Resources on Faith, Ethics and Public Life

Bill Clinton on Effective Muslim-West Dialogue at the Seventh Millenium Evening

April 12, 1999

It may be that the Iranian people have been taught to hate or distrust the United States or the West on the grounds that we are infidels and outside the faith. [...] I think it is important to recognize, however, that Iran [...] has been the subject of quite a lot of abuse from various Western nations. And I think sometimes it's quite important to tell people, "Look, you have a right to be angry at something my country [...] did to you 50 or 60 or 100 or 150 years ago. But that is different from saying that I am outside the faith, and you are God's chosen." [...] So I think while we speak out against religious intolerance, we have to listen for possible ways we can give people the legitimacy of some of their fears or some of their angers or some of their historic grievances, and then say they rest on other grounds.

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