News / Middle East

    Clinton: World Seeking Inclusive Government in Egypt

    STATE DEPARTMENT — U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton says the Egyptian people and the international community are looking to the new Egyptian president Mohammed Morsi to appoint an inclusive government the includes women and Christians. Clinton spoke following the release of the annual U.S. report on worldwide religious freedom.

    Secretary Clinton says President Morsi has repeatedly promised to be the president of all Egyptians, regardless of their religion. But during talks in Cairo earlier this month, she says she heard from Christians who wonder whether they will have the same rights as other Egyptians in a new government led by the Islamic Muslim Brotherhood.

    "They wonder, understandably, will a government looking explicitly to greater reliance on Islamic principles stand up for non-Muslims and Muslims equally?  Since this is the first time that Egypt has ever been in this situation, it’s a fair question," Clinton said.

    Questions of religious freedom dominated Secretary Clinton's visit to Egypt, with protestors in Cairo and Alexandria accusing the Obama administration of backing the Muslim Brotherhood.

    Speaking in Washington on Monday following the release of the 2011 International Religious Freedom Report, Clinton said the United States does not take the side of one political party over another.  She said Washington supports the rights of all people to live, work, and worship how they choose with no group imposing its ideology on others.

    "The Egyptian people will look to their elected leaders to protect the rights of all citizens and govern in a fair and inclusive manner - and so will we.  And if voters make different choices in future elections, then they and we will expect their leaders to respond to the will of the people and give up power.  We are prepared to work with the leaders that the Egyptian people choose, but our engagement with those leaders will be based on their commitment to universal democratic principles," Clinton said.

    In its annual report on religious freedom, the United States said Egypt's transitional government made gestures toward greater inclusiveness, but failed to hold accountable security forces that cracked down on an October protest outside the national radio and television station in which 25 people were killed, mostly Coptic Christians.

    The report said there had been a "marked deterioration during 2011 in the government's respect for and protection of religious freedom in China" including in Tibetan areas and against Muslims living in the Xinjiang autonomous region as well as against Christian "house churches" such as the Shouwang church in Beijing.

    The report says the Nigerian government "did not effectively quell rising hostility or investigate and prosecute those responsible for violence" in attacks by elements of the fundamentalist Boko Haram group that have claimed the lives of both Christians and Muslims.  It said there were also reports of abuses of religious freedom "by certain state governments and local political actors who stoked communal and sectarian violence with impunity."

    Secretary Clinton said religious freedom gives lives meaning and dignity, whatever religion people belong to or if they belong to no religion at all.

    "Religious freedom is not just about religion.  It’s not just about the right of Roman Catholics to organize a Mass or Muslims to hold a religious funeral or Baha'is to meet in each others’ homes for prayer or Jews to celebrate High Holy Days together - as important as those rituals are.  Religious freedom is also about the right of people to think what they want, say what they think, and come together in fellowship, without the state looking over their shoulder," Clinton said.

    Listed as "countries of particular concern" in this year's report are China, Eritrea, Iran, North Korea, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Burma, and Uzbekistan.

    You May Like

    Syrian Torture Victim Recounts Horrors

    'You make them think you have surrendered' says Jalal Nofal, a doctor who was jailed and survived repeated interrogations in Syria

    Mandela’s Millions Paid to Heirs, But Who Gets His Country Home?

    Saga around $3 million estate of country's first democratic president is far from over as Winnie Mandela’s fight for home overshadows payouts

    Guess Which Beach is 'Best in the US'?

    Hawaii’s Hanauma Bay tops an annual "top 10" list compiled by a coastal scientist, also known as Doctor Beach

    This forum has been closed.
    Comment Sorting
    Comments
         
    by: Malek Towghi /Tauqee from: USA
    August 01, 2012 8:02 PM
    There will never be an inclusive government in a real and meaningful sense in any Muslim-dominated country unless, constitutionally, common educational, political, State & civic, and international affairs are separated from religion. How could we expect inclusiveness in Egypt, e.g., if its constitution declares Islam of the Quran and Sunnah as the State Religion etc ...etc.

    The sad thing is that even the so-called liberal, Left and 'moderate' Muslim parties of these countries do not have the courage to demand openly the separation of religion from state affairs.

    by: heshukui from: China
    August 01, 2012 8:36 AM
    God blessing you!

    by: Hassan from: Amman
    July 31, 2012 2:06 PM
    forget Egypt... what about Jordan...??? the Arab Palestinians are destroying Jordan... the Islamic brotherhood is killing the Jordanian Bedouin Tribes... why nobody report this

    by: Hatiq Ozlam from: Turkey
    July 31, 2012 12:28 AM
    Egypt Inclusive...??? what is she talking about...??? the modern "Egyptians" are Arab grave robbers... let them eat cow dung

    by: Davidtoo from: portland
    July 30, 2012 6:09 PM
    I was not asked about this - so the world doesn't include me??
    As far as I am concerned, the Egyptians should run THEIR country the way they see fit - REGARDLESS of what the rest of the world wants.

    We do not have a world government, and lets hope we never do !!!

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Chinese Americans for Trump Going Against National Trendi
    X
    May 27, 2016 5:57 AM
    A new study conducted by three Asian-American organizations shows there are three times as many Democrats as there are Republicans among Asian-American voters, and they favor Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump. But one group, called Chinese-Americans For Trump, is going against the tide and strongly supports the business tycoon. VOA’s Elizabeth Lee caught up with them at a Trump rally and reports from Anaheim, California.
    Video

    Video Chinese Americans for Trump Going Against National Trend

    A new study conducted by three Asian-American organizations shows there are three times as many Democrats as there are Republicans among Asian-American voters, and they favor Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump. But one group, called Chinese-Americans For Trump, is going against the tide and strongly supports the business tycoon. VOA’s Elizabeth Lee caught up with them at a Trump rally and reports from Anaheim, California.
    Video

    Video Vietnamese-American Youth Optimistic About Obama's Visit to Vietnam

    U.S. President Barack Obama's visit to Vietnam later this month comes at a time when Vietnam is seeking stronger ties with the United States. Many Vietnamese Americans, especially the younger generation, are optimistic Obama’s trip will help further reconciliation between the two former foes. Elizabeth Lee has more from the community called "Little Saigon" located south of Los Angeles.
    Video

    Video First-generation, Afghan-American Student Sets Sights on Basketball Glory

    Their parents are immigrants to the United States. They are kids who live between two worlds -- their parents' homeland and the U.S. For many of them, they feel most "American" at school. It can be tricky balancing both worlds. In this report, produced by Beth Mendelson, Arash Arabasadi tells us about one Afghan-American student who seems to be coping -- one shot at a time.
    Video

    Video Newest US Citizens, Writing the Next Great Chapter

    While universities across the United States honor their newest graduates this Friday, many immigrants in downtown Manhattan are celebrating, too. One hundred of them, representing 31 countries across four continents, graduated as U.S. citizens, joining the ranks of 680,000 others every year in New York and cities around the country.
    Video

    Video Vietnam Sees Strong Economic Growth Despite Incomplete Reforms

    Vietnam has transformed its communist economy to become one of the world's fastest-growing nations. While the reforms are incomplete, multinational corporations see a profitable future in Vietnam and have made major investments -- as VOA's Jim Randle reports.
    Video

    Video Qatar Denies World Cup Corruption

    The head of Qatar’s organizing committee for the 2022 World Cup insists his country's bid to host the soccer tournament was completely clean, despite the corruption scandals that have rocked the sport’s governing body, FIFA. Hassan Al-Thawadi also said new laws would offer protection to migrants working on World Cup construction projects. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
    Video

    Video Infrastructure Funding Puts Cambodia on Front Line of International Politics

    When leaders of the world’s seven most developed economies meet in Japan next week, demands for infrastructure investment world wide will be high on the agenda. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s push for “quality infrastructure investment” throughout Asia has been widely viewed as a counter to the rise of Chinese investment flooding into region.
    Video

    Video Democrats Fear Party Unity a Casualty in Clinton-Sanders Battle

    Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Clinton claimed a narrow victory in Tuesday's Kentucky primary even as rival Bernie Sanders won in Oregon. Tensions between the two campaigns are rising, prompting fears that the party will have a difficult time unifying to face the presumptive Republican nominee, Donald Trump. VOA national correspondent Jim Malone has more from Washington.
    Video

    Video Portrait of a Transgender Marriage: Husband and Wife Navigate New Roles

    As controversy continues in North Carolina over the use of public bathrooms by transgender individuals, personal struggles with gender identity that were once secret are now coming to light. VOA’s Tina Trinh explored the ramifications for one couple as part of trans.formation, a series of stories on transgender issues.
    Video

    Video Amerikan Hero Flips Stereotype of Middle Eastern Character

    An Iranian American comedian is hoping to connect with American audiences through a film that inverts some of Hollywood's stereotypes about Middle Eastern characters. Sama Dizayee reports.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora