Source: Arab News
On January 13, 2004 Arab News ran an Agence France Presse article that reported, "[W]hile the Muslim faith should be better understood by the US, the Arab world should not judge America through the state of the Middle East peace process, former US President Bill Clinton said here yesterday. Addressing the closing session of the second US-Islamic Forum, Clinton said that while 'those in the West only see Islam through the specter of terror,' Muslims were basing their judgment of the United States on its role in finding a solution to the Arab-Israeli conflict...While debating other controversial issues, such as Iraq, America’s future role in the Gulf and free trade, open sessions were overrun by the Middle East conflict, which Muslim participants described as the root of US-Islamic tensions that were merely exacerbated by the events of Sept. 11...Though some emerged from the largely closed-door forum confident that progress had been made, others were less impressed. 'It’s useless, because you can’t establish a dialogue between a state and a religion,' one Arab diplomat told AFP, requesting anonymity."