Readers Write: Tragedy of crime in Chicago; luring youth to become terrorists

Letters to the Editor for August 18 and 25, 2014 weekly magazine:

Tyrrell: Gangbangers, children, innocent, and guilty are all caught up in violence in Chicago.

Herzog: We shouldn't allow Americans who fight in Syria to return to our country.

Melanie Stetson Freeman/The Christian Science Monitor/File
Chicago police wearing bulletproof vests handcuff a young man temporarily while they check his information in the Roseland neighborhood, on June 9 in Chicago, Illinois. He was eventually let go. Roseland is one of the most crime-ridden neighborhoods in the area. The Chicago Police Department is trying new policing methods to help fight crime.

Solutions to Chicago’s crime

In regard to the July 21 cover story, “Can math stop murder?”: We have an important battle to win here in Chicago with our besieged inner-city men and women who are being lured into the hollow promises and false vainglory of gang life. The article was an informative and salient report, well done and deep. 

Thank you for focusing on a forgotten fraction of families and children and lost souls. Gangbangers, children, innocent, and guilty all are caught in the lines of fire and killed, whether accidentally or not. We need more articles like this one to expose what the problem is and offer possible solutions. Local papers bloviate about the dismal violence and how dangerous Chicago is, but it’s a very small percentage of the population that is dangerous or inhabits dangerous areas. We need to stop the murder, but we also need to stop the falsified and sensationalized reporting that is broadcast to the public. Encomiums to the Monitor for actual reporting and fact-finding. 

Kyle Tyrrell
Glenview, Ill.

Luring youth to terrorist groups

The July 28 cover story, “Europe’s new jihadis,” clearly explains the dangerous usage of Western youth by the jihadists for their religious warfare. The training, exploitation, and deliberate luring of youth away from their families, education, and rational thinking is truly evil. It is ironic that jihadists seek to manufacture sympathy for “suffering victims” in places such as Syria, Sudan, and Gaza, yet the jihadists are the producers of much misery while hiding among the civilian populations in these countries. 

We may see more of these misled and unwise youth choosing to take these same paths in the United States. The best answer would be to let them stick to their “informed” choices but block them from returning to the US. The youth who chose murderous causes should no longer be welcome in this or any other country living under modern laws. Freedom to worship means individuals choose to worship how they want without threats or pressure from others.

Lois Herzog
Cambridge City, Ind.

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