WASHINGTON (AP) — Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton says religious liberty includes the right to criticize or change religions.
Clinton addressed representatives of Muslim and Western
governments considering how to combat religious intolerance, including acts that Muslims find offensive.
She said hateful anti-religious speech should be denounced, but not outlawed as it is in nations that make blasphemy or conversion to another religion a crime.
Clinton asked, "Is our religion so weak that statements of
disapproval will cause us to lose our faith?"
She argued instead for a tolerance that allows people to vigorously debate their religious differences.
Clinton said governments that fear religion and "societies
which think there's only one religion can be equally oppressive."