US insensitivity to Muslim sensibilities
Regarding your April 1 article "In Iraq, a battle for the moral high ground": I feel it is a matter of obeying the moral imperatives rather than "making an issue" of enemy war crimes "to seize the moral high ground."
From the Islamic standpoint, the moral high ground was lost the moment the US president spoke of a "crusade" in the wake of Sept. 11. Unfortunately, that word is quickly translated to jihad in Arabic. And of course there was the original title, since dropped, for the global fight against terror - "Operation Infinite Justice" - which pushed another button. To Muslims, only God gets infinite about things. Then came the early American flag-raising in Iraq after US marines captured Umm Qasr.
Polish TV reported that of 300,000 Iraqis living in Jordan, thousands are buying one-way bus tickets to Baghdad in personal bids to defend that city. Of those I met in Amman two years ago, most of them had left Iraq to flee the present government.
Benjamin Franklin once said that "those who give up essential liberty for temporary security deserve neither liberty nor security." It is disheartening to see that some Americans do not understand that our country continues to thrive because of the very civil liberties that are being marginalized today.
In the April 1 opinion piece, "One Muslim American's tough challenge to his community," Mansoor Ijaz myopically sees citizenship and civil liberties as being mutually exclusive concepts. On the contrary, both are as essential to the growth of our nation as freedom of speech.
Perhaps Mr. Ijaz would like to speak to those lawful Americans who have been victims of hate crimes in the wake of the unjust war on Iraq. The Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR), the nation's largest Muslim advocacy group, has received close to 2,000 reports of hate crimes and discrimination since Sept. 11. Even with this egregiously high number of hate crimes, Ijaz takes issue with the fact that CAIR has issued electronic "Community Safety Kits" to help Americans deal with these unconscionable crimes and to protect their rights. Though Ijaz believes that he has a good grasp on what being an "American" entails, his self-righteous commentary proves otherwise.
Midwest Communications Director
Council on American-Islamic Relations
I wish to respond to C. Michael Flynn's March 26 letter ("Readers Write"). Mr. Flynn invited war protesters to "focus their energies toward improving our society." The people I meet at local protests are the same folks I meet as fellow volunteers driving for Meals on Wheels, staffing the food pantry, and working at our town recycling events. I'm sure my town is not unique and the same is true across America. It is because we care about all our fellow beings - and now, especially our troops - that we stand against this terrible action.
I was amazed to read John Pluntze's March 24letter ("Readers Write"). I, too, proudly walked with the 1986 Great Peace March for Global Nuclear Disarmament, but I did not come home feeling that the way to liberate women is to bomb their homeland. I'll take my stand with the National Organization for Women and the little boy in Clay Bennett's cartoon on the same page who exclaims:"Gosh, I sure hope nobody ever liberates us!" Saddam Hussein is a tyrant, but I'd much prefer seeing him tried before the International Criminal Court.
Betty Phelps Refior
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