- The Washington Times - Wednesday, February 25, 2009

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

In response to your Monday editorial, “Mrs. Clinton’s wrong message on religion,” I have to question whether the author actually listened to/read all of Mrs. Clinton’s answer.

“Rather than pandering, the United States should be sending a positive message to the world regarding the role of religion in our society,” the author says. It is clear that the author not only missed Mrs. Clinton’s remark about Christian extremists, but also her larger point about finding ways to better communicate directly to Muslims.

The author suggests that Mrs. Clinton would have communicated a more positive message by extolling “the value of religious pluralism in Mecca?” The author conveniently overlooks the fact that Israel recently launched the deadliest attacks on Palestinian territory in over 40 years. Actions speak louder than mosques.

Mrs. Clinton’s factual reference to Christian extremists was just a small part of her answer to the student’s question, an attempt to convey to the world that every creed is capable of extremism - that this is not, as some suggest, a personal attack against Islam.

The author dismisses the real power of her remarks - the part where she brings up the fact that the United States has sacrificed thousands of lives in Afghanistan to “prevent terrorization and ethnic cleansing and other horrors that were inflicted on Muslim populations.”

Or what about the part where she speaks about the importance of recognizing “the human dignity of girls and women” in places where extremists prevent the assimilation of women? If these are, as the author suggests, insufficient examples of “what we stand for and who we truly are,” then perhaps America has some soul-searching to do.

RACHAEL YEAGER

Washington

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