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Kyrgyz Official Spurns U.S. Over 'Islamic Fascists' Remark


http://gdb.rferl.org/f0f0ea2d-c316-4512-ba0b-441cb4e0c656_w203.jpg --> http://gdb.rferl.org/f0f0ea2d-c316-4512-ba0b-441cb4e0c656_mw800_mh600.jpg Kyrgyz Ombudsman Tursunbai Bakir-uulu (file photo) (RFE/RL) August 16, 2006 (RFE/RL) -- Kyrgyzstan's ombudsman says he has declined an invitation to attend a human rights conference to protest President George W. Bush's recent characterization of Islamist terrorists as "Islamic fascists."

Tursunbai Bakir-uulu he says the remark was "insulting" for Muslims worldwide.

Commenting on alleged multiple bomb plots in Britain, Bush said on August 10 that they were evidence that the United States is at war with "Islamic fascists."

Addressing reporters in Bishkek, Bakir-uulu said today he could not, as a citizen of a predominantly Muslim country in which other religions peacefully coexist, attend the U.S. Ombudsman Association's conference that is due to open on September 12 in Iowa.

"Because of the American president's use of the 'Islamic fascists' expression, I have decided to not participate in this conference," Bakir-uulu said. "I have also appealed to my American colleagues so that they exert their influence on their president. This is not good to humiliate another people, another religion, another nation in such a way."

Bakir-uulu said he believed Bush's remarks were "inadmissible" on the part of a head of state "who says he supports the development of democracy."

Bush has used the phrase "Islamo-fascism" in the past, including in a speech in October to the U.S.-based National Endowment for Democracy. At that time, Bush said terrorist attacks like those committed by Al-Qaeda "serve a clear and focused ideology, a set of beliefs and goals that are evil but not insane. Some call this evil Islamic radicalism; others, militant jihadism; still others, Islamo-facism."

(RFE/RL's Kyrgyz Service-Sultangazy, with additional information from Kabar and 24.kg)
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