Washington: The Obama Administration
on Friday said freedom of expression and religion is important for
the United States, but refrained from making any comment on
the a US body putting India on "watch list" for religious
"You know, freedom of expression and religious freedom
we think are hallmarks of stable, progressive societies in the
21st century. It is obviously important to us," Assistant
Secretary of State for Public Affairs P J Crowley said at the
daily State Department press briefing.
Early this week, the US Commission for International
Religious Freedom, an independent US body, put India under
"watch list" for religious intolerance. India, a thriving
secular democracy, has termed it as regrettable.
When asked what impression Secretary of State Hillary
Clinton had during her visit to India last month, Crowley
said: "I can`t say to what degree it came up during the
Secretary`s conversations last month, but clearly this is an
area which we think it obviously is across the globe a source
of potential stability."
The Obama Administration believes that those societies
that practice significant tolerance will be those that advance
most significantly in the coming years.