Government Officials Speak Out Against Recent Comments About Islam

December 6, 2002

Source: The New York Times

On December 6, 2002 The New York Times reported that "speaking at the Islamic Center of Washington in celebration of Id al-Fitr, the culmination of the holy month of Ramadan, the president kept up what aides described as an effort to minimize any anti-Muslim backlash in the United States and avoid having his administration's war against terrorism and confrontation with Iraq seen as a clash of beliefs or civilizations. Mr. Bush said Id al-Fitr 'is a reminder that Islam brings hope and comfort to more than a billion people worldwide' and that the religion 'affirms God's justice and insists on man's moral responsibility.' In a statement issued later by the White House, Mr. Bush cited 'acts of kindness and generosity' by Muslims during Ramadan to people in need as inspiration for building a 'culture of service' among people of all faiths in the United States. Mr. Bush appeared at the same Islamic center six days after the Sept. 11 attacks, at a time when some Muslims in the United States were being harassed, and said: 'Moms who wear cover must not be intimidated in America. That's not the America I know.' Before his appearance today, the political backdrop was set when religious conservatives and some foreign policy analysts suggested that Islam is inherently militaristic. Aides said Mr. Bush was well aware of those suggestions and wanted to make clear that he disagreed."