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I have a website called "fidlerten Place (fidlerten.com) which is a political blog and I also am a new Yahoo contributor. I'm a gay man so I do also write blogs that concern gay people.
I'm still new to blogging but I hope to establish a well-running website eventually.
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, speaking at an Eid ul-Fitr reception marking the end of Ramadan, spoke clearly of what many Americans, especially Christians feel about the video at the center of the attacks on the embassy in Benghazi. The attack killed four U.S. Embassy staff, including U.S. Ambassador Christopher Stevens.
Her speech speaks for me and I believe it speaks for many Americans. In her speech, Clinton referred to the insults that other religions have endured, including Christianity, saying:
“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. The same goes for all faiths, including Islam.”
What impressed me most about the speech the Secretary made was the powerful message concerning violence and faith, pointing out that violence was “a sign of weakness in one’s faith”. She said at one point in the speech:
“I so strongly believe that the great religions of the world are stronger than any insults. They have withstood offense for centuries. 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.”
It is my belief as a Christian; persecution will come. Jesus taught a “turn the other cheek” philosophy to his followers and it is a main principle of Christianity. Of course, many Christians in this country do not follow that principle very well. I also believe that if I had to go out and defend my religion — or in other words — defend my God with violence, then what does that say about my faith in a God that is supposedly all power?
I also believe we should respect all religions by not insulting them. Muslims see God in a different light than Christians do but then, God has many wonderful characters and surely, He can represent Himself to different people in different ways. However, Secretary Clinton is right; violence has no place alongside faith.
Clinton also spoke out against the bigotry that was at the heart of the video, making clear there were many who did not share the same hatred. In one point of her speech, she remarked:
“We can pledge that whenever one person speaks out in ignorance and bigotry, ten voices will answer. They will answer resoundingly against the offense and the insult; answering ignorance with enlightenment; answering hatred with understanding; answering darkness with light.”
I believe Secretary Clinton is trying to shine a light on a very important aspect of extremism and usually the bigotry and hatred that goes with it. There are extremist in every religion and usually those extremist are driven by hate, bigotry, and even ignorance. However, as the Secretary points out so poetically is, the true faithful of any religion answers hatred and ignorance, with enlightenment and understanding.
Many of the Muslims who were on the streets protesting against the video that was posted on YouTube, does not understand the freedoms that we have here and how the United States Government does not censor any American’s freedom to speak and that includes with media, such as the video which purportedly mocked the Prophet Mohammad. It is unfortunate they do not understand this about this country and our government.
I hope that the Secretary of the State’s words will resonate throughout the Muslim world and bring just a bit more understanding to those who would think America hates them, as this is not true. I believe most Americans would rather reach a hand out to Muslims — as we already have — than insult their religion.
Unfortunately, in a free society we must tolerate the bigots and extremist in our society as long as they do not incite violence. We also can speak with a loud voice that they do not represent the rest of us and Clinton expressed that beautifully.
She ended the speech with an exhortation to the great religions of the world to work toward peace and understanding, saying:
“In times like these, it can be easy to despair that some differences are irreconcilable, some mountains too steep to climb; we will therefore never reach the level of understanding and peacefulness that we seek, and which I believe the great religions of the world call us to pursue. “But that’s not what I believe, and I don’t think it’s what you believe… Part of what makes our country so special is we keep trying. We keep working. We keep investing in our future,”
Secretary Clinton is a valuable asset to this nation, a true diplomat, and a humble servant. I do not know if she will run for president again in 2016 but she is very levelheaded and open-minded, ready to take on whatever challenge comes America’s way. At least that is my opinion of the woman, but I am sure I have plenty of company.
The post Secretary Clinton Speaks for Many Americans – to Muslim World appeared first on fidlertenplace.com.