Albright: Religion crucial to diplomacy

Aug. 21, 2007 at 9:10 PM

WASHINGTON, Aug. 21 (UPI) -- Former U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright says she believes an understanding of religion is essential to foreign policy.

Albright was one of the people interviewed for “God’s Warriors,” a special CNN report on political Judaism, Islam and Christianity.

“I think one of the major problems is that here in the United States, particularly, there is very little understanding of Islam,” Albright told the news network. “We all act as if Islam is a monolithic religion and that all Muslims live in the Middle East. The bottom line is most Muslims in the world don't live in the Middle East. They live in Indonesia, or Malaysia, or India, um, Pakistan. Second, there are a number of different sects within Islam.”

In the interview, Albright talks about the Clinton administration’s efforts to negotiate a settlement between Israel and Palestine. She said Jerusalem is a special problem because it is a holy city for three religions, with shrines of different faiths occupying the same space.

“If Jerusalem was just a real estate issue, we would have resolved it a long time ago,” she said.

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