Letters to the Editor

Readers write about disaster aid and extremists' viewpoints of US presidential candidates.

The US has a moral duty to help victims of disasters

Regarding the May 20 article, "How hard will neighbors push Burma?": How much longer can the Western world continue to watch the Burmese people in the death throes of a tortuous obliteration?

Weeks of claims by the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) ("working on this," going to send medical teams "very soon") are elevating the reconstruction of an illegal regime's infrastructure over the delivery of food and water to people who are barely alive. How can the United States give lip service to valuing human life, even as we watch life ebb away in Burma (Myanmar) for lack of our leadership and action?

Catherine Dickson
Santa Rosa Beach, Fla.

Don't let extremists shape US election

Regarding Shireen K. Burki's May 19 Opinion piece, "Barack Obama – Muslim apostate?": The piece presumes so much that is not the American way of thinking: that all terrorists are Muslim, or, even more disturbing, that if we have concerns regarding terrorism, we must appease the radical thinkers by letting them choose our next president.

Martha Giacobassi
Muskegon, Mich.

In response to Shireen K. Burki's recent Opinion piece on Barack Obama as Muslim apostate: I beg to differ with Ms. Burki's opinions. Here again we are ignoring the strength of the "Muslim street." Millions of ordinary people in the Middle East crave peace and security, as do the rest of us. If they are given a choice of moderation, they will follow it. If they are confronted by invading armies wielding death and destruction with no hope for a better future, they will flock to fanatical leaders in desperation.

Sallie W. Jesser
Princeton, N.J.

Regarding Shireen K. Burki's recent Opinion piece on Obama's religious background: As an American Muslim I feel that the author is completely mistaken in her faulty premise and conclusion that Obama would face daunting hurdles globally as president due to his religion or lack thereof. In fact, the world, particularly Muslim countries, are eagerly anticipating a return of wisdom, dialogue, and constructive engagement to the White House. The apostate argument does not merit this attention – it is a complete red herring in order to fan the fires of hatred and ignorance.

Dilara Hafiz
Paradise Valley, Ariz.

Regarding Shireen K. Burki's recent Opinion piece, "Barack Obama – Muslim apostate?": Are the majority of Middle Eastern Muslims really as fanatical as the author makes them out to be? If so, I think we have much larger problems than Mr. Obama's heritage.

Trey Hopton-Jones
San Diego

Regarding Shireen K. Burki's recent Opinion piece on Senator Obama's possible Muslim apostasy: Her views are very disturbing if true. To think that Osama bin Laden and his followers are looking forward to Obama becoming president certainly casts an interesting aspect on this election, and it is something worth serious consideration.

Laurel Marquart
Crescent City, Calif.

Regarding Shireen K. Burki's recent Opinion piece on Obama as Muslim apostate: Her argument relies upon a minority of religious extremists to shape the course of world events. Enabling moderate Muslims' voice of reason is the only way to counter jihadist extremism.

Tip Johnson
Bellingham, Wash.

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, 210 Massachusetts Avenue, Boston, MA 02115. E-mail letters to Letters and Opinion pieces to OpEd.

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