Obama Warns of Growing Religious Intolerance in Post-Revolt Mideast
The Obama administration warned Tuesday of growing religious intolerance and violence in Arab nations undergoing popular revolts that could undermine fragile democratic transitions, the Associated Press reports. While the overthrow of longtime authoritarian rulers in Tunisia, Egypt and Libya has given millions hope for freedom, and additional rebellions are underway in Syria and Yemen, they have also opened up religious and ethnic minorities to new threats. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton urged countries not to "trade one form of repression for another" and to embrace the freedom to worship for all faiths as they embrace political pluralism for the first time in generations. The U.S. has publicly expressed concern about post-revolt sectarian violence and the treatment of religious and ethnic minorities in Egypt and Libya. It has also condemned attacks on religious minorities in Syria as the government continues a months-long brutal crackdown on opponents, and has taken aim at abuses of religious freedom in Iran, Iraq and Saudi Arabia.