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Press Releases 2010

Statement by U.S. Ambassador Timothy J. Roemer

September 13, 2010

News reports have stated that on Saturday, September 11, one misguided individual in the United States desecrated the Holy Quran by tearing pages from it. On behalf of everyone at the U.S. Embassy in India, I condemn such acts as disrespectful, intolerant, divisive, and un-representative of American values. The deliberate destruction of any holy book is an abhorrent act.

The acts of this one individual are not representative of America and American values. These acts are well outside of the American mainstream and offend millions, including myself. Our commitment to religious tolerance and religious freedom goes back to the very beginning of our nation and will continue to be a guiding principle of our country well into the future. Islam has its rightful and equal place at the table in America along with all other religions and always will.

Extremists in all countries seek to sow hatred rather than peaceful co-existence. But as President Obama said, “America and Islam are not exclusive and need not be in competition.  Instead, they overlap, and share common principles – principles of justice and progress; tolerance and the dignity of all human beings.”  One misguided American tearing pages from the Holy Quran will not change this - today, tomorrow, or ever.

We are also dismayed to see reports that a school and a church in Kashmir and Punjab have been attacked and destroyed by rioters.  We strongly support local authorities’ appeal for calm and an end to the violence.