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It’s official: Hillary Clinton is the new U.S. Secretary of State. Now what?
At her confirmation hearings in mid-January, then-Senator Clinton proposed an array of ideas for exercising “smart power”: using micro-finance to mitigate global poverty, empowering women and girls in the Muslim world and, above all, recognizing that the interdependence of nations need not impose a burden on America. Interdependence — a word she invoked more than once — poses an opportunity for America.
How can Secretary Clinton piece these ideas into a coherent vision? One that respects both Islam and President Obama’s insistence, forcefully stated in his inaugural address, that Muslim leaders be held to account for what they build, not what they destroy?
My answer: Cultivate an Alliance of the Interdependent– a network of nations, supported by America but spearheaded by Indonesia, that invests in the entrepreneurial talents of Muslim women. I’ve fleshed out this proposal in a recent essay for Newsweek International.
Irshad Manji, creator of the PBS film “Faith Without Fear,” is a scholar with the European Foundation for Democracy and New York University’s Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service.