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Powell Wants More Muslims in U.S.

November 19, 2002

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WASHINGTON (AP) _ Secretary of State Colin Powell said Monday he is trying to expand programs to bring educators, journalists and political and religious leaders from Islamic countries to the United States.

``We are committed to ensuring that our programs reach out to Muslims in all walks of life,″ Powell told a gathering of Muslim-Americans at an Iftaar, the end-of-the-day meal that breaks daylong fasts during the holy month of Ramadan.

Powell said the United States also is committed to enhancing understanding by building hope.

``From the mountains of Afghanistan to the valleys of Bosnia to the plains of Africa to the forests of Asia and around the world we are on the ground working with our Muslim partners to expand to the circle of peace, the circle of prosperity, the circle of freedom,″ he said.

Describing extremism and violence as America’s greatest enemies, Powell said, ``We must not listen to the siren song of the bigots, extremists who cloak themselves in false spirituality in an attempt to divide and to weaken us.″

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