By Gerald SeibColumnist, The Wall Street Journal

When the White House had to decide in recent days where President Barack Obama would deliver a high-profile speech directed at the Muslim world, a debate broke out among his advisers.

Some pushed for the speech to be made in Indonesia, which would make some sense. Indonesia is, after all, home to the world's largest Muslim population. It has coped with Islamic extremism, but as a practicing democracy, it's also a nation the U.S. could point to as a kind of model.

But ultimately, the administration decided the June 4 speech, aimed at the fifth of the world's population that is Muslim, would be given in Egypt. That decision speaks loudly about the real challenge Mr. Obama faces. He won't simply be talking to Muslims about religion and culture. Inevitably, he will be speaking to the fundamental political divide in the Islamic world today, which starts in the Middle East, and in which Egypt is a crucial player.

To read Mr. Seib's complete column, click here.