Clinton: Obama Has Sent Message of Respect For All Religions--‘in Particular of Islam’ (CNS) CYBERCAST NEWS SERVICE) By Patrick Goodenough 05/06/12)
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(CNSNews.com) – Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on Sunday disputed
charges that the United States is “anti-Islam,” telling an audience
in Bangladesh that the perception was deeply hurtful.
“I certainly think President Obama has sent a very clear message of
respect and appreciation of all religions, and in particular of
Islam,” she said.
Addressing a public forum at the International School in Dhaka,
Clinton was asked for her reaction to “the common perception held by
many young people that the U.S. is anti-Muslim.”
“Oh, that hurts me,” she replied. “That hurts me so much, honestly. I
mean, it’s a painful perception to hear about, and I deeply regret
that anyone believes that or propagates it.”
Clinton defended the U.S. against the allegation, and challenged
other countries to treat its minorities better.
“I believe that the United States, through our laws and through our
constant political dialogue, has gone probably farther than anywhere
else in the world in trying to guarantee legal protections for
people,” she said.
“I would like to see more countries do more to protect the rights of
minorities because I think that’s an important part of democracy and
of recognizing that no matter what our religion or whatever our
background might be, we share this planet with people from many
different vantage points, and we should be respectful.”
Clinton described U.S. anti-terror actions over the past decade
as “self defense.”
“We have gone after the terrorists who, personally, I do not believe
is in any way reflective of Islam. I think that people who use
religion, who pervert religion, for their own power or their own
personal needs or their own desires are doing a great disservice to
religion. And you find people who, over history, have used every
religion for that purpose.”
Bangladesh, a country carved out of Pakistan amid an Indo-Pakistan
war in 1971-72, is the world’s third biggest Muslim country (after
Indonesia and Pakistan). Only one U.S. president has traveled to
Bangladesh – President Clinton in 2000 – and Hillary Clinton’s visit
at the weekend was the first by a secretary of state in nine years.
In a recent Gallup poll that found support around the world for U.S.
leadership under Obama has fallen between 2010 and 2011, Bangladesh
accounted for the biggest drop out of 37 Asian countries surveyed –
17 percentage points over that one-year period. (copyright 1998-2012
Cybercast News Service 05/06/12)
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