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Reactions to Stories on Muslims

November 07, 2001

Regarding: "A Stronger Voice for Muslims" (Oct. 29): I am suspicious of Muslims wanting more political clout and am sincerely concerned about the rising number of Muslims and mosques in this country.

Is it conceivable that the goal is to make this a Muslim state, a theocracy? I am not sure of their honesty nor their genuineness, and I have growing tension within myself regarding this religion of Islam and what I perceive as their growing arrogance. It is becoming increasingly more difficult for me to be tolerant.

JULIA REEVES

Los Angeles

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Islamic spokesmen on TV and in print are trying to portray Islam as misunderstood. It is really a religion of tolerance and peace, they say. I don't believe it for a minute.

The Koran specifically advocates killing nonbelievers, i.e., non-Muslims. It is, in practice, a dark, angry and hateful view of life on Earth. The frowning faces and dark, depressing clothing of Muslims give me the creeps.

I hope that immigration of these people is stopped entirely. We are crazy to let these people come here in large numbers.

MIKE BURNS

Bakersfield

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In "A Native View of War-Torn Land" (Oct. 21), the statement made by Jahan Stanizai that the film "Beneath the Veil" was "pure Hollywood" and that the filmmaker "happened on an execution of women" was simply not true and should have been challenged.

The press about the film made it very clear that the footage of the execution was given to the filmmaker by a women's rights organization within Afghanistan. I don't think that footage was created on Hollywood's back lot; that execution was too real. And if Stanizai believed that, she should have cited her sources and facts.

"Beneath the Veil" has done much to wake up the consciousness of Americans to the loss of civil liberties and the atrocities that have been reported concerning the treatment of women in Afghanistan. I would have liked to have [the interviewer] ask Stanizai more about those questions.

ELIZABETH MYERS

Manhattan Beach

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I reject the assertion that a new Afghan government should embrace Taliban "moderates." The Nuremberg trials were full of testimony from "moderate" Nazis who claimed they had been "forced" to support Hitler.

Self-interest turned out to be a poor defense. Nuremberg defined the civilized world as one in which there is no room for "moderates" whose morality is personal survival and gain.

Even if the Taliban wasn't a heroin mafia, treating humans like rabid dogs, its most moderate members are still the landlords of pure evil. Their unconscionable impact on more than 5,000 innocent Americans--so far--is not to be bartered for the selective memories of a few Afghan upper-class expatriates.

Taliban complicity facilitated the events of Sept. 11. Period.

DAVID HILL

Los Angeles

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My heart bleeds for poor Jahan and Zaman Stanizai. The terrorist attack on Sept. 11 that killed 5,000-plus innocent American men and women and others from dozens of nations was so unfair to them!

I read and reread the article to find just a hint of condemnation of the act, of the terrorists, of Osama bin Ladin, the Taliban, the Pashtuns or the Muslim fanatics but found not a smidgen. No criticism of the government for not handing over Bin Laden to save the country from more death and destruction.

Neither did Zaman risk getting trampled in the mad stampede of Muslims rushing to the recruitment center to form the infantry division to fight for their adopted country (as did Japanese Americans some 60 years ago). Instead, the Stanizais believe they are qualified to determine the make-up of a new government for Afghanistan when, and if, hostilities come to a close.

Unfortunately, the Stanizais fled Afghanistan some 16 years before the Taliban militia took charge and, of course, long before the horrible warring ethnics of the Northern Alliance did their supposed mass raping and murdering of so many women in Kabul.

Nevertheless without any firsthand experience, they believe moderate members of the Taliban should be included in any future government.

CECIL E. BYRD

Whittier

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The excellent interview with Jahan and Zaman Stanizai omitted one vital question that requires their answer: How does the U.S. deal with Afghan religious schools that teach and preach hatred of America, as shown on "60 Minutes"?

JIM SIMON

Beverly Hills

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