When an earthquake shook Turkey two years ago, Americans sympathized with my nation's sorrow. They sent help, and their president came to share our grief. Now, terrorists attack America, and want to attack our friendship. Any terrorist activity is the greatest blow to peace, democracy, and humanity. Terror cannot be a means of independence, nor can it aid a struggle for salvation. Let me assure you that Islam never approves of any kind of terrorism. Islam orders peace, and a true Muslim can only be a symbol of peace and the maintenance of human rights - never a terrorist. Any right is respected in Islam, and it cannot be violated - not even for a community's interest.
The terrorist attack on the US deserves only condemnation. I sincerely share your grief and assure you that I pray for the victims, and ask that God equip America with patience.
East Stroudsburg, Penn.
On behalf of Canadians everywhere, the deepest condolences to you, our closest friend and neighbor. In light of this catastrophe, I hope the US will spearhead the effort against terrorism. Now is time to eliminate this bane on humanity. The world - even your foes - stands with you. If you don't act, this type of disaster may happen again -with the aura of US invincibility no longer present.
In the aftermath of Tuesday's attacks, I have heard talk of heightened airport security and "intelligence." In the past, when we have hurried to screen out security threats, we have often chosen the wrong screens, harming innocents without increasing safety. I hope we are learning that we can't increase safety by suspecting people based on racial characteristics, or even ideology. Our civil society - that which makes us free and gives us something worth defending - requires that we allow a multiplicity of approaches to understanding what is true. We can find out what is under attack if we treat our world brothers as brothers, and listen to them. Outrage is the expected, accepted reaction to Tuesday's attacks. I long for us to have the wisdom to find a deeper, healing response.
I just read Helena Cobban's column "Don't let our values be a casualty, too" (Sept. 13, opinion page) and was very impressed by its wisdom. Our grief and our fury are boiling now. It really is a tough thing being wise, but Ms. Cobban may be right. If we try to build the Arab world into a prosperous, respected world, as we did with Germany, we can have a more lasting success in achieving safety, and we can save them a catastrophe.
I want to congratulate Helena Cobban on her wise advice. The similarities to what happened in Germany between the world wars are striking. Just as Naziism could only grow on the base of resentment, Tuesday's attack could only be pursued on the base of massive international frustration - for which Americans may have a certain responsibility. Hopefully, Americans will have enough self-reflection to realize their role in pervasive, unresolved conflicts, and will take action beyond punishing those responsible.
Bad Soden, Germany
What a blessing to have the Monitor on the Web, as our copy was not delivered at home today. Your editorial "Resilience and restraint" (Sept. 12) is so typical of your encouraging viewpoints. I am truly grateful, and confident many will find it invaluable.
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