Letters

How much responsibility do Muslims have in terror fight?

As a loyal reader of The Christian Science Monitor and its generally astute and fair journalism, I was surprised to read the July 14 editorial "Britain Needs Islam's Finest."

The editorial argues that moderate Muslims have not put enough effort into teaching their youth tolerance and respect for other cultures. The editorial also implies that, because of this lack of effort on the part of moderate Muslims, the London bombings occurred.

While I, as a Muslim, agree that my community can and must do more, I feel that the Monitor should also have acknowledged just how difficult it is becoming for my fellow Muslims to teach young people to believe in American and British secular values.

How does the Monitor expect us to convince our youth to respect these values when Iraqi Muslims are dying every month because of an unjust war led by the US and Britain, and when measures in both countries are being used to encourage treatment of Muslims as second-class citizens?

Britain and America do not just need Islam's finest; they need humanity's finest. Terrorism is not just a Muslim problem.
Yusufi Vali
Jefferson City, Mo.

Of course British secular traditions must be respected, and the rights and liberties that Muslims - or for that matter other Asians - enjoy in Britain often aren't expected in their home countries.

I agree rights entail duties. I also agree that it's the duty of the Muslims to instill and propagate the true spirit of Islam - that contains respect for other religions - in its youth.

I have read in the books of Hadith (sayings of the prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him)) that he received a delegation of Christian religious leaders in the mosque and served them dinner, joining them inside the mosque.

There are countless instances where a similarly friendly attitude was shown toward Jews. Islam acknowledges Christians and Jews as "People of the Book" (a term for monotheistic faiths before Islam that received revelation from God). And Islam doesn't condone forced conversions.

Christians, Jews, and Muslims all share this responsibility to work hard to dissolve hatred and promote harmony and inter- religious affinities if possible.
Saif Rehman
Dera Ismail Khan, Pakistan

I am put off by the language used in the editorial. The work of the London bombers was done by terrorists who have an association with Islam, but are in fact not real Muslims. If they were really practicing Muslims, they would not have acted this way.

Why should Muslims preach about being good Muslims when Muslims are good?

Terrorists are fanatics and we should be careful when we attach them to a particular religious affiliation.
Ana Kirola
San Francisco

Thank you for the July 14 Opinion piece, "Moderate Muslims' citizenship duty," by Mansoor Ijaz. I couldn't agree more with him. The very thing that has disturbed me all along has not been the actions of the extremists, but rather the inaction of the moderates.

Regardless of where they reside on the globe, Muslims should come forth and take a stand by not only assuring non-Muslims that peace lies at the heart of their faith, but also to resolve to abolish the aberration of extremism that challenges from within.

How else are we to trust that we have a shared purpose and avoid the temptation to draw lines?
Daniel Magazin
San Francisco

The Monitor welcomes your letters and opinion articles. Because of the volume of mail we receive, we can neither acknowledge nor return unpublished submissions. All submissions are subject to editing. Letters must be signed and include your mailing address and telephone number.

Any letter accepted will appear in print and on www.csmonitor.com .

Mail letters to 'Readers Write,' and opinion articles to Opinion Page, One Norway St., Boston, MA 02115, or fax to 617-450-2317, or e-mail to Letters.

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