Clinton 'hurt' by charges of anti-Islam US bias

Clinton 'hurt' by charges of anti-Islam US bias

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said Sunday she was deeply hurt by charges that the United States was biased against Muslims, staunchly defending her country’s record in protecting minorities.

Clinton, visiting the world’s third largest Muslim-majority country Bangladesh, was asked by a student at a public forum about perceptions that the United States was against Islam.

Clinton said that the decade of US-led war was “self-defence” after the September 11, 2001 attacks by Al-Qaeda and said extremists “perverted” the teachings of Islam.

The United States has long had a cooperative relationship with Bangladesh, which is known for its moderate brand of Islam and has a significant population of religious minorities.

But Clinton is the first US secretary of state to visit Bangladesh since 2003 amid concern over political infighting that has long polarised the country.