Letters to the Editor

Readers write about whether nonMuslims should be careful in their speech toward Muslims, and whether the cost of living in Ecuador has risen due to protectionist policies.

Should nonMuslims watch what they say to Muslims?

Regarding the March 28 Opinion piece, "10 terms not to use with Muslims": I found this commentary refreshingly open-minded. As we enter the post-Bush era in America, this is exactly the rhetoric we need to embrace in replacement of the hatred of the past eight years – honest insight without the sugar-coating of many interfaith activities we see.

Thank you again, and peace.

Parvez Khan
Herndon, Va.

Many thanks for this commentary. As an American Muslim, I couldn't have said it better myself, and truly appreciate the insight and spirit of mutual respect shown. I only hope that President Obama and his staff will have a chance to consider and make use of this sage advice before the president makes his speech in Turkey next week.

Nancy Nasim
Riverside, Calif.

I , too, have traveled in the Middle East. It is a mistake to treat Muslims from the Middle East as if they were children and don't understand what a word or phrase means in context.

The assertion that words have different meanings to Muslims and that they don't understand what we are saying is arrogant to the point of foolishness.

Tom Freridge
Virginia Beach, Va.

The sub-headline for this commentary reads, "There's a big difference between what we mean and what they hear." Doesn't that place some burden on the listener, too, to learn the meaning of the words being used when he or she is being addressed? Must all the responsibility be placed on the speaker, whose intention is only to use his own language as it is meant to be used?

David Kronfeld
New York

It's appalling to me that Chris Seiple seems to be endorsing self-censorship. We should omit these words and phrases for fear of offending?

Within a particular political and diplomatic arena, I can understand the need to carefully select one's words. But is Mr. Seiple suggesting that we Americans should not use terms such as "freedom," "religious freedom," and "tolerance" if our target audience is Muslim?

Although you may be offended if someone called you a "moderate Christian," nobody's making you feel anything except for you.

Kris Koskelin
Sun Prairie, Wis.

I think Muslims should pay heed to the more secular elements of their religion. This would allow a more effective effort at assimilation into secular society. A reformation of the kind undergone in Christianity might be the answer.

The jihad against the West that has been declared by numerous Muslim leaders and jihadi groups takes aim at any progress toward interfaith and intercultural harmony. The lack of freedom, including the lack of religious freedom in Muslim lands, is perhaps the single most obvious sign of Islam's lack of tolerance toward the outside world.

Aram Karibian
New York

Policy changes have not raised Ecuador's cost of living

In regard to the April 2 article, "As G-20 battles protectionism, a cautionary tale in Ecuador": This article on Ecuador's new import taxes is highly inaccurate. I live in Ecuador and I have not noticed higher prices except on luxury goods like wine; bottles cost a couple of dollars more than before.

Stop spreading alarmist lies about what is going on down here. Buying local products is better for the environment and for local industry. The new policies have not significantly raised the cost of living for the majority of Ecuadorians – only for consumers of imported perfumes and the like.

Simeon Floyd
Quito, Ecuador

The Monitor welcomes your letters. All submissions are subject to editing. Letters must include your full name; your city, state, and country; and your telephone number. Any letter accepted may appear on our website, www.CSMonitor.com, or in our weekly print edition. E-mail letters to oped@csps.com. Or mail letters to Readers Write, 210 Massachusetts Avenue, Boston, MA 02115.

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