News+and+politics religion philosophy the cynic librarian: Tectonic Shift in Bush Admin on Islam?

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Tectonic Shift in Bush Admin on Islam?

State Department Secretary Condoleeza Rice's recent statements on Indonesia may reflect a shift in Bush's foreign policy. If so, this is a good sign because it counters so much propaganda and hate-filled speech against Moslems and Islam, perhaps best exemplified by Xtian commentator Pat Robertson's branding Islam as a religion of evil.

Indonesia has made great strides in terms of government policy and religious tolerance. Since the days when it was carrying out a brutal oppression and massacre of East Timorese, it has instituted more democratic reforms. While it is not perfect in its democratic institutions or religious tolerance, it can serve as a model for successfully understanding how Islam coexists with other religions. ...

According to the Washington Post, Rice said:

"Great democracies, like Indonesia and like the United States, cannot turn a blind eye to those who still live under oppression," Rice said. She praised Yudhoyono and Wirajuda for their efforts "to try to convince the authorities and the junta in Burma that it is time to join the international community and to respect human rights."
But while this sense of optimism for Indonesia is a welcome sign, Rice continues to toe the Bush line on so-called democracy in the Mideast. Until the US stops picking and choosing its candidates for democratic models, many Moslems and others will simply suspect every postive statement about Islam that the Bush admin makes.

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