Nov. 29, 2006 3:40 p.m. EST
Colin Powell: Reach Out to Arabs and Muslims
Former U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell said on Wednesday
President George W. Bush could fight terrorism better by reaching
out to Arabs and Muslims.
"We are conveying a bad message, that America does not welcome
you particularly - Arabs and Muslims," Powell told a business
forum in the United Arab Emirates.
"The greatest weapon against terrorism for America is to open up
for the rest of the world."
Arabs and Muslims have criticised U.S. policies as biased towards
Israel. Tensions escalated after the U.S.-led wars in Afghanistan
and Iraq and a backlash against Muslims and Arabs in the United
States after the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks.
The 19 al Qaeda hijackers who attacked U.S. cities in 2001 were
Arab Muslims, mainly from Saudi Arabia.
"I hope President Bush and Secretary (of State Condoleezza)
Rice would double the effort to bring stability to this part of
the world (Middle East)," he added.
Powell said the number of Arabs and Muslims who visit the U.S.
has dropped since the attacks and reflected negatively on
educational institutions and leisure destinations.
Arabs and Muslims complain of heavy security searches in U.S.
airports and denial of access to the country. Many Arab students,
mainly from Gulf Arab states, left the United States after the
attacks on fears of discrimination.
"This is bad, not good for America," said Powell.
"When students come to America for a couple of years they will
understand Americans more. This is a great weapon against
terrorism... not the use of the military."
(c) Reuters 2006. All rights reserved.
Copyright - Original materials copyright (c) by the authors. Originally posted at http://zionism-israel.com/israel_news/2006/12/colin-powell-reach-out-to-arabs-and.html. Please do link to these articles, quote from them and forward them by email to friends with this notice. Other uses require written permission of the author.