Farah Pandith, an Indian- American, has been formally sworn in as the first US Special Representative to Muslim communities as part of the Obama Administration's efforts to reach out to the Islamic world.
At a ceremony held at the Foggy Bottom headquarters of the State Department, Farah's mother held the Quran on which she took the oath administered by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
41-year-old Pandith, whose family migrated from Jammu and Kashmir in the late 1960s, is the first Special Representative to Muslim Communities of the United States.
Wishing her best success in this job, Clinton said Pandith was best suitable in this position. "It is apparent now more than ever that we have to do more to promote dialogue and diplomacy, and Farah will play a key role in that process for us," she said.
Farah was joined by her brother, her aunt, and her cousin.
This appointment, Clinton said could not have come at a more opportune time.
According to Clinton, the US has to focus on concerns of specific Muslim communities.
"How are we going to engage with young Muslims in Europe who feel
marginalised or disassociated from their communities? How do we make
sure that the message we send from our country is not just government
to government, but people to people, community to community? And Farah
is well prepared to help us in this task," she said.
"As President Barack Obama said in Cairo and Ankara, our nation seeks a new beginning with Muslims around the world, a relationship based on mutual interest and mutual respect. It’s a relationship that requires us to listen, share ideas, and find areas of common ground in order to expand a peaceful, prosperous future," the US Secretary said.
Farah Sworn as US Representative to Muslim Communities
Lalit K Jha/Washington
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