President Bush invited Muslim leaders to the White House for a Ramadan-season dinner on Tuesday, acknowledging the United States has an image problem but stopping short of directly criticizing a Pentagon official who said Muslims do not worship “a real God.” Some Muslim leaders said they had turned down the White House invitation in protest. CAIR, America’s largest Islamic civil liberties organization, said it was never invited to the dinner, which it called “window dressing.” It said the groups would hold a protest dinner across the street. Bush said improving relations with the Muslim world, which have been frayed by the Iraq war and U.S. support for Israel, would be a diplomatic priority. Before opening the White House for an Iftar dinner honoring Ramadan, Bush said remarks by Army Lt. Gen. William Boykin, the deputy undersecretary of defense for intelligence and war-fighting support, did not “reflect my point of view or the view of this administration.” Full Story
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