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Arizona Daily Wildcat
Friday, November 7, 2003

Jews should be proactive in advocating viewpoint

I am writing in response to the criticisms of both Seth Frantzman and Daniel Greenspan. Seth Frantzman is exactly right in believing that the Wildcat should strive to equally represent all religions. It is precisely because the Wildcat's "outright discrimination ... should not be tolerated" that I suggest that you take an active role in helping our university newspaper become more diverse: Write a column yourself. Tell us about the Jewish holidays of Yom Kippur and Rosh Hashanah. The only reason that the Wildcat has printed more publications about Islam is because the Muslims themselves have been actively pressing for this. Regarding Daniel Greenspan's complaint that Ramadan is an arbitrary prescription handed down from God, he is also correct in believing that the motivation behind fasting during Ramadan is "not a rule that one would otherwise follow if God did not prescribe it." Of course Muslims fast because it is required of them. But in no way does this imply that fasting itself is an "arbitrary" maxim. I would like to form an analogy to further illustrate my point: It is mandated for every citizen to follow governmental rulings. Many people who obey the law do not do so for the sake of personal morality. Can one conclude from this that the government's regulations - provided that they are just - are arbitrary? In most instances, the achievement of social order is merely a side effect of law enforcement. This also applies in the case of fasting; obedience to God is the primary motivation, and appreciation of the plight of the hungry is an important byproduct. Concerning your objection to the limited sphere of fasting, and your suggestion that one might just as easily give up one's home in order to appreciate the suffering of the homeless, God does not ignore these issues. During the pilgrimage to Mecca that all Muslims are required to undertake, pilgrims are humbled by their lack of shelter in the same way that homeless people are. But this is a topic to be addressed at another time. As far as your assertion that giving up education and hygiene (and even contracting AIDS) would foster appreciation, it is senseless to undermine one's mental and physical health for the sake of the unfortunate. As I explained in my article, fasting is beneficial to the health. God does not want for us to harm ourselves. Your dream of a time when "love is free" cannot be practically achieved without submission to a more precise instruction.

Jessie Speer
philosophy senior

Puritanical United States should raise drinking age

In response to the recent debates over the legal drinking age, I must concur with Mr. Leroy Walters. He solidifies a compelling argument that has been used for years: If an 18-year-old can die for his country, then it is only fair to allow him to drink responsibly. By forbidding these legal adults to drink, the government is merely perpetuating the "forbidden fruit" aspect. The fact remains that the United States has the highest drinking age in the world and, consequently, the highest degree of alcoholism. Other countries, such as Canada, France, England, Australia and Mexico are very successful at providing their young citizens with the privilege of drinking at age 18 or younger. These countries also show fewer cases of alcoholism due to their lenient policies; drinking is not considered a vice as it is in puritan American culture.

I would also like to point out discrepancies in Mr. Ross Richard's letter. It is true that many states lowered their legal drinking ages during the Vietnam War, and it is true that there was an increase in highway fatalities. But, if one considers the consequences of lowering the age limit in one state and sustaining it in another, then they can also understand how youths from one state were forced to travel to another in order to enjoy their newfound right. This forced excursion is what led to highway deaths, which would have been nonexistent had all states simultaneously changed their laws.

If every other country in the world can function with their low drinking-age limits, why should the case be any different here? Today's youth must stand up and express their opinions; we must organize and petition the government to provide all of its legal adult population with the same rights and privileges.

Daniel Fisch
pre-business freshman

Flier campaign shows respect for UA Muslims

On behalf of the Muslim Students Association, I would love to respond to those who put up fliers greeting the Muslims on the occasion of the 10th of Ramadan: Thank you for your support. The fliers show the respect and support that the community family extends to its Muslim branch, a branch that is worth knowing and learning about. Every year during Ramadan, Allah seems to offer more and more compassion to his creatures. Hamdu le Allah.

Faisal El Azzouzi
electrical engineering senior cultural coordinator of the Muslim Students Association

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