Letters

Reasons behind Muslim reaction to drawings in Denmark

Regarding the Nov. 10 article, "Danish editor tests right to violate Muslim taboos": I think you have misunderstood the root cause of why Danish Muslims, ambassadors from 11 Muslim-dominated countries, and the Organization of the Islamic Conference reacted against the Jylland-Posten drawings of the Prophet Muhammad.

The Muslim prophet was depicted as a terrorist, a man of violence, and an oppressor of women in several of the illustrations. I believe in any society such degrading, misinformed depictions of important figures would be passionately denounced.

Since Danish society would censure any insulting depiction of their head of state or national founder, for example, I find it awkward that Muslims would be scorned for having the same degree of reactions when their religious sanctity is violated in such a gross manner.

Sadly, both the newspapers and the Danish government, with backing of the far-right Danish Peoples Party, have supported such gross depiction without any balanced understanding of the Muslim sensitivities. It is a shame that the far-right has been allowed largely to dominate Danish views of immigrants.
Atilla A. Iftikhar
Stavanger, Norway

A couple of comments on the Nov. 10 article "Danish editor tests right to violate Muslim taboos": As one who has spent time in Denmark in the past few years, I was pleased to see this informative article on Denmark's uneasy relationship with its Muslim minority. What the article presents may, however, be just the tip of the iceberg.

Because Denmark has a state church (Lutheran), many Danes regard membership in the state church as a given for Danish identity - although few attend church regularly. This is an additional factor in the simmering debate over how to include a Muslim community in this country.
Lucie Lehmann-Barclay
Boston

Interpreting intelligence is a tough job

Regarding the Nov. 15 article, "Yellowcake to 'Plamegate' ": I've been following this story closely for many months and didn't think I would learn much from this story. But I read it, and I'm very grateful I did. The careful way in which the article portrays the process of gathering intelligence generated new understanding and a new emotion regarding a series of events that had led me to be cynical of our government leaders' use of the intelligence process. What was the new emotion? Compassion. I've never really thought about how impossible it is to be sure our leaders have good intelligence upon which to base their decisions and policies. Thank you for providing a story that looked at the situation from a viewpoint that was long and deep enough to help my prayers for our government become deeper, too. And for consistently expressing the integrity that gives me confidence in the objectivity of Monitor journalism.
Virginia Hughes
Swampscott, Mass.

The US justice system needs reform

Regarding the Nov. 15 article, "19 years behind bars - a gift?": Stories like these are why I am against the death penalty. There are too many behind bars and on death row who had inferior representation or were railroaded through the system. That is a crime. Our justice system is anything but perfect, and it is something our country should be correcting. The US has more people behind bars than any other country; something is terribly wrong with this. Such a forgiving man is Tommy Doswell. I wish him well.
Alicia Witt
Cincinnati

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 our website, 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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