Letters to the Editor

Reader write about American diplomacy with Iran, religious dialogue between Christians and Muslims, and a sunken cruise ship.

An opening for Americandiplomacy with Iran

Regarding the Dec. 5 article, "Pressure lifts to move against Iran thanks to new intelligence report": The National Intelligence Estimate on Iran's nuclear programs, if credible, is good news for the United States and the international community. It removes the urgency for using a forceful approach against Iran. It gives diplomacy a chance to work, which could lead to a thaw of our relations with this critical Muslim nation. But most important, it saves us from making another shoot-and-ask-later mistake.

Shortly after America's March 2003 invasion of Iraq, I asked the American envoy sitting next to me how the US could justify that attack, since American troops failed to find weapons of mass destruction. He managed to say, "We will find them."

I am glad this time we will find out first before we again wage a war with unpredictable financial and diplomatic consequences.

Vincent Wei-cheng Wang
Richmond, Va.

Religious dialogue must continue

Regarding your Dec. 4 editorial, "A Muslim-Christian handshake": The dialogue between the largest two religions in the world needs to continue. The Muslim scholars' open letter and the subsequent response is encouraging. I feel the Monitor can play a positive role in continuing this type of open discussions in the US. We still have media trying to bash Islam, and this just upsets American Muslims.

The schoolteacher issue in Sudan and the rape issue in Saudi Arabia are problems in the world, but I feel this has become a national pastime, especially for the media.

Only a few weeks back, 4,000 people died in Bangladesh (mostly Muslims) during a storm. I have seen very little coverage of this major issue in the US media. Might I ask why? Why can't we make this a bigger issue, talk about how climate change is affecting a poor Muslim country like Bangladesh, where people die every year in severe natural disasters? Where is the esteemed media?

Why is the Sudan issue getting more media time than 4,000 dead in Bangladesh? Is it another opportunity to bash Islam? When have we last talked about all the positive things happening in many of the Muslim majority countries such as Malaysia, Turkey, Indonesia, Bangladesh, and so on?

Let us not forget that hatred and rhetoric will only bring more of those two. Let us all play a role to bridge the gap.

Reza Kibria
Mission Viejo, Calif.

Thanks for your editorial on the historic open letter of Oct. 13, 2007, to the world's Christian leaders signed by 138 Muslim scholars and clerics, titled "A Common Word Between Us and You."

This open letter suggests that the "common ground" already shared by Christians and Muslims – the love of God and the love of neighbor – can be the basis for an interfaith dialogue. Without peace and justice between these two religious communities, there can be no meaningful peace in the world. The letter recognizes "the future of the world depends on peace between Muslims and Christians."

Why have Christian and Muslim religious leaders waited so long to recognize this dual command of love of God and neighbor as a foundational principle of interfaith dialogue by our two great faiths? I can't answer that, but I believe it has been overdue for centuries.

I would hope that the leaders of Christendom affirm this most important message from moderate Islam leadership of whom we seem to hear so little.

Harris W. Fawell
Naperville, Ill.

Curious about cruise ship sinking

In response to the Dec. 3 article, "Questions swirl around the sinking of the MS Explorer": This is a terrific piece of reporting. This is the first article I've seen that raised important questions about the Explorer sinking in Antarctica. A ship with an ice-strengthened hull shouldn't be felled by a small hole. And what happened to the watertight compartments? Thanks for bringing up some very important issues.

Anne Campbell
New York

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 may appear in print or on our website, www.csmonitor.com. Mail letters to Readers Write and Opinion pieces to Opinion Page, One Norway St., Boston, MA 02115. E-mail letters to Letters and Opinion pieces to OpEd.

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