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Letters to the Editor

Monday December 3, 2001

Caretto letter hypocritical

I was deeply disturbed by (David) Caretto's religious interpretations ("Lee column ruined by personal bias," Friday). Mr. Caretto feels that it is not right to comment on faith if you don't have any. Would you also say that someone can't oppose a war because they have never fought in one? It sounds to me as if you have a misconception of what faith is.

In addition to the belief and trust in God, the dictionary also defines faith as an allegiance. Perhaps Jessica Lee does have faith if she is loyal to having no faith at all. You also believe that faith is acknowledging that we can't control our destiny. Was it faith that drove you to attack Jessica Lee? There are many types of faith, based on many gods or perhaps no god at all. But your narrow-minded Christian views probably prevent you from realizing this. I find your ignorance of faith annoying. You may complain about the Mall preachers, but you don't appear to be any different. So for now, I'll just sit back, relax and wait to reap the benefits of my faith when God reveals his glory by granting me that "all-elusive A."

Sean Oxford
sociology sophomore

Dale column disrespectful and uninformed

Shane Dale's commentary on Friday showed not only a complete disrespect and lack of understanding of Islam, but his "conviction" that the "roots of Islam" are "undoubtedly dangerous to the safety of our country" is based on poor scholarship. He will have to back up his claim with more than a few quotes hastily pulled from the Quran, which he did not even reference.

The Quran is divided into chapters like the Bible, and these should be cited when taking direct quotes. He could have just as easily argued that Islam could teach our country about justice and peace referring to passages that implore Muslims not to instigate fights. He completely ignores the respected place reserved for Jews and Christians who the Quran respectably calls the people of the book. Furthermore, he could have argued that Islam proclaims men and women equal by using other passages from the Quran. These same arguments can be made using passages from other holy books to claim any religion is either dangerous or peaceful.

Quoting such passages does not really prove anything except Mr. Dale's ignorance. I don't really understand what his message is. Is America supposed to fear Islam and all Muslims except those who reject the Quran? Mr. Dale is confusing Islamic fundamentalism, if he must call it that, and the peaceful religion of Islam practiced by the majority of the world's Muslims. Our president has promised we are not at war with Islam, but I think Mr. Dale's commentary sadly reflects the belief that we are. I would encourage Mr. Dale to take advantage of the resources here at the UA, such as the Center for Middle Eastern Studies, courses covering Islam and the many Muslim students who will gladly show him that Islam is not a threat to our country.

Carrie Brown
Near-Eastern studies graduate student

Dale attempts to create a scapegoat

Shane Dale's column in Friday's Wildcat was a perfect example of how we use scapegoats to misdirect blame. It is our failure to properly analyze history and contextualize current events that leads to blaming the problems of the world on entire religions, races and sexes. That the CIA helped put the Taliban regime into place in the 1990s is a tangible, significant root of the current crisis. Blaming an entire faith is a useless, racist but easy way of finding a solution.

Rather than focusing on what Dale perceives to be a fundamentally flawed religion that is out to get the entire Western world, the focus ought to be on historical realities that have led to the current crisis.

Sheila Bapat
political science junior

Cactus Garden should not be destroyed

As you know, there is a controversy over the fate of the Joseph Wood Krutch Cactus Garden.

The Campus Arboretum is in favor of retaining the Krutch Cactus Garden at its original site. The committee members have discussed this issue several times. There are four reasons for our position:

The Cactus Garden contains rare and unusual plants. It is used as a teaching tool. It is a keystone in the history of the University of Arizona. And preserving the Cactus Garden allows the university to lead by example. To sum up: excellence rooted in history indicates a respect for teachers and learners of the past.

The Krutch Cactus Garden may not be in a convenient place, and certainly campus development has ignored special sites, plants and memories innumerable times. However, rather than disrespectfully destroying our history to create a bright shiny new "heritage," the University of Arizona has an opportunity to demonstrate its commitment to the tradition of excellence for future students, alumni and visitors.

UA Campus Arboretum Committee


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