Muslims aren't the only fundamentalists in S. Asia
In your Oct. 24 editorial "Playing Cricket in South Asia," you mention that it is essential that the Kashmir dispute be resolved in order to bring peace to the region and rid Pakistan of militants who use Kashmir as a reason for existing. This is true, but I find it unfortunate that you neglected to mention the many militant radicals in India who use Kashmir to justify their policies and actions. For example, the Vishwa Hindu Parishad routinely calls for the Hinduization of all Indians. They have openly exhorted Hindus to destroy mosques and churches, and to kill Christians and Muslims who facilitate the conversion of Hindus.
Other Hindu organizations, like the Hindutva Brigade and Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh, have similar, if not more repugnant, aims. Also, British officials put the blame for last year's Gujarat massacre (in which about 2,000 Muslims and Christians were killed) squarely on the shoulders of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party, which is backed by the Vishwa Hindu Parishad.
I hope more attention will be paid to ensuring that not just Muslims are painted as violent fundamentalists.
Regarding your Oct. 27 article "Hip-hop product portrayals divide black community": Your article highlighted some of the complex issues facing the African-American community with regard to its media image and the hip-hop culture. However, I am disappointed with the article's lack of critique of the deeper racial issues that continue to tear our country apart.
White racist ideology has served to manipulate and promote a very specific image of black rap artists. Our white-controlled media provide limited images of minorities - nearly all of which fulfill existing stereotypes of violence, misogyny, and disarray.
Without a spectrum of positive minority images, mainstream America is left with a skewed sense of the richness and soul of the African-American community.
Coral Springs, Fla.
Regarding your Oct. 27 article "The new junkyard: It's online and free": As the comoderator of the Kansas City Freecycle Network, I was thrilled to see your piece on the freecycle movement. Though I was generally pleased with your article, I do take issue with the claim that "there are more languishing networks listed at the Freecycle home page than there are burgeoning groups." This is fallacious and unfair to all of the hard-working moderators out there. Most of these groups have been established within the past two months - I don't see how you can declare them a failure in that short period of time.
Promoting the group and attracting members is a very tedious task. Freecycle moderators are essentially unpaid volunteers, cultivating the groups in their spare time. It might seem like a simple job, but please give credit where it's due!
Kansas City, Kan.
What a marvelous juxtaposition, on page 11 of your Oct. 23 edition, of the demise of the Concorde, the fastest commercial airliner ("Supersonic swan song"), and the imminent demise of the cheetah, the world's fastest land mammal ("To save a fast cat, start counting"). What a beautiful land mammal - the cheetah, and what a miscarriage of intelligent science - the supersonic transport (SST).
My problems with the SST go back to the late 1960s, when it was being tested and questioned - rightfully - about its environmental and economic impact. The questions that were valid then are valid today. I was relieved when Boeing dropped its SST effort in the 1970s and, again, more recently.
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