Meeting violence with tolerance


Secretary of State Hillary Clinton not to be discouraged by the hatred and violence that exists, but instead resolve to do something tangible to promote religious tolerance in their own communities.

She spoke at an an Eid ul-Fitr reception, marking the end of the Muslim holiday of Ramadan. The speech was in response to the attacks on U.S. diplomatic missions in the Middle East, and the deaths of four diplomats in Libya.

Dana Hughes reports at

“When Christians are subject to insults to their faith, and that certainly happens, we expect them not to resort to violence. When Hindus or Buddhists are subjected to insults to their faiths, and that also certainly happens, we expect them not to resort to violence,” said Clinton. “The same goes for all faiths, including Islam.”

She spoke movingly about her own personal beliefs as a way of re-enforcing her point.

“I so strongly believe that the great religions of the world are stronger than any insults. They have withstood offense for centuries,” said Clinton.” Refraining from violence, then, is not a sign of weakness in one’s faith; it is absolutely the opposite, a sign that one’s faith is unshakable.”

She asked the crowd to work towards building a world where if one person commits a violent religious act, millions of people will stand up and condemn it.

“We can pledge that whenever one person speaks out in ignorance and bigotry, ten voices will answer,” Clinton said forcefully. “They will answer resoundingly against the offense and the insult; answering ignorance with enlightenment; answering hatred with understanding; answering darkness with light.”

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Bill Dilworth
Bill Dilworth

It's so frustrating seeing the "Muslim street" play into the hands of those who feed off the "clash of civilization" trope - every time an outrageous provocation succeeds in provoking violence, the authors of the provocation find their efforts rewarded. I hope Secretary Clinton's words find fertile ground.

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