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Religious Right Criticizes Bush for Distancing Himself From Anti-Islamic Comments

In a memo to members of the Campaign for Working Families, Gary Bauer, the organization’s chairman, characterized Bush’s comments as “mystifying and disappointing.”

In a meeting with U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan, Bush told reporters, “Some of the comments that have been uttered about Islam do not reflect the sentiments of my government or the sentiments of most Americans.” <?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = “urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office” />
“Islam, as practiced by the vast majority of people, is a peaceful religion, a religion that respects others,” Bush said. “Ours is a country based on tolerance, Mr. Secretary General, and we respect the faith and we welcome people of all faiths in <?xml:namespace prefix = st1 ns = “urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttags” />America. And we’re not going to let the war on terror or terrorists cause us to change our values.”
In a memo to members of the Campaign for Working Families, Gary Bauer, the organization’s chairman, characterized Bush’s comments as “mystifying and disappointing.”
“The statement demonstrated an unbecoming ingratitude,” Bauer wrote.
“This was an odd message to many of the Christian leaders who are exposing the radical Islamic agenda. They are also the very people who helped deliver the votes that gave the White House its congressional majority,” wrote Bauer. “Perhaps a ‘thank you’ would have been more timely.”
Bauer, the former head of the Family Research Council, a James Dobson-affiliated organization, wrote, “While the President did not mention Jerry Falwell, Franklin Graham or Pat Robertson by name, White House aides lost no time in letting the press know that he was referring to them.”
Speaking on “The 700 Club,” Pat Robertson called Bush’s comments “a minor disagreement among friends.”
While Robertson said he was not throwing rocks at the president, he implied that the Bush did not accurately understand “the purest expression of Islam.”
Christian fundamentalists also came under fire from Secretary of State Colin Powell.
“We will reject the kinds of comments you have seen recently, where people in this country say that Muslims are responsible for the killing of all Jews and who put out hatred,” Powell said. “This kind of hatred must be rejected. This kind of language must be spoken out against. We cannot allow this image to go forth of America because it is an inaccurate image of America.”
Also read:
Bush Steps Away From Christian Fundamentalists’ Comments on Islam
Bush Observes Ramadan, Needs to Get Tough with Christian Fundamentalists