U.S. Outreach to Islamic World Off to Slow Start

April 18, 2005

Source: The Washington Post

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A61213-2005Apr17.html

On April 18, 2005 The Washington Post reported, "The Bush administration's outreach to the Islamic world is in no hurry. And it includes no Muslims... Despite the administration's repeated pledges of outreach, the State Department's main program directed at the Islamic world has no Muslim staff, U.S. officials say. 'There's a dearth of Muslims in the State Department generally,' a senior State Department official said. Like Powell, who is Egyptian American, most Arabs in the administration are Christians, sources said. Islam is the fastest-growing religion in the United States and is expected to become the second-largest religious bloc here in the next few years, but the government has not tapped into its own community as part of the global outreach, U.S. officials say. 'It's very important for American Muslims to be involved, as they're an important conduit to the wider Islamic world and they should be speaking out,' the second U.S. official added. 'But American Muslims generally feel they're not included like other communities. We should be talking to them, as they have a lot of knowledge of the region.'"