Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘Eid-ul-Fitr’

Vodpod videos no longer available.

Remarks at Reception Marking Eid ul-Fitr

Remarks

Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State
Ben Franklin Room
Washington, DC
September 13, 2012

SECRETARY CLINTON: Good evening, and although I am many weeks overdue in saying it: Eid Mubarak. No matter how belated we are honoring Eid and the end of Ramadan, this is a cherished tradition here at the State Department. And I would like to thank all of you for being here, including the many members of the Diplomatic Corps.

Tonight, our gathering is more somber than any of us would like. This comes during sad and difficult days for the State Department family. We lost four Americans. They were good and brave men. They were committed to the cause of building a brighter future for the people of Libya. And we condemn the violence in the strongest terms, the violence against our posts in Benghazi, in Egypt, and now in Yemen.

The Libyan ambassador is with us tonight, and I want to take a moment to thank him for the support that his government and the Libyan people have shown to the United States in this tragedy, particularly the outpouring of feelings of grief and loss because of the killing of our ambassador.

Ambassador Aujali, would you mind saying a few words?

AMBASSADOR AUJALI: Thank you very much, Secretary Clinton. Standing beside you here in the Department of State, it shows the world how much the Americans are standing by the Libyans and the Libya revolution. You do support us during the war, but you have to support us during the peace. We are going through a very difficult time, and we need the help of friends.

It is a very sad day for me, since I learned of the death of my dear friend and colleague, Ambassador Chris Stevens. I knew Chris for the last six years. We play tennis together, we drive in one car, and we had some traditional Libyan food in my house. I must tell you, Madam Secretary, and tell the American people, that Chris is a hero. He is a real hero. He’s the man who believes in the Libyans and the Libyan ability that they will achieve democracy after 42 years of the dictatorship.

Now we are facing a serious problem, and we have to maintain and we have to – we need security and stability in our country. The government, unfortunately, faces a serious problem, personnel and equipment. And the support of you and the friends who support us during the war is very important.

I want to show you and to show the American people how much it was – we were shocked by the death of four American diplomats. It is a very sad story to tell. But I am sure that it is our responsibility, and the responsibility of the Libyan people, that we have to protect our people, we have to protect the Americans in the first place and have to protect all the diplomatic missions who are serving in our country. I am sure that without the help, we will not be able to do it.

I hope that this sad incident which happened, this terrorist attack which took place against the American consulate in Libya, it will tell us how much we have to work closely. Our religion, our culture, never tells us that this is the way to express your view. It is – in fact (inaudible) a terrorist act. This is condemned by all the world and by all the Libyans at the top level of the Libyan authority.

Please, Madam Secretary, accept our apology and accept our condolence for the loss of the four Americans, innocent people. They lost their lives in the Libyan territory. Chris, he loves Benghazi, he loves the people, he talks to them, he eats with them, and he committed — and unfortunately lost his life because of this commitment.

Madam Secretary, thank you very much indeed. (Applause.)

SECRETARY CLINTON: Thank you very much, Ambassador. I know that that was a very personal loss for you, as it was for me. I’m the one who sent Chris to Benghazi during the revolution to show support and be able to advise our government about what we could do to bring freedom and democracy and opportunity to the people of Libya.

Religious freedom and religious tolerance are essential to the stability of any nation, any people. Hatred and violence in the name of religion only poison the well. All people of faith and good will know that the actions of a small and savage group in Benghazi do not honor religion or God in any way. Nor do they speak for the more than one billion Muslims around the world, many of whom have shown an outpouring of support during this time.

Unfortunately, however, over the last 24 hours, we have also seen violence spread elsewhere. Some seek to justify this behavior as a response to inflammatory, despicable material posted on the internet. As I said earlier today, the United States rejects both the content and the message of that video. The United States deplores any intentional effort to denigrate the religious beliefs of others. At our meeting earlier today, my colleague, the foreign minister of Morocco, said that all prophets should be respected because they are all symbols of our humanity, for all humanity.

But both of us were crystal clear in this paramount message: There is never any justification for violent acts of this kind. And we look to leaders around the world to stand up and speak out against violence, and to take steps to protect diplomatic missions from attack.

Think about it. When Christians are subject to insults to their faith, and that certainly happens, we expect them not to resort to violence. When Hindus or Buddhists are subjected to insults to their faiths, and that also certainly happens, we expect them not to resort to violence. The same goes for all faiths, including Islam.

When all of us who are people of faith – and I am one – feel the pain of insults, of misunderstanding, of denigration to what we cherish, we must expect ourselves and others not to resort to violence. That is a universal standard and expectation, and it is everyone’s obligation to meet that, so that we make no differences, we expect no less of ourselves than we expect of others. You cannot respond to offensive speech with violence without begetting more violence.

And I so strongly believe that the great religions of the world are stronger than any insults. They have withstood offense for centuries. Refraining from violence, then, is not a sign of weakness in one’s faith; it is absolutely the opposite, a sign that one’s faith is unshakable.

So tonight, we must come together and recommit ourselves to working toward a future marked by understanding and acceptance rather than distrust, hatred, and fear. We can pledge that whenever one person speaks out in ignorance and bigotry, ten voices will answer. They will answer resoundingly against the offense and the insult, answering ignorance with enlightenment, answering hatred with understanding, answering darkness with light; that if one person commits a violent act in the name of religion, millions will stand up and condemn it out of strength.

In times like these, it can be easy to despair that some differences are irreconcilable, some mountains too steep to climb; we will therefore never reach the level of understanding and peacefulness that we seek, and which I believe the great religions of the world call us to pursue. But that’s not what I believe, and I don’t think it’s what you believe either here tonight. Part of what makes our country so special is we keep trying. We keep working. We keep investing in our future. We keep supporting the next generation, believing that young people can keep us moving forward in a positive direction.

So tonight I think it’s important that we talk not just about that better tomorrow that we all seek, but also about some of the things – the real, practical, tangible things – that young people are doing to help shape that better future.

Two years ago in this room, at our Eid reception, we launched a program called Generation Change to lead a grassroots agenda of positive engagement with Muslim communities. And I asked the young Muslim leaders in the audience that night to be our unofficial ambassadors, to help build personal connections, seek out partners in other countries. And I can report to you tonight they did not disappoint. In a few minutes, you’re going to meet some of these young leaders, each with a powerful story to tell.

The Generation Change network that started in this room now circles the globe. We are building an international alliance of young people who want to drive change in their own communities. They act as mentors, spark respectful debates, simply offer words of encouragement when needed. But most importantly, they inspire others to keep expanding the circle of mutual understanding and respect, one person at a time.

Even as we work to spread tolerance more broadly, we also are working to deepen our appreciation for the experiences of others. Our 2012 Hours Against Hate initiative encourages young people to put themselves in another person’s shoes through service projects. So far, young people from all over the world have pledged thousands of volunteer hours to help people from a different background, to see them as a fellow human being, not a stereotype, not a caricature, but another real live person – people who don’t look like you, live like you, pray like you, but with whom we will share this planet. And therefore, we have work to do.

People of faith and conscience are called to be the leaders of tolerance. In my tradition, like all traditions, we are expected to love one another. And together, we have to translate that into better understanding and cooperation. I’m particularly pleased that the young people you will hear from tonight are really setting an example, not only for young people elsewhere in the world but, frankly, for us who are older as well.

Let me now call to the stage someone who has been a tremendous assistance to me in these efforts. Farah Pandith is the Department’s first Special Representative to Muslim Communities. And from the beginning, she has made reaching out to young people and civil society her top priority. Farah will introduce you to three young leaders who I am very proud of.

Read Full Post »

Vodpod videos no longer available.

Remarks at a Reception Marking Eid ul-Fitr

Remarks

Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State
Washington, DC
September 7, 2011

SECRETARY CLINTON:Thank you, Farah. Thank you. Well, I am a wannabe athlete – (laughter) – and I have absolutely no claim to being anything other than that, but I am delighted that this evening we are going to be honoring some young people who truly are athletes and who are carving their own futures in the history of our country.So good evening everyone. Eid Mubarak. And thank you, Farah, for your tireless efforts on behalf of the work that brings you not only to this podium but around the world.

It is a delight to see so many ambassadors from countries that I have visited and know well and to see many familiar faces here again, particularly some of the youth leaders that we honored at our last Iftar dinner. The problem with Ramadan in August is it was impossible, and so we thought, well, it’s September but we’re going forward. And so I thank you for your understanding and your being here once again.

Now, I’m told that there are two members of Congress with us, Representatives Keith Ellison and Sheila Jackson Lee, and I send a special word of welcome to them.

As Farah said, you can see through the lobby and the Diplomatic Reception Rooms some of our history of presidents affirming America’s respect for Muslims and Islam dating back to Washington, Adams, and Jefferson. And we celebrate that history, and particularly today we wanted to celebrate sports and athletic competition. Whether it be the Olympics or the World Cup, the human drive to run faster and climb higher is universal, and universally celebrated. And it’s also a way by which talent rises to the top, ability is what matters, and people are treated equally.

And that’s part of the reason the State Department sponsors sports exchange programs and sends sports ambassadors around the world. And for all the athletes joining us this evening, you may never have thought of yourself exactly as a role model, but you are. And you are not only to the students that some of you visited earlier today, but to so many beyond. And all Americans take pride in your achievements.

Now, we have some household names as well as some who will be household names. World champion boxer Amir Khan flew all the way from London to be part of this celebration. Where is Mr. Khan? Thank you so much for coming. (Applause.)

We also have a number of women athletes who are here. When Ibtihaj Muhammad fences in her hijab, when she trains 30 hours each week without missing a prayer, she’s thinking about winning and she’s thinking about the London Olympics next year. Where is Ms. Muhammad? Where is she? Right there. (Applause.) But I think it’s fair to say that, as her mother has said, many people feel pride and recognize that she is representing more than just herself in her endeavors.

Now, not everybody will go to the Olympics, but even weekend warriors can get some satisfaction out of this. And I hope many of you were able to watch the new documentary we screened earlier. And we are joined by the coach and four members of the Fordson Tractors from Dearborn, Michigan, as well as the filmmakers. Where are all of them? That was such a great documentary and a great story. (Applause.)

And I hope everybody gets a chance to meet our athletes here tonight, but that film highlighted the exceptional circumstances that the team faced, that they wanted to train hard and stay healthy while keeping the requirements of Ramadan. And so like every other high school team, they geared up for football practice in August this year with two-a-day practices, except they took the field at 11:00 p.m. and finished around 4:00. And that takes special dedication, special dedication to both your sport and your faith.

But what stood out to me is how familiar the team and the players ultimately are. The image of the pregame huddle and prayer could’ve been filmed at any high school in America. Shoulder pads and helmets crowded the locker room, and big-game nerves were somewhat evident on your faces, I have to confess. But despite the extra burdens they carried, at the end of it, it was Friday night football for a team of champions.

Now, we can’t pretend that there have not been difficulties and division. In fact, the Fordson documentary tells the story of the religious tensions in Dearborn, Michigan. But the power of America has always been anchored in our ability to come together and move forward as one nation.

This weekend, we will mark the 10th anniversary of September 11th. And we all lost something that day. In the ashes and the aftermaths, we knew that we had lost Christians, Muslims, Jews, Hindus, Buddhists, men, women, young, old. And a decade later, that unity that we felt must continue to inspire and guide us.

I’m very proud that in our country, despite the challenges, we do honor the freedom of religion. Too many countries in the world today do not, or they make it difficult and even dangerous for people to try to exercise their religion. So as difficult as it may be, the fact that we get up every day and keep trying is a real tribute to all of us. So at this time of celebration and reflection, and as we mark the end of Ramadan and the beginning of a new year of renewal and possibility, I hope we can recommit ourselves to the common cause of spreading peace, prosperity, understanding to all the people of the earth.

Now I wanted to introduce two of our athletes so that you could hear from them directly. Ephraim Salaam has played in the NFL for over a decade, but some of you may know him best for his memorable Super Bowl commercial last year. (Laughter.) And Kulsoom Abdullah is a weightlifter, forging the way for Muslim women athletes to maintain their freedom of expression and still compete at the highest level. Please join me in welcoming first Ephraim and then Kulsoom.

(Applause.)

Read Full Post »

Secretary Clinton to Host Eid Reception on September 7

Office of the Spokesperson
Washington, DC
September 6, 2011

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton will host an Eid ul-Fitr reception to commemorate the conclusion of the month of Ramadan on Wednesday, September 7, 2011, in the Benjamin Franklin Room at the Department of State.

Secretary Clinton will make remarks at approximately 6:00 p.m.

Eid ul-Fitr, which started August 30, is a three-day celebration of the conclusion of the month of Ramadan, typically characterized by feasting and celebrating in the days after the end of the month. Ramadan is the month Muslims believe the Qu’ran was revealed to the Prophet Mohamed. Ramadan is a time of reflection, generosity and compassion for nearly two billion Muslims worldwide.

At this event Secretary Clinton will recognize the contributions of American Muslims in sports, and guests will include several American Muslim professional, college, and amateur athletes in a variety of fields.

I posted this over the weekend, but am repeating it as her week pre-9/11 is shaping up.

Conversation with TIME’s Richard Stengel to Mark “Beyond 9/11: Portraits of Resilience”

Media Note

Office of the Spokesperson
Washington, DC
August 31, 2011

On September 8, Secretary Clinton will participate in a conversation with TIME Magazine’s Managing Editor Richard Stengel, marking “Beyond 9/11: Portraits of Resilience,” a special screening and portrait exhibition hosted by TimeWarner in New York City. The conversation will begin at approximately 8:15pm.

Beyond 9/11: Portraits of Resilience” will mark the 10th anniversary of the terrorist attacks on New York City and their aftermath. The portrait exhibition and TIME/HBO documentary features untold stories – captured in words and images – from 40 women and men who led America, moved the nation, and sacrificed for it, in the hours, days and months that followed September 11, 2001.

The evening events will include: a reception marking the opening of Marco Grob’s TIME Portrait Series exhibition “Portraits of Resilience,” a special screening of the TIME/HBO documentary “Beyond 9/11,” and a conversation with Secretary Clinton and Richard Stengel.

Working with the editors of TIME, award-winning photographer Marco Grob produced the set of portraits which are coupled with oral histories from people including George W. Bush, Dick Cheney, Donald Rusmfeld, Rudolph Giuliani, Adm. William McRaven (who led the mission that killed Osama bin Laden) and, for the very first time, the only four survivors of the attack on Tower Two of the World Trade Center who were above the point of impact.

The program will be available on www.time.com. Additional broadcast details to be announced.

TIME Magazine is leading the collaboration of Time Warner outlets, including CNN and HBO, with the special package

The HBO documentary is in association with TIME and is a 60-minute film that will premiere on the network and HBO GO at 8.46 a.m. EST on 9/11.

 

Secretary Clinton to Deliver Remarks on the 10th Anniversary of September 11th and U.S. Counterterrorism Strategy in New York City on September 9

Office of the Spokesperson
Washington, DC
September 6, 2011

On September 9, 2011, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton will deliver remarks on the tenth anniversary of the September 11th attacks and U.S. counterterrorism strategy, at the John Jay College of Criminal Justice in New York City. The remarks will take place in the morning.

Read Full Post »

Eid-ul-Fitr

Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State
Washington, DC
September 10, 2010

Eid Mubarak! Since my husband, Bill Clinton, and I held the first Eid celebration at the White House in 1996, I have enjoyed marking Eid every year. I look forward to seeing old friends and meeting new ones.

And yet, in the 14 years since that first White House celebration, our world has seen unexpected changes and unprecedented challenges. Under President Obama’s leadership, the United States is working to create new partnerships with Muslim communities. We want to build bridges, not only bridges toward peace in the Middle East, but bridges of understanding. We believe we all can work toward a more peaceful and prosperous future, one based on mutual respect and cooperation.

I hosted an Iftar at the State Department, and I invited many young American leaders – young American Muslims. They’re bringing their energy and spirit to solving problems and overcoming traditional boundaries. They are engaging with change-makers around the world. Their energy and enthusiasm gives me great hope for a future filled with greater understanding.

At this time of peace and celebration, I wish you and your family a joyful Eid, and a very happy year ahead.

Read Full Post »

%d bloggers like this: