Monday, September 14, 2009

Hillary Clinton on AoC

Hillary Clinton, Sept. 11, 2009: Remarks Upon Receipt of the Roosevelt Institute's Four Freedoms Award at the Roosevelt Institute's Four Freedoms Medals Gala Dinner http://www.state.gov/secretary/rm/2009a/09/129164.htm
"....We wish to stand firmly on the side of the freedom of religion. As President Obama noted in his historic speech in Cairo, faith should bring us together. That's why we have welcomed international efforts such as Turkey and Spain's leadership in the Alliance of Civilizations. It’s one of the reasons that on my first trip as Secretary of State I visited Indonesia – the world’s most populous Muslim country and a secular democracy. It’s why we are encouraging people of different religions to come together not only in dialogue, but in service. In projects ranging from Malaria prevention in Africa to disaster assistance in South Asia, we are laying a foundation for good works – and good relations – among the world’s religious communities.
Learning to respect the faith of our neighbors should be the price of admission into the 21st century. Now, in some cases, threats to religious freedom come from authoritarian regimes. Some Eritreans have been imprisoned in shipping containers for seeking to practice their non-violent beliefs. In others cases, bias and discrimination by majorities toward minority faiths or hateful ideologies can threaten the freedom of belief. So we must speak out forcefully against these wrongs wherever they exist.
Now, some claim that the United Nations can best protect the freedom of religion by adopting what is called an “anti-defamation” policy that would restrict the freedom of expression and the freedom of religion. I, obviously, strongly disagree. An individual’s ability to practice their religion should have no bearing on others individuals’ freedom of speech. The protection of speech about religion is particularly important since persons of different faiths will inevitably hold divergent views on religious questions. And these differences should be met with tolerance, not suppression of discourse. And the United States will stand against the idea of defamation of religion in the United Nations General Assembly and the Human Rights Council. (Applause.)..."

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