Letters to the Editor

Readers write about the threat of terrorism's global reach, a doctor's role in their patient's healthcare, and why Muslims and nonMuslims should take care in how they address each other.

The whole world is threatened by terrorism, not just the US

In regard to the March 28 editorial, "Obama's Afghan plan: Leave Al Qaeda to others": I believe that the United States cannot be the world's policeman. Yes, Sept. 11 happened, but so did attacks in Madrid and London. We are not the only ones threatened by terrorism. It is a global threat.

As to the risk of failure by pushing "more responsibility for Afghanistan onto Europe, the UN, China, Russia, and Iran, as well as the governments in Afghanistan and Pakistan," I say again, the threat of terrorism is a global problem. The UN still provides a forum for global issues. Therefore, it is imperative that we as a country regard handling terrorism as a global initiative, starting with its countries of origin, i.e., Afghanistan and Pakistan.

Neelima June
Lake Zurich, Ill.

Doctors should provide care, not pass judgment

Regarding the March 26 article, "Obama weighs patient rights vs. doctor's conscience": As a healthcare provider, my professional responsibility is to serve the needs of my patients and to support medical professionals responsible for their care. I do not decide whether you are deserving of care, whether I would make the same choice to receive that care, or whether society is better off if you're getting that care.

When you step through the doors of my hospital you get the same outstanding medical care regardless of whether you are the policeman who's just been shot or the person who shot the policeman.

We are healthcare providers. We do what is best for the patients we serve and we respect the right of patients to make choices about their healthcare. Healthcare is not about the provider, it's about the patient; if you don't understand this, then you shouldn't be in healthcare!

Frank Rader
Scottsdale, Ariz.

Thoughtful speech will improve relations between Muslims and the West

Regarding the March 28 Opinion piece, "10 terms not to use with Muslims": I'd like to thank you for the great commentary. I am a Muslim and it was great to see an opinion piece clarifying the sensitivities that some of my fellow Muslims have toward specific words.

While I grew up in the US and have come to terms with these words and can usually tell the intent of the person using them, I think it is good for others to understand the connotations that come with them.

Thanks again!

Sura Hassan
Livonia, Mich.

As an American Muslim, I appreciated reading the commentary by Chris Seiple. Usually all I hear is the hatemongers from both sides drowning out the voices of peace. Mr. Seiple's commentary was a fresh departure from that.

His points are spot on. And though there are a few words in the article that do not negatively effect me, it is quite encouraging that someone took the effort to even think about what would offend me.

My goal is to help bring peace between my brothers and sisters in humanity, no matter what their faith. Let's all work toward that.

Yasin Mohammad
Los Angeles

Most of Chris Seiple's suggestions for words Westerners should avoid when speaking to Muslims are sound. But I'd like to know, what 10 terms do his Muslim friends suggest to other Muslims they do not use when addressing or referring to Christians or Westerners?

Understanding and respect work both ways.

Jerrold Mundis
New York

The Monitor welcomes your letters. All submissions are subject to editing. Letters must include your full name; your city, state, and country; and your telephone number. Any letter accepted may appear on our website, www.CSMonitor.com, or in our weekly print edition. E-mail letters to oped@csps.com. Or mail letters to Readers Write, 210 Massachusetts Avenue, Boston, MA 02115.

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