Earlier today, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton addressed the U.S.-Islamic World Forum, discussing ties between the United States and Muslim countries. Secretary Clinton said:
"The ties between the United States and Muslim countries and communities stretch back to America's earliest days. Morocco was the first nation to recognize American independence. Later, we supported the emergence of independent Muslim-majority states after decades of colonial rule. Americans helped establish what are still some of the finest universities in this region. And we, in turn, have been enriched by a long tradition of educational exchanges. Soldiers and sailors from U.S. and Muslim-majority countries have stood side by side in peace-keeping missions worldwide, and we have worked together to rebuild after devastating natural disasters, including the 2004 tsunami, the 2005 earthquake, and now, of course, in Haiti. And the United States joins with other nations to protect Muslims in Bosnia and Darfur from violence and suffering.
So we have a lot to reflect on that is already the substance of our relationship, and what we have accomplished together. But we know that our shared purpose and values have often been obscured by suspicion and misunderstanding. It is time, as President Obama said in his speech in Cairo, for a new beginning based on a commitment to open dialogue and equal partnership, a new beginning that confronts the tensions between us and commits all of us to doing the hard work necessary to resolve them, a new beginning that acknowledges we each have a role and a responsibility in solving the common problems we face.
Now, in the eight months since the President's speech, many around the world have answered that call. But others worry that the United States' commitment is insufficient or insincere, that we have not fully embraced the spirit of mutual respect and partnership, or that we will fail to translate that spirit into the concrete steps needed to achieve real and lasting change in the world..."Full Text