Some of the comments that have been uttered about Islam do not reflect the sentiments of my government or the sentiments of most Americans. Islam, as practiced by the vast majority of people, is a peaceful religion, a religion that respects others. Ours is a country based upon tolerance, Mr. Secretary General, and we respect the faith and we welcome people of all faiths in America. And we're not going to let the war on terror or terrorists cause us to change our values. In opening statements prior to meeting with U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan, President Bush <a href="http://www.reuters.com/news_article.jhtml?type=search&StoryID=1734224">took on the Christian Right</a>, his core supporters, for their intolerance of Islam. Tele-evangelist Pat Robertson said that Muslims were 'worse than Nazis', Jerry Falwell called Muhammad a 'terrorist', and Franklin Graham has also criticized Islam. Said a spokesperson for Council on American-Islamic Relations, 'It's encouraging to see that the president is finally addressing the issue of Islamophobia in America by addressing a specific attacks on Islam.' Meanwhile the Human Rights Watch said that the Bush administration should have been better prepared to fight the hate crime wave after September 11th. The report entitled <a href="http://www.hrw.org/reports/2002/usahate/">'We Are Not The Enemy'</a> details the murder, assaults, arson and attacks on places of worship after the terrorist attacks of 2001. The reports says that 'The strengths and weaknesses of official responses to the Sept. 11 backlash reflect strengths and weaknesses of the official response to all hate crimes.' The United States has always been in a peculiar situation regarding hate crimes, we praise tolerance on one hand and we worship the First Amendment on the other. The enforcement of hate crime laws seems haphazard at best and consistently ineffectual. With President Bush's support proven in the latest elections, will he have more surprises in store such as the attack on the Christian Right? Will he be able to make peace with the American Muslim community and direct the nation into a more tolerant mood? Or are we there?