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Arrest of Terrorists

July 08, 1993

* In response to "Eight Suspects Seized in Plot to Bomb U.N., Other N.Y. Targets," June 25:

We would like to commend The Times for being fair in not targeting Muslims as terrorists, etc., in your headline. We also appreciate that mosques were not mentioned as accomplices to the plotters.

Nobody had the right to target innocent people or people working in any building, or for that matter anywhere. A civilized society can only exist when such perpetrators who threaten to hurt others are quickly apprehended and jailed.

We commend the FBI and New York State Police for a job well done.

NISAR HAI, President

United Muslims of America

San Gabriel

* This time the presumed plotters were caught before executing their plans. Only God knows how many more there are with a like mentality who might be entertaining similar ideas. Since prevention is better than cure, I am hoping The Times might convey my voice to those unknowns out there.

First, I would like to assure you that your religion of Islam does not condone aggressive action that jeopardizes or harms innocent life, so whatever your motives or justifications you are acting against your own religion. Second, whatever harm you hope to inflict on America out of political vengeance is only a fraction of the harm you are inflicting on the image and possibly the survival of Islam in this country that proved more accommodating to it than some so-called Islamic states.

Third, you know that our religion makes it a duty to make it known to others as it really is, and if this is the way you present Islam, then one wonders who you are fighting but Islam itself. Fourth, we are all actually aware of the injustices afflicting Muslims and have our legitimate grievances, but you know that Islam--even unilaterally--does not accept that the ends justify the means; a worthy cause can only be served by guiltless means. Fifth, along the course of Islamic history, the resort to terrorism only leads in the long run to consequences disastrous to Islam.

Terrorism , as is too obvious to point out, is not confined to the ranks of Muslims. Real Muslims should not partake in it.

HASSAN HATHOUT

Outreach Office, Islamic Center

of Southern California, Los Angeles

* It is highly fortunate that a great tragedy was averted by timely action of the FBI. Otherwise, bombings like what took place in India could have occurred here as well. The threat posed by fundamentalist Islam to democracy cannot be overemphasized. Not just in the U.S. and India, but nations like Israel, Egypt and Algeria are targets as well. The campaign, though not monolithic, is, however, well-orchestrated by rogue states like Iran and Pakistan. Pakistani training camps have existed since the days of the Afghan War for these terrorists. Sudan and Pakistan are working hand in glove to terrorize people in Kashmir (in India).

The U.S. was right in declaring that Pakistan be included on the terrorist state list. Sudan needs to be included as well.

The U.S. should not lump all developing nations together as Third World. The U.S. interest is not served when sanctions and pressure are applied against benign India, with its longstanding history of democratic tradition, when India acquires missile technology--India is a target for these terrorists and was a victim of Chinese aggression--while at the same time encouragement is given to communist China through most-favored-nation status.

To contain both the emerging threat of Islam fundamentalists and unrepentant communism, it is imperative that democratic and free countries like the U.S., Israel, India, Western European nations and perhaps Russia pool their resources and contain this threat before there is an "Islamic bomb," so that future generations can live in peace.

G. V. CHELVAPILLA

President, Friends of India Society

West Covina

* Re "New Breed of Terrorist Worries U.S. Officials" and "U.S. Attacks Iraq to Retaliate for Alleged Plot to Kill Bush," June 27:

What is the difference, essentially, between "terrorism" by small, militant groups and the "measured and proportional response" by the U.S. military?

If the U.S. uses bombs in dealing with other nations, it seems only reasonable (if anything involving destruction and murder can be considered rational) to expect retaliation in kind.

To think of U.S. military actions as anything other than terrorism is pure delusion, without saying whether the ends are good or evil. When the weapons of war are employed to kill, whether in a cruise missile or a car bomb, the immediate effect on the persons and property in the area of the explosion is the same.

I think we should all think about and discuss these matters of political violence, whether by nations or individuals, with clarity.

KESHAV KAMATH

Los Angeles

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