FEBRUARY 17, 2010: US Envoy Calls For Religious Tolerance

Envoy Calls for Religious Tolerance
SOURCE: New Vision
By Barbara Among

Kampala — US ambassador Jerry Lanier has called for tolerance between Muslims and the rest of the world.

Lanier was speaking at a symposium aimed at eliminating the misconceptions between the US and the Muslim community and to promote dialogue.

The symposium, held at Makerere University, was organised by the US embassy.

"There is a need to listen to each other. There is need for tolerance from both sides," said Lanier.

"We must work together to fulfil the aspiration that all people share, and that is education, work in dignity and live in peace and security and not in poverty, that is what America believes in."

Visiting Cairo last year, US President Barack Obama said he was seeking a new beginning between the US and Muslims around the world.

Lanier said the relationship between Muslims and other people should be based on mutual respect and the principle of justice.

He noted that it is an uphill task to overcome the differences that exist between the two communities.

However, Lanier expressed optimism that the problem can be overcome through dialogue.

During the discussion, presenters pointed to lack of knowledge and understanding of the Muslim culture and that of America, as a major roadblock to mutual co-existence between the two communities.