Colin Powell Takes Poke at Evangelicals, Vows to Promote Islam
by Fred Jackson
(AgapePress) ?It appears Secretary of State Colin Powell has launched a campaign to discredit those who would dare criticize the Muslim faith.
Associated Press reports the Bush Administration's Muslim outreach is continuing, with Powell being the guest of honor at another Ramadan dinner.
Powell used the occasion to denounce those who seek to, as he put it, "divide and weaken us."
"Extremism and violence are our greatest enemies, our greatest foes," Powell told the gathering. "We must not listen to the siren song of the bigots and extremists who cloak themselves in false spirituality in an attempt to divide and weaken us."
Powell did not offer any specifics as to whom he was criticizing. When asked about recent comments from evangelicals such as Pat Robertson, Jerry Falwell, and Franklin Graham-who openly have linked Islam to violence and terrorism-Powell responded: "This kind of hatred must be rejected."
And it appears Powell is doing more than just criticizing the Christian leaders. He informed the Ramadan gathering that his department is working to bring more scholars and political and religious leaders from Islamic countries to the United States.
"We are committed, here in the [State] Department and in this administration under President Bush's leadership, to ensuring that our programs continue to reach out to Muslims in all walks of life," he said.
On television last week, evangelist Robertson said that Adolf Hitler was bad, "but what the Muslims want to do to the Jews is worse." President Bush denounced Robertson's statement, saying his comments do not reflect the sentiment of the U.S. government.
Despite the chastisement from the White House, Robertson said he was standing by his comments about what the Koran teaches and he challenged the media and others to check it out for themselves.