Secretary Clinton wishes "Eid Mubarak!" to all the world's Muslims. She adds, "Under President Obama's leadership, the United States is working to create new partnerships with Muslim communities. We want to build bridges, not only bridges toward peace in the Middle East, but bridges of understanding."
Her complete statement, including video:
Eid Mubarak! Since my husband, Bill Clinton, and I held the first Eid celebration at the White House in 1996, I have enjoyed marking Eid every year. I look forward to seeing old friends and meeting new ones.
And yet, in the 14 years since that first White House celebration, our world has seen unexpected changes and unprecedented challenges. Under President Obama's leadership, the United States is working to create new partnerships with Muslim communities. We want to build bridges, not only bridges toward peace in the Middle East, but bridges of understanding. We believe we all can work toward a more peaceful and prosperous future, one based on mutual respect and cooperation.
I hosted an iftar at the State Department, and I invited many young American leaders -- young American Muslims. They're bringing their energy and spirit to solving problems and overcoming traditional boundaries. They are engaging with change-makers around the world. Their energy and enthusiasm gives me great hope for a future filled with greater understanding.
At this time of peace and celebration, I wish you and your family a joyful Eid and a very happy year ahead.
(In the photo at top, an Egyptian Muslim family poses for a photo following the dawn Eid ul-Fitr prayer at the stadium in Mansoura, 75 miles north of Cairo.)
KHALED DESOUKI/AFP/Getty Images
When asked today about the Quran-burning plan of a Florida pastor, Secretary Clinton once again condemned "this outrageous and distressful, disgraceful plan" and said, "[W]e want to be judged by who we are as a nation, not by something that is so aberrational." (That's probably how Muslims feel when judged by 9/11.) She made the remarks this morning in the question-and-answer session after her pep-talk speech when Richard Haass, president of the Council on Foreign Relations, asked her, "What's your view on all this from the Department of State? How does this complicate your life?" Clinton responded:
Clinton: Well, I mean, we're a country of, what, 310 million-plus right now and -- I mean, it's regrettable that a pastor in Gainesville, Florida, with a church of no more than 50 people can make this outrageous and distressful, disgraceful plan and get the world's attention, but that's the world we live in right now. I mean, it doesn't, in any way, represent America or Americans or American government or American religious or political leadership. And we are, as you've seen in the last few days, speaking out. General Petraeus made the very powerful point that as seemingly small a group of people doing this, the fact is that it will have potentially great harm for our troops. So we are hoping that the pastor decides not to do this. We're hoping against hope that if he does, it won't be covered -- (laughter) --
Haass: Bonne chance.
Clinton: -- as an act of patriotism. But I think that it's unfortunate. I mean, it's not who we are, and we just have to constantly be demonstrating by our words and actions. And as I remind my friends around the world, in the environment in which we all now operate, anybody with an iPhone, anybody with a blog, can put something out there which is outrageous. I mean, we went through the cartoon controversy. We went through the Facebook controversy in Pakistan. Judith McHale, who is our undersecretary for public diplomacy, is on the front lines of pushing back on all of this all the time. And so we want to be judged by who we are as a nation, not by something that is so aberrational. And we'll make that case as strongly as possible.
This Quran-burning plan has been generating outrage around the world. In the Sept. 8 photo above, a group of Muslims and Christians in Jakarta, Indonesia, denounce the plan. The placard on the left states: "If the Quran burning takes place, America has failed as a champion of democracy."
ROMEO GACAD/AFP/Getty Images
Secretary Clinton has condemned a Florida pastor's plan to burn the Quran on September 11 as "disrespectful, disgraceful." She made the remark at yesterday's iftar dinner in Washington, telling a room full of Muslims who were breaking their Ramadam fast (as seen above):
We sit down together for this meal on a day when the news is carrying reports that a pastor down in Gainesville, Florida, plans to burn the Holy Quran on September 11th. I am heartened by the clear, unequivocal condemnation of this disrespectful, disgraceful act that has come from American religious leaders of all faiths, from evangelical Christians to Jewish rabbis, as well as secular U.S. leaders and opinion-makers. Our commitment to religious tolerance goes back to the very beginning of our nation. Many of you know that in 1790, George Washington wrote to a synagogue in Newport, Rhode Island, that this country will give "to bigotry no sanction, to persecution no assistance."
Update, 12:10 p.m, Sept. 8, 2010: You can listen to the quote above at 9:23 in the video below.
U.S. State Department/Flickr
Secretary Clinton wishes all the world's Muslims a "happy and blessed" Ramadan and "Ramadan Kareem." And, she says she'll be hosting an iftar. Here is her Ramadan message:
On behalf of the United States Department of State, I wish all Muslims around the world a happy and blessed Ramadan.
Ramadan is a time for self-reflection and sharing. American Muslims make valuable contributions to our country every day and millions will honor this month with acts of service and giving back to their communities.
Along with dozens of our Embassies, I will host an Iftar in Washington, DC, for Muslims and non-Muslims to join together and reflect on our common values, faith and the gifts of the past year. At our Iftar, we will also celebrate dozens of young American Muslims who are helping shape the future of our country with their energy and spirit. These young business and social entrepreneurs, academics, spiritual leaders, and other young Muslims around the world are leading the way to a new era of mutual respect and cooperation among all the citizens of our world.
During this month of peace and renewal, I wish the 1.5 billion Muslims around the world Ramadan Kareem.
(In the Aug. 12 photo above, Pakistani boys prepare plates of food for Muslims to break their fast with at a Karachi mosque.)
RIZWAN TABASSUM/AFP/Getty Images
Secretary Clinton's schedule is absolutely packed today, but she'll conclude the day with something delicious and spiritual, the State Department's iftar dinner to celebrate the Islamic holy month of Ramadan, the subject of a recent FP photo essay. With her busy day, though, I doubt she'll be fasting. (At left, Clinton attends a dinner in Brussels on March 4, when she was there to discuss Afghanistan strategy with allies.)
Someone else who has been feasting lately is Clinton's husband Bill, who ate lunch with President Obama while he was in New York yesterday to give a speech to the city's financial sector. The two ate at Il Mulino, a restaurant featuring dishes from Italy's Abruzzo region.
In other news:
•Secretary Clinton has "provisionally agreed" to travel to Israel at the end of October or the beginning of November, reports former FP writer Laura Rozen, who's now at Politico.
•Clinton most restructure the State Department to make it more efficient, a recent FP article argues.
Photo: DOMINIQUE FAGET/AFP/Getty Images
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