June 26th, 2009
01:26 PM ET
9 years ago

State Department appoints envoy for Muslim outreach

WASHINGTON (CNN) - One might think the hiring of an envoy to handle outreach to the Muslim world would be something the State Department would want to tout.

Such a move was recently made, but it didn't qualify as significant news for diplomats, who failed to make the appointment public.

This week, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton chose Farah Pandith for the job.

State Department Spokesman Ian Kelly confirmed the appointment on Thursday after being asked about Indian news reports that Pandith, a Kashmiri-American, had been selected for the job.

"She's actually a friend of mine," Kelly told reporters. "I worked with her very closely in the European Bureau, Farah Pandith. She was a special adviser for outreach to Muslim communities in Europe. The secretary has appointed her to more of a global role."

Kelly was unclear about when Clinton tapped Pandith, saying he believed it was made within the past few days.

When asked why the post had not been made public, Kelly said an announcement was sent out to the "State Department community." However, he promised to disseminate more information about the appointment.

During his inaugural speech, President Barack Obama pledged to seek a "new way forward" with the Muslim world "based on mutual interest and respect," after eight years of tense relations with the Muslim world under President Bush.

Earlier this month during speech to the Muslim world in Cairo, Obama once again said he would try "to seek a new beginning between the United States and Muslims around the world, one based on mutual interest and mutual respect."

Filed under: Hillary Clinton
soundoff (34 Responses)
  1. GuyInVA

    Just remember, they are the religion of peace. And if you don't stop saying they aren't, they'll behead you.

    June 26, 2009 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
  2. Nunya

    For those of you implying that things like the 9/11 and bombs and the Cole are representative of all Muslims, don't complain when you as a Christian are criticized because you get lumped in with the KKK and the Spanish Inquisition, or even the Nazis. They're equivalent comparisons. There are evil extremists who belong to and abuse any belief system.

    June 26, 2009 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |
  3. Srikanth


    Farah Pandith is muslim? The last name indicates she is a Hindu and a Brahmin, the highest caste at that!

    June 26, 2009 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
  4. Indian American

    Limbaugh is a liberal,

    I'm Christian from India. Believe me There is no ill treatment of muslims in India. Of the 52 muslim countries in the world, India-a hindu majority country is the only one to provide Huj subsides. They also have whole bunch of welfare and affirmative action programs exclusively for muslims. While Hindus and Christians can have only one wife, muslims in India can have 4 wifes.

    Muslims in India are like African Americans here. (I've no ill will toward both communities). They receive a lot from Government yet cry out loud about racism.

    June 26, 2009 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
  5. Neilz

    I do not envy her. She will have the impossible task of trying to "reach out" to Muslims while we indiscriminately murder their women and children. And why a Kashmiri? That's where the never ending war of attrition moves next,, my friends. To Kashmir, (part of the secret deal with Pakistan) then to Somalia and Kenya, with possibly a short stop in Urghur. By then we will be in full conscription mode. Get those Canadian work visas now.

    June 26, 2009 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
  6. HJA

    We are seeing the reality of the Muslim world right now. I haven't seen much response to the Iran crisis. Just a lot of silence. Maybe they are afraid it will spread?????

    June 26, 2009 05:43 pm at 5:43 pm |
  7. Willy Brown

    Screw that!!!

    June 26, 2009 06:11 pm at 6:11 pm |
  8. Cliff

    Obama the muslim is coming out of the closet muck quicker than even I thought he would!!! TRULY SAD!

    June 26, 2009 06:25 pm at 6:25 pm |
  9. DawnL,CA

    @Nunya 4:51
    I didn't "imply" things like 9/11, I said it outright. Did not compare all muslims to terrorists, only the ones who do not speak out against these murders. Going back to the "Spanish Inquisition" is going back to far. You might as well go back to the Crusades.
    Have a nice day.

    June 26, 2009 06:29 pm at 6:29 pm |
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