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Arizona Daily Wildcat
Tuesday November 26, 2002

Muslims offended by Wildcat, ╬outrageous,' ╬fanatical' letter

I cannot rationalize why the Wildcat insists on publishing such fanatical ideas as Silas Montgomery's, which only promote hatred and do not help the efforts of promoting diversity on the UA campus (Monday, "Ramadan a ╬veil of religious pietism,' not a time for peace").

The Wildcat's publishing of this letter, which accuses Muslims who go and practice their religion peacefully of collecting funds for terrorists, is outrageous.

As Muslim students ¸ many of whom are Americans and care for and love this country, we feel offended ¸ no thanks to the Wildcat.

Bassam Abdulghani
systems engineering senior

╬PR' cannot ╬put a smiley face' on Islamic radicalism, terrorism

While Ms. Durrani (Friday, "Ramadan is a time for peace and perspective") has consistently tried to build bridges between Islam and the rest of America, what would be the point of all her efforts and the efforts of the rest of the Muslim community if America falls victim to another terrorist attack? If anything, Ramadan should be a time of introspection for the Muslim world. No amount of PR would solve the inherent radicalism of present day Islam, as practiced by Muslims in certain regions of the world. You just can't put a smiley face on terrorism.

People who sympathize with the Palestinian cause need to realize that the Zionist cause and indeed the formation of Israel is based on the betrayal of the Palestinian people by the Turkish Ottoman empire, who had claimed solidarity with the Muslim Arabs.

Herzl's Zionist hordes would never have had the land in Palestine, but for Turkey's absentee landlord sales of Palestinian land.

If Ms. Durrani wants to mend fences with the Silas Montgomerys of the world, her PR effort must be matched by attempts to curb Islamic extremism.

Amar Venkatesh
Class of 2000

Accusations that Muslims fund terror over Ramadan ╬baseless'

In his Monday letter ("Ramadan a ╬veil of religious pietism,' not a time for peace") Silas Montgomery raised the issue that during Ramadan in 2001, America was debating whether or not to attack Afghanistan because it might offend Muslims. Mr. Montgomery, these kinds of debates came from Americans who had a correct understating of the feelings of 1.2 billion Muslims, 7 million of them citizens of this country.

The war was intended to be against the terrorists, not against Muslims or Islam. A quarter of the world's population cannot be blamed, nor may their belief be questioned by the actions of only a few.

I suggest that you back your baseless accusations by proof. I believe you will have a less biased view if you learn more about Ramadan. The month of Ramadan is a month of peace for the "mainstream" Muslims in the world.

The charity is required to be in the form of food for the poor. This is reflected for example in the verse 184 of chapter two in the Quran.

Even the money collected by the local mosques is meant to provide food for the needy, regardless of their religion or ethnicity.

Unfortunately, the biased portrayal of Islam and Muslims by Mr. Montgomery is not only inaccurate, but it can further subject Muslims to ethnic and religious discrimination and hatred.

Arash Mafi, Ph.D.
research associate, Optical Sciences Center

╬Imperfect human beings' are unqualified to interpret Bible

It's nice to hear that "biased," "flawed," and "imperfect human being(s)" can correctly interpret the will of a Supreme Being, who is morally flawless (Monday, "Bible, Ten Commandments say murder, killing not same thing"). You can claim you don't use situational ethics all you want, but whenever you make exceptions for the application of moral principles, then you are using situational ethics. Maybe you should refer to them as "biblically sanctioned" situational ethics.

There are many biblical scholars who solidly refute your interpretation of scripture and make no distinction between killing and murder. How should we adjudicate these differences in interpretation? How does "Thou shall not kill" become "Thou shall not kill unless you have a really good reason that seems to fit some obscure passage in the Bible?"

Jesus Christ never justified killing at all, nor did he sanction the "eye for an eye" notion of justice. The purpose of justice is not "to punish equally." If it were, there would be no such thing as "victimless" crimes, in which you are punished for not causing any harm. Nor would there be such a thing as "forgiveness," which your Savior and Lord calls upon you to never abandon under any circumstances.

Finally, the only thing that scares me about guns and our freedom is that the people with the guns (conservatives) are the ones trying to take away my freedoms ¸ except for carrying a gun, that is. If the liberals had the guns, I'd fear them, too.

Mark Konty
sociology doctoral student


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