Promoting Religious Tolerance Around the World

July 28, 2011
Ambassador Johnson Cook and Secretary Clinton in Turkey

As the Ambassador at Large for International Religious Freedom, a big part of my job is combating religious intolerance and encouraging respect for religious diversity around the world. It is my belief that in order to live peacefully side by side, we cannot allow violence based on religion to continue under any circumstances. My heart goes out to the families and loved ones of those injured and killed in Norway last week, and I join the President and Secretary in offering my deepest sympathies in this moment of sorrow. It is heart-wrenching to hear every day about violence committed in the name of religion or because of one's religious beliefs or lack of religious belief.

It is with this in mind that I want to share with you some of the ways that we are working to combat religious intolerance. During my recent trip to Istanbul, Turkey, I traveled with Secretary Clinton and Ambassador to the Human Rights Council Eileen Donahoe to discuss coordinated international strategies to combat intolerance, discrimination, and violence based on religion or belief with our international partners. We met with leaders of both the European Union Office of the High Representative for Foreign Policy and Security in Istanbul at the historic Center for Islamic Arts and History. Along with several foreign ministers, European Union High Representative Ashton, and other senior diplomats, Secretary Clinton and OIC Secretary General Ihsanoglu made a public commitment to address religious intolerance around the world.

This event demonstrates the commitment of the United States and our partners to constructively address incidents of intolerance and promote freedom of expression, building on the historic resolution 16/18 adopted by consensus at the March 2011 Human Rights Council session in Geneva. As the Secretary so eloquently remarked, "Under this resolution, the international community is taking a strong stand for freedom of expression and worship, and against discrimination and violence based upon religion or belief. These are fundamental freedoms that belong to all people in all places, and they are certainly essential to democracy."

I am proud and humbled to be named as the lead coordinator for the United States on implementation of this resolution. On behalf of the Secretary, I will convene a meeting of experts later this year in Washington, D.C. that will further our progress on these essential issues. Along with other attendees, we will discuss best practices and exchange ideas from our respective nations.

As the Secretary said, "We each have to work to do more to promote respect for religious differences in our own countries." I couldn't agree more and I look forward to guiding this first meeting of, what I hope, will be many.

The events in Oslo last week remind us not just of the importance of this work, but in the responsibility we all have as citizens in creating just, equitable, and accepting societies. As we continue to promote values of respect and tolerance on a global scale, we need to remember that offering respect begins on the individual level. What are you doing to promote respect in your communities?

Follow Ambassador Suzan Johnson Cook on Facebook and Twitter.



John C.
July 28, 2011

John Hugh C. in Canada writes:

I try to remind everyone that we are ALL God's children...all children of the same Creator...anyone who says different is wrong and does not have their best interests at heart.

Combat DAVPRM retired with family in Canada

Arkansas, USA
July 28, 2011

A.W. in Arkansas writes:

You can certainly see your enthusiasm in the work you write. The arena hopes for more passionate writers like you who aren't afraid to say how they believe. All the time follow your heart.

July 29, 2011

W.W. writes:

DADT 4 Religion:

believe in Numbers and in Tom Cruise

NGO'S ,rockefeller Foundation , trilateral club of rome Bilderbergs Murdoch warren buffet tollerance?

tollerance today is expressed by those bounch of poors all those individual, self employed and unemployed that due the crazy vision of individual inside those weird organization who are making more money then a new state as south sudan..

Ngo's according to science called mathematics are pretty much the responsible of this huge humanitarian economic crisis.

Ngo's Rockefeller trilateral bilderbergs and the Individual inside those organization are corrupted and it is demonstrable on papers. they are following a plan which create poverty for a reason and for a purpose.

How can you propose to invest on Ngo's when in a tribulation time like this you should invest in your own governament.

How can you propose religious tollerance when religion is something tribal based on tribal believes ?

I got a state with more then 10 million people without a job and you rise money for an Ngo's or propose me a religious tollerance..

well Just 'pray' then that those people will not rise against Rupert Murdoch and the bilderbergs in a sort of french revolution.

Remeber Ngo's people Liberté, Égalité, Fraternité...

Janakie B.
New Zealand
July 29, 2011

Janakie in New Zealand writes:

This amused me immensely! Suzan Johnson Cook as an ambassador talks about religious tolerance. Am I to explain her the meaning and the usage of this word 'tolerance'? Suzan, you tolerate things you do not like . You either hate, disapprove, detest or get annoyed by unpleasant things and as a civilized member of the human race then you are supposed to tolerate such things for the sake of peace, harmony or diplomacy. You are telling the whole world that religious differences or diversity is something you should tolerate. I wonder who promoted you as an ambassador for this task.

There are certain differences or diversities in this world among human beings which you should learn to accept, respect, honour and acknowledge. Religious differences are one of these. I would rather prefer to believe or accept that you did not understand the meaning of this word 'tolerance' . However, I may not be surprised. So you were not alone in this kind of understanding. I thought Clinton was intelligent. Quite disappointed! Anyway, it is not yet too late to correct your mistakes. First of all learn to use words properly. Then learn to accept, acknowledge, respect and honour human diversity.

Janakie B.
New Zealand
July 28, 2011

Janakie B. in New Zealand writes:

Please correct yourself first. Learn to respect the differences among human race. Let the others follow and take you as an example. Tell people to honour each other.

Sally H.
Illinois, USA
July 28, 2011

Sally H. in Illinois writes:

How about showing some tolerance toward the imprisoned Palestinians and let them have a state instead of always siding with their torturers, the terrorist State of Israel?

July 29, 2011

W.W. writes:

you ask tolerance for a violent tribal ideology like islam that produced more victim of any kind then nazism and stalinism all together and you are deploring and condamning an act like the one that andreas Behring Brevik committed in Oslo.

I think there is something real wrong with you

New Mexico, USA
July 29, 2011

Eric in New Mexico writes:

I think the key to promoting is pretty simple, when the fun in Fundementalism becomes tolerably hysterical in the doing.

Like this;

One morning a few weeks ago a woman came to my door and wanted to know if I would come to a meeting, handing me a flyer.

She went on about how all the troubles we face in this world would be cured if only one believed in Jesus, bacause without his help no one could make a difference.

"I don't think like that as a Buddhist, and I manage to make a difference every day. Thanks for the invite, but I'll decline."

Then she started to argue with me and got this "mother superior" sneer on her face as if I were some ungodly infidel or something accusing me of being ignorant or some such nonsense...(I never go looking for trouble, just seems to magicly appear at my door).

So I told her that she shouldn't come to people's doors to start an argument with them, and not to darken mine again by making a habit of it.

I had fun with that, let me tell you'all about it, because there's a process of religious tolerance in saving one's self from fanatics.

True, I didn't tell her about this blog or my almost daily commentary on it...(Chuckle).

And I guess if it ever made a difference it's because that inspired folks to think about a perspecive offered, maybe an idea or two on rare occasion.

And yes, admittedly I could use all the help I can get. But I'm lookin' to recieve that from every government that has a lick of common sense, knowing it wasn't God that got Humanity in this mess...,

But for just a lack of empathy amongst the individual's totality of existance within their human condition.


July 29, 2011

John writes:

The events in Oslo have as much to do with religion as does a suicide bomber – because these people believe they are religious does not make it so.

Just because the equally foolish view it this way, does not make it a product of religion.

If anything they are anti religion, anti god and anti life – lost and misguided.

Experts? If we had any so called experts in this field, would this kind of dialogue be needed?

The main religious leaders in the world cannot even lead their people to such a goal as tolerance, not even within their own religious communities can they succeed in this.

Every faith is fractured and splintered into groups. Never mind between interfaith.

The work is important even imperative but I dare say I have met few that are of the mind or voice able to achieve such a goal.

What does it take to be an expert in uniting people?

What degree is needed?

From what school?

I offer this criticism merely to have you ask the questions that need to be asked.

Ambassador Cook you have been tasked with a mission far more difficult than any business, the debt ceiling, politics, war - combined. I wish you well in your success.

It takes only one, with the right words and the willingness of many ears to listen. It takes truth beyond what has been written in the religious texts, truths beyond argument by any religion. Truths that all people cannot deny believer or not without denying their own existence; without denying their own faith. Without denying their own future (chuckle)

An interesting thought, think for a moment in America. Americans speak the same language (more or less) but have great divisions. It is clear, the struggle in America to unify seems an impossible task (or at least some would think – not me -).

Now think of Europe with 27 nations and how many languages, an old brutal, feudal history? Europe has problems.

America’s problem with unity is small in comparison. I say this to inspire a little hope in Americans that what seems unachievable; is achievable with a small shift in thought and a reminder that things could be worse.

If America can achieve what seems unachievable, it may just inspire others that are in a far worse state of division.

Good luck Ambassador Cook and don’t forget to have a little faith.

July 29, 2011

W.W. writes:

@John, Eric readers

are u really thinking that Islam, which is today still a violent mass murdering tribal ideology as per assad or the 'Holy' 'Higher' Iranian spiritual guide (who just declared that if a woman gets raped is because she deserved so or cos she induced the man in doing so) deserve tolerance whe IS NOT an ISLAMIC priority to stop violence?

So now using aristoteles :

If a man has 1 hair is he bold?
if he has 4 hair is he bold?

If he has 5678 hair is he bold?

So for example how many people Quaddafi or Assad has to kill for the sake of a god before he might be considered as a mass murder?

How many people osama bin laden or how many terrosristic attack he has to do or command in order to be considered a crazy man as the norwegian crazy man?

Just remind you that Christ does not sake anybody are actually people looking for the christ..

John P.
August 1, 2011

John in Greece writes:

@ Aristotelians and other romantics

Depends on the social conditions and time period;
If a man has 1 hair in a society that men have no hair at all, he is not bold.

If he has 4 hairs in a society that each man has 1 hair, he is probably not bold, but the others are jelous.

If he has 5678 hairs in a society that each man has 56780 hairs, he is some kind of bold.

What’s up?
Is it the L’Oreal “soup” question of cosmetics? (LOL)

God help us…

@ W.W. this time you have mixed Aristoteles, Jesus, NY cosmetics in Manhattan and hamburgers in Tokyo. That's why I love your posts!
But, you are right about what ISLAMIC priority IS NOT.

August 1, 2011

John writes:

@WW -(who just declared that if a woman gets raped is because she deserved so or cos she induced the man in doing so)

WW - you should look at the news up north of you in Canada – judges in Canadian courts making legal judgments that say the same as above (they deserved it), police have also said this about woman deserving violence and rape (they ask for it business) -- and they are not Muslim but they say the same thing as the so called holy Islamic spiritual guide.

Holy leader, judge – cop – the only common denominator here is that it is all views of a man – a man using their authoritive position to justify their own perversion towards women– not unlike suicide bombers or the Oslo nut – religion has nothing to do with it and western countries have just as big a problem

Just read this –

Maryland, USA
August 1, 2011

Patrick in Maryland writes:

My thoughts on what Ambasador Suzan Johnson cook,and Secretary Clinton discussed.

I think this is more about religious education
than anything else. People have no idea what they're talking about, when it comes to other religions other than their own.
Cathlics,jews,Muslims and many other cultures and religions believe in the same God.
They just use different names because of their languages. Allah is God the same one that other Cultures pray too. They even have some of the same prophets in all these religious groups. Most of them have one thing
in common,they all believe that christ will return in the final days before the war with the antichrist. Interesting thing is people think that we're getting close to that day.
Which is a possibility since more than one culture and religion has the same sayings or signs that his return is close.
I think things will all work out either way. :) Of course i like more than one religion. I believe God is God ! There all the same, just different ways of fellowing his teachings.

Also,crazy people have nothing to do with
religious or any other believes.

See Ya...Hillary,Suzan and DipNote Team. :)

saman b.
August 1, 2011

Saman in Iraq writes:

@Ambassador JOHNSON COOK
The persevering secretary is a scarce gem for the US and world, it's perceptible that secretary Clinton wants to get across we and the people of over the world especially depraved regimes; who it's up to persons what is their religion, and this advice of our secretary is worth of,who said"we all have as citizens in creating just,equitable".
Thank You

August 2, 2011

W.W. writes:


The main islamic spiritual guide of Iran imam
Seyed Ali Hoseyni Khāmene’i declared stated that in 2011 a sort of pope for Iranian ...and they ask me to be Religiously tolerant when islamic countries did not deplore and condemn His statement.
This is the clear limit of democracy Barabbas

P.S. Very funny, aristoteles was really the one who invented shampoo but his ideas were stolen from the Bilderberg guy of L'Oreal

John P.
August 2, 2011

John P. in Greece writes:

@ W.W.

The future is the "conditioner"...


August 3, 2011

W.W. writes:

@ John
Future: Just water!

Holy moly the bilderberg guy stole us water now they want poor people like us to pay it cos he is claiming water it s his and belong to corporate officies in wall street know someone got to make millions here and colonize the world so they all can pay tribute to him till he will claim to be god...Then the angels will come on 4 horses(of course Mustang from Ford corporate offices with libyan pretty new cheap oil eating Pakistani rice from haiti)
Then we ll hear big long horn of africa play and we ll got all scared seiing earthquakes generated from brend new superduper mega technological machine.
World population will think tha god is mad and Japanise will understand that Tsunami are provoked to generate debts and poverty...
They ll be mad will call the europeans in Berlin and in Rome...They ll reply that they got their hands thight cos they are sitting on a trilateral nuclear arsenal in Europe...
ready to explode if Europe will rise against em

John P.
August 4, 2011

John P. in Greece writes:

@ W.W.

…and then the aliens will come from space to save earth without paying the 150,000 flight ticket.

Because, the Bilderberg guy had bought air services and invited them for free.

They will become his police in order to achieve his dark scope.

Historians will call it the “after water” era of the Evil.


P.S. Why don't you collaborate with Z? You could write a great "conspiracy" book. Actually a new term: How do we say "fiction", let's call it "conspiracy writing". (LOL)

August 5, 2011

W.W. writes:


Of course I can't cooperate .. you know.. I ll be breaking the big international Law : Only them Can make money !

Of course is not the End ...what govs today are selling for real is already happened and unreal fiction...I mean ...on August the first : Will Obama sign the great pact With Moloch ? Chinese ...Come one tell em to stop this.. he will sign ...
Russian: Americans are slaves of their debts...August the second Obama signed the pact with Moloch(one of the Bilderberg guy divinity) becoming the Biggest FALSE PROPHET earth was awaiting for...He signed a plan exactly like Greece to avoid the Armageddon for America...a pact that even a dishwasher on a TGI Friday (today) was able to sign...
So the market answer oh yes you I am gonna burn everything like in 2008 so on September the first 2011 you gotta resign it agian:
Come it look like to watch a show that keeps repeating over and over again...

We need Bruce Will is

The Big power of the eye in the land of Gondor

The Big power of Kabbalah of John Mcclain - Die Hard Mr Bilderbergs and club of rome...may God save us all from Barak Obama now..Simon says : Sam I am

I know --- I am ---- I will


John P.
August 8, 2011

John in Greece writes:

@ W.W.
all of which makes us at least 3+
better than, when we started...

I don't "know" if you also "know" me, but I don't easily cooperate too. I'd say, I certainly don't for sure! I make it my own...

So, I like this in a guy -saying I don't cooperate-, no matter if we agree, or disagree.

I love America. and here -there- is my period.

(I am sure that you understand that I have no right to get engaged in internal affairs I don't know, but you should also remind yourself that this blog is an external forul too -both)

Best Regards!


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