed at highlighting Muslim voices during the upcoming Muslim holy month.
The former US president and his wife will take part in the "Higher Ground: Tell Them, I Am" podcast on Spotify, featuring among others Muslim activists, artists and athletes.
The music streaming giant announced the new offering featuring at the recent Stream On event.
Hosted by Misha Euceph, a Pakistani-American journalist and producer, the first season of "Tell Them, I Am" aired in Ramadan in 2019, featuring Egyptian-American actor and director Ramy Youssef, comedian Ahamed Weinberg, and actress Alia Shawkat.
"The stories are universal and the guests are all Muslim," Euceph said at the Stream On event.
"The ultimate goal is for people to feel something, for them to fall in love with the people they're listening to without ever thinking about who they are and what they look like."
The podcast's announcement this week drew some less-than-impressed responses from Muslim Twitter users, many of whom highlighted Obama's foreign policy record as president.
"Are you kidding me?! After dropping a bomb every 8 minutes for 8 years straight on Muslim majority countries, they want him, Barack Obama, of all people to speak on *diverse* Muslim experiences?! Why can't they get an actual Muslim to do this?" wrote one Twitter user.
"Your fast doesn't count if you listen to this podcast. Ameen," another Twitter user joked.
Negative attitudes towards Obama's presidency among Muslims starkly contrast the optimism many felt about his presidency at the beginning of his time in office.
In his inaugural address in 2009, Obama announced to the Muslim world that America was seeking "a new way forward, based on mutual interest and mutual respect".
Further down the road, however, poll after poll showed growing disillusionment among Muslims with the Obama administration.
A 2012 Pew poll of six Muslim-majority countries showed that similar or worse attitudes existed towards the US under the Obama administration, as compared to the Bush years, largely due to foreign policy concerns.