Secretary Clinton Releases 2009 International Religious Freedom Report

Posted by DipNote Bloggers
October 26, 2009

Secretary Clinton recently provided remarks during the release of the 2009 International Religious Freedom Report. She stated, "The right to profess, practice, and promote one’s religious beliefs is a founding principle of our nation. In fact, many of our earliest settlers came because they wanted the freedom to practice their own religion without a state interfering or oppressing that practice. It is the first liberty mentioned in our Bill of Rights, and it is a freedom guaranteed to all people in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.

I want to underscore that, because this is not just an American value. This was agreed to be a universal value. Religious freedom provides a cornerstone for every healthy society. It empowers faith-based service. It fosters tolerance and respect among different communities. And it allows nations that uphold it to become more stable, secure and prosperous. As President Obama said in Cairo, freedom of religion is central to the ability of peoples to live together. These facts underlie our commitment to the cause of religious freedom. That’s why we make the issue of religious freedom a priority in our diplomacy, and this annual report is the centerpiece of our efforts."Full Text | Video



Minnesota, USA
October 27, 2009

Nahuel in Minnesota writes:

It feels incredibly good that the department of state takes this point seriously. As an atheist I feel grateful. And it's maybe one of the keys. We all know most of western religions should and do promote peace. But its response to the practice from other religions is one of the major causes of war right now, isn't it?
This should not be forgotten when it comes to take it to the world. The one that's outside the United States. Thanks a lot to the secretary of state for this speech.

nancy c.
California, USA
October 28, 2009

Nancy in California writes:

I am glad about this. But I have a question - what happens when a person's rights are violated based on religion? For example, a woman is stoned in a square in and Islamic country because she was raped. In the name of "religion" (Islam) one would argue that it is allowed since that is the "official" interpretation of Islam in that particular country. Yet, clearly, a woman's right has been violated and violence, in the name of religion has been committed against her? Which is it?

Virginia, USA
October 28, 2009

Donald in Virginia writes:

@ Nancy in California -- I agree with you Nancy because in the Arab world women's rights are ignored and by law over ruled by the nature of it's own religion. Hence the reason why women must be covered, I have seen just "eyes" appearing though the garments they wear, what a shocking revelation that women must be covered completely from head to toe, just so men cannot look at their bodies. What a shameful practise and what women must carry a burdon knowing she does not have a say, whether it's being stoned to death, or getting lashes, just her speaking out can land trouble on herself. On the surface President Barack Obama's speech is wonderful but it does not change anything for womens rights living in Arabia. Do all women have a vote? Can women drive vehicles legally? Can they purchase alcohol? When it's the Saudi Royal family in congress of Arabia, all the royal princes have the same powers as our United States Senators which means they dictate the laws and put in effect whats good for them not neccessary what is good for the women. How many women in Saudi Arabia get to put into law any changes, NONE

Let's step back from this, can the Saudi Royal Family drive vehicles? Yes

Can the Royal Saudi Family purchase alcohol? YES

Does the Royal Saudi Family get a vote when it comes to making laws in the Kingdom? YES


Women do not have the same powers as men. There is no equality of women vs men in Arabia. This is because the Men of Arabia will always dictate with laws and use Islam as the escape goat when they want to punish women for doing something they might not agree with and today those laws are still valid. When I heard about the story of a girl who was raped in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, by a saudi citizen the government was going to punish the girl because it was her fault. Our laws here in the United States are very clear, if anyone gets raped the person doing the rape is charged and will serve a sentence in jail or prison. In Arabia for whatever reasons they will make it look like it was the girls fault for being a woman, instead of gathering the facts and making the case against the Saudi man or the attackers and put them in jail.

I was told they even have to be covered completely in the homes, just in case a brother shows up and tries to see her body. Magazines, books that are sold to Saudi Arabia are completely blacked out on pictures of women showing any kind of skin. They actually have people that mark through magazines, the time and money spent on this practise is probably in the millions. How backwards this all works, instead of going to the publishers of the Magazines and explaining the situation to have the images removed, in customs they have people who just confiscate and mark though pictures. All those western magazines we see at grocery stores and think nothing of it, they in turn mark though it before it's sold to the public in Arabia.

We all know or have a good idea about the British Royal Family because they are in the news or spotlight at times. The one thing will never know is about the Royal Saudi Family, the queen of Arabia does not show her face or skin to the public. Meaning, it's probably the best kept secret in the Middle East for the Arabian Royality. Who is the queen of Arabia? Good question let me know what you find out?

When you talk about slavery, let us also focus on one part how it was only 35 years back when the Saudis abolished it in its country. We abolished slavery back in 1865, just to think only 35 years ago in Arabia a man could have up to 25 slaves with four legal brides. Whats different today, they can still have up to four legal brides.

Speeches are wonderful but when it comes to practise and laws women are still the minority in Arabia. The laws should be fair and balanced for both males and females in Arabia. The only way you would have an equal vote is when women are in political roles of Government and start creating statues allowing those freedoms to happen. Otherwise it will be a Royal Family decison based on what happens in the end.


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