Secretary Clinton Delivers Remarks at a Reception Marking Eid ul-Fitr

Posted by DipNote Bloggers
September 13, 2012

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton delivered remarks at a reception marking Eid ul-Fitr at the U.S. Department of State in Washington, D.C. on September 13, 2012. The reception was also attended by the Libyan Ambassador to the United States Ali Suleiman Aujali.

Secretary Clinton said, "Good evening, and although I am many weeks overdue in saying it: Eid Mubarak. No matter how belated we are honoring Eid and the end of Ramadan, this is a cherished tradition here at the State Department. And I would like to thank all of you for being here, including the many members of the Diplomatic Corps.

"Tonight, our gathering is more somber than any of us would like. This comes during sad and difficult days for the State Department family. We lost four Americans. They were good and brave men. They were committed to the cause of building a brighter future for the people of Libya. And we condemn the violence in the strongest terms, the violence against our posts in Benghazi, in Egypt, and now in Yemen."

Secretary Clinton continued, "Religious freedom and religious tolerance are essential to the stability of any nation, any people. Hatred and violence in the name of religion only poison the well. All people of faith and good will know that the actions of a small and savage group in Benghazi do not honor religion or God in any way. Nor do they speak for the more than one billion Muslims around the world, many of whom have shown an outpouring of support during this time.

"Unfortunately, however, over the last 24 hours, we have also seen violence spread elsewhere. Some seek to justify this behavior as a response to inflammatory, despicable material posted on the internet. As I said earlier today, the United States rejects both the content and the message of that video. The United States deplores any intentional effort to denigrate the religious beliefs of others. At our meeting earlier today, my colleague, the foreign minister of Morocco, said that all prophets should be respected because they are all symbols of our humanity, for all humanity.

"But both of us were crystal-clear in this paramount message: There is never any justification for violent acts of this kind. And we look to leaders around the world to stand up and speak out against violence, and to take steps to protect diplomatic missions from attack."

Secretary Clinton concluded, "So tonight, we must come together and recommit ourselves to working toward a future marked by understanding and acceptance rather than distrust, hatred, and fear. We can pledge that whenever one person speaks out in ignorance and bigotry, ten voices will answer. They will answer resoundingly against the offense and the insult, answering ignorance with enlightenment, answering hatred with understanding, answering darkness with light; that if one person commits a violent act in the name of religion, millions will stand up and condemn it out of strength.

"In times like these, it can be easy to despair that some differences are irreconcilable, some mountains too steep to climb; we will therefore never reach the level of understanding and peacefulness that we seek, and which I believe the great religions of the world call us to pursue. But that's not what I believe, and I don't think it's what you believe either here tonight. Part of what makes our country so special is we keep trying. We keep working. We keep investing in our future. We keep supporting the next generation, believing that young people can keep us moving forward in a positive direction."

You can read the Secretary's full remarks here.



September 14, 2012

L. Evens in Canada writes:

My condolences for the loss of life – the many before and those yet to fall.

Can people anywhere afford the continued screwup? Havent people payed enough blood for others foolish mistakes?

So many people and countries involke the many names of God -but what do they know? Not much given that in thousands of years this earth has not seen a single day without bloodshed from one war of ignorance or another. That is shameful – there is really no excuse for that level of shame. Why should God care for any of you -when your incapable of caring for yourselves? Cant even feed yourselves.

Stop and think for a moment what chance does any one life, nation or group stand; when they stand against God? The maker of time, space and matter – you stand against that -your dead before you ever know it and everything you do will fall apart.

The way I see things NO NATION is standing on the right side. You ALL make war against something that non of you have a chance of defeating. Think you can trick, wheel n deal, manipulate such a force? Try and you just get screwed.

I have to be frank – certain governments around the world have made monumental mistakes that will prove very costly. Chance after chance – totally blown it. Virtually every nation is in a lousy predicament -but they all think God is on their side -Laugh.

If God was on the side of the British – their empire would still stand. If God was on the side of Israel or any other mid east state -they wouldn't know so much pain, suffering and fear.

If God was on the side of America – America wouldn't be so divided and broken.

If any person believes God stands under a flag or within man-made borders -you dont understand the nature of God. Likewise if you think evil only finds harbor in a single nation or group of people -your a fool. If you think he can only be found in a church or a synagogue or mosque – Ive got news for you – he was her before any of you or your now false houses of worship -he was and has always been-something to remember. You don't get to define him and if you dont know him -you haven't been looking in the right places.

So much missed opportunity by some governments and there endless harassment and ignorance that they cause there own problems -and problems for many others. The current leadership in many countries are not fit to herd goats never mind people.

Self ordained holy people from east to west – have done nothing but fracture their faiths and contribute to death, destruction, ignorance – for a very long time – what do any of them know -many of them dont even know when to close mouth or when to open it.

No matter what country in the world -if they move against God -you will get screwed -you will make decisions that will close doors to the solutions for future problems before the problems happen. Everything that you love will fall apart -until you have nothing left.

The way I see it – you have one last shot to move right – but its along shot.

I would be happy to assist the various people of faith but certain small individuals and governments would need to get clear out the way -you know who you are. (laugh) and certain others will need to get off their ass and stop playing hide and seek -oh how very powerful -the power to hide and creep. Get a spine.

Look me up Secretary Clinton – but I would guess you know who I am. Unfortunately the solution to some very serious problems would depend on an unusual group of people -putting aside none sense and walking instep -since the only common denominator linking these people is the use of the various names of God – beyond that they would slit each others throats – its a good starting point but a long shot. Unfortunately, do to foolishness, interference, pettiness, corruption, arrogance - I am unable to assist in ways that I could have -some of us out there can really move mountains = if the small and foolish get out of the way. Frankly, I think it too late anyway. I personally care little for money, politics or flags (oddly these three things are causing the problems) – saving lives American or otherwise - makes no difference to me, they all matter - its where it counts – trouble is - sometimes it costs more than can be paid and some folks are hell bent on dieing it seems.

Since so many invoke the names of God -better start asking yourself what is his plan - because if its not what he wants – what you want wont matter -not one bit. No army, nation or security apparatus can stand against this force -non. You trick, fool and scam your way out of a future -you get exactly what you fear getting. The faiths of Abraham believe in a messiah -anything that threatens him -the faiths themselves, even -will be destroyed.

Susan C.
Florida, USA
September 14, 2012

Susan C. in Florida writes:

Not to learn from history is foolish. The last Republican president who was wise and intelligent was Dwight D. Eisenhower. He warned us as a nation not to give ourselves over to the military complex, or let our elected representatives be "owned" by special interest groups. It is interesting to note that during the Cuban missile crisis President Kennedy turned to Eisenhower for advise. President Eisenhower told him to stand his ground and not be bullied into war, nuclear war by the way, by the military or others who profited from arms, etc. I am very grateful that Kennedy listened to this advise. I was a child growing up twenty miles from New York City. My question to those who think diplomacy is "weak" or a waste of time, are you willing to send YOUR children or yourself into the line of fire? Or more correctly, are you willing to go where the nuclear bomb will be dropped? Talk is cheap. You go to one of these very dangerous places and "put your money where your mouth is", so to speak. We are living in a complex and dangerous world. The solutions are difficult and long term in coming. "Don't judge until you have walked at least a mile in that person's shoes."

Foreign A.
Texas, USA
September 16, 2012

Foreign Service Retirees Association of San Antonio in Texas writes:

We mourn the loss of our four diplomats in Libya, and extend our deepest condolences to their families.

Lance K.
September 16, 2012

Lance K. in China writes:

To Secretary Clinton.

Please use the life story of Amabassador Stevens to help people in the region better understand the tragic loss brought about by this act of terrorism. Tell his life story, in Arabic and other regional languages. Make him a martyr for peace and global cooperation. His life speaks volumes. We must do better in fighting against the stereotypes that promote hatred. Make a beautiful, moving video about this man's life and what he was working for when he was killed. What a terrible loss. Let's use the media better than we have.

Bjørn H.
September 20, 2012

Bjorn Juul H. in Denmark writes:

Dear Hillary... from Denmark we just have to say... keep the good spirit alive !

Virginia, USA
September 22, 2012

Donald M. in Virginia writes:

I think we all remember the Gilligan's Island tv sitcom years ago. One of the segments included how a space capsule landed on the island. Gilligan and crew were dressed like bird people. NASA had cameras all over the capsule recording the bird people. They were walking around flapping their wings at the cameras. The experts at NASA thought they were alian space bird people. Compare this to the message being sent to the Middle East regarding the Muslim issues. A disconnect with the method of communications. Consider a compromise in the vehicle used to communicate with the Muslims that everyone can understand. We continue to send the message but the receiver does not understand what it means because its not in the format they can receive the message.


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