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Tuesday, June 2, 2009

State Dept. book explains to the Muslim world why U.S. is not evil

WASHINGTON — The United States has released a book to meant to rebut claims that it discriminates against Muslims.   

The State Department has released a book for U.S. embassies and consulates in Muslim states, Middle East Newsline reported. Titled "Being Muslim in America," the 64-page publication seeks to demonstrate U.S. tolerance of Muslims and their faith.

"Every significant immigrant group has in the United States faced, and overcame, a degree of discrimination and resentment," the book said.

Officials said the State Department could print more than 400,000 copies in 28 languages for distribution in Arab and Muslim states. They said the department has not published similar books for members of other faiths.

Also In This Edition

"The struggle against Islamic terrorism is a struggle for hearts and minds in the Muslim world," Michael Friedman, chief of publications with the State Department's Bureau of International Information Programs, said.

The book also contains a color-coded, state-by-state map of mosques throughout the United States. The publication does not cite the prosecution and conviction of Muslims in the United States on charges of working with Al Qaida-aligned operational cells.

The State Department also reports the activities of Saudi-financed Muslim groups charged with supporting Hamas and Islamic Jihad, classified as terrorist groups. Friedman said mention of such groups as the Council of American-Islamic Relations and Muslim Public Affairs Council was not meant as an endorsement.

The publication has sparked opposition by independent Muslim groups, which said the State Department was legitimizing jihad. They said the U.S. government has ignored Muslims who embrace democracy and human rights.

"It boggles my mind how people who are supposed to protect us [the government] are advancing our enemies' agenda," Khalim Massoud, president of Muslims Against Sharia, said in an interview to IPT News.

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