Hillary: Giffords Shooter Like Radical Islam

Clinton made the analogy on the Arabic ladies' talk show "Kalam Nawaem"

The US State Department has been forced to backtrack from remarks Secretary of State Hillary Clinton made, when she compared the disturbed loner who allegedly shot Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords to proponents of radical Islam.

“We have extremists in my country. A wonderful, incredibly brave young woman Congress member, Congresswoman Gifford[s], was just shot by an extremist in our country,” CBS News quoted Clinton as saying during a “Townterview” (half town hall, half interview) with students in Abu Dhabi on Monday.

Clinton was answering a question posed by a student, who asked why America has targeted the entire Arab world when assigning blame for the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001.

Jared Loughner

“The extremists and their voices, the crazy voices that sometimes get on the TV, that’s not who we are, that’s not who you are, and what we have to do is get through that and make it clear that that doesn’t represent either American or Arab ideas or opinions,” Clinton said.

However, State Department Mark Toner said Clinton was not saying the US government should treat American citizen and accused gunman Jared Loughner in the same way it has treated Muslim terrorists who are non-citizens.

“She was making remarks in the context of the environment she was in, talking about the parallels,” Toner said. “I don’t think she was talking about some kind of equivalency in terms of how we treat them. We have a legal due process here in terms of the Arizona incident.”

Sal Russo, chief strategist of the Tea Party Express, told FOX News that the use of the Arizona case as an example of extremism in the United States is a “slippery slope” for the administration to take, and “a poor choice of words by the secretary of state.”

“I see the point she was trying to make in trying to encourage people in the Middle East to take responsibility for all the extremism that is there but I think it’s a sad commentary when you try to use an isolated, criminal element of somebody who was obviously mentally disturbed and suggest there’s some society problem of extremism,” Russo said.

“We don’t have that kind of extremism. You can walk down the streets of the United States pretty safely everywhere. You can’t do that in many parts of the world,” he added.

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