US President criticised for failure to support Muslims

Democrats have criticised President Bush for failing to show support for the US Muslim population.

In a dramatic shift recently the Whitehouse moved away from criticism of controversial Islamic cartoons containing caricatures of the prophet Muhammad, to condemning instead the violence that erupted in protest against them.

The move came in response to some US officials who said that the initial reaction of the White House constituted an attack on free speech.

But by refusing to condemn the cartoons George W Bush has put himself at odds with the Democrats and key Middle East allies.

This is not the first time the President has come under fire for not doing enough to promote positive relations with Muslims.

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