Speaking in the Bangladeshi capital Dhaka on May 6, U.S. U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said "it hurts me so much" when she encounters the perception that the United States is biased against Islam.
"It's a painful perception to hear about and I deeply regret that anyone believes that or propagates it," she said.
Clinton maintained that, for the last decade, the United States has been leading a war of "self-defense" against extremists who have "perverted" the teachings of Islam.
Clinton also expressed support for microfinancing pioneer and Nobel Prize laureate Muhammad Yunus, who founded Grameen Bank, which provides small loans to the poor.
Yunus was removed as head of the bank last year at the instigation of the Bangladesh government.
Clinton noted the bank's work on behalf of millions of poor women.
Based on reporting by AFP and AP