Washington: With protests growing in the Middle East over an anti-Islam film, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton today said the US government had absolutely nothing to do with the video, whose content and message it completely rejects.
As the US grapples to contain the aftermath of the stir, Clinton said she found the film "disgusting and reprehensible" but also condemned the violence that it has provoked.
"Let me state very clearly -- and I hope it is obvious -- that the United States government had absolutely nothing to do with this video. We absolutely reject its content and message," Clinton said in her opening remarks during the US-Morocco Strategic Dialogue here.
Hillary Clinton said the video appears to have a deeply cynical purpose to denigrate a great religion and provoke rage.
"To us, to me personally, this video is disgusting and reprehensible. It appears to have a deeply cynical purpose to denigrate a great religion and to provoke rage," Clinton said.
Starting with Egypt and Libya, the protests today spread to other countries including Yemen and Morocco.
"We are closely watching what is happening in Yemen and elsewhere, and we certainly hope and expect that there will be steps taken to avoid violence and prevent the escalation of protests into violence," she said.
At the same time, Clinton said there is no justification, none at all, for responding to this video with violence.
"We condemn the violence that has resulted, in the strongest terms. And we greatly appreciate that many Muslims in the United States and around the world have spoken out on this issue," she asserted.
She said in today's world of technology, it was impossible to prevent such content fro finding its way to viewers.
"But even if it were possible, our country does have a long tradition of free expression, which is enshrined in our Constitution and our law. And we do not stop individual citizens from expressing their views, no matter how distasteful they may be," she said.