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Martyrdom for All the Wrong Reasons

April 26, 2002

Re "'Slave of Allah' Wounds Justice," Commentary, April 23: We read of Zacarias Moussaoui on trial for complicity in the monstrous crime of Sept. 11. Uncooperative, vituperative behavior and rejection of court-appointed legal counsel may, it is said, earn him the death penalty.

Could this be exactly what the defendant is trying to achieve? Imagine the worldwide uproar, not just in Arab states, if we were to execute or incarcerate a Muslim based on what is said to be circumstantial evidence. Martyrdom on a colossal scale! If there are any doubts about this person's guilt, he should be well-photographed and fingerprinted, have a DNA sample taken and then be ejected to his country of origin.

David Dart

Los Angeles

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People can try to understand the terrorists' position all they want, but here you have an actual terrorist, Moussaoui, describing it in his own words ("Moussaoui Says He Prays for U.S. Ruin," April 23). They're not just against Israel, or just against Israel and the U.S. Moussaoui "called upon Allah to vanquish the non-Muslim forces in the world." So that's our crime. We're not Muslims. And for that the terrorists would like to condemn us to death.

People don't want to believe that the terrorists just want to kill everybody who isn't part of their own little group, but there it is. That's their plan. It isn't about peace on Earth. It isn't about the Palestinians. It's just a stupid plan to kill everybody who's not a Muslim.

Vik Rubenfeld

Santa Monica

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As an American and a Jew, I am appalled that U.S. District Judge Leonie Brinkema would even consider allowing Moussaoui, a man whose quest is for the destruction of America and Jews everywhere, to rule our courts. How dare we allow Moussaoui to call the shots in our court of law?

To allow his request of a computer in his jail cell, or consider allowing a nonjury trial, makes me angry, frustrated and dumbfounded. How do we allow a person of this hate mentality the availability of a computer? Trust me, if there is a way to spread the "word," this hatemonger will find it. Daniel Pearl should have been as lucky. Just think, if he could have availed himself of a computer, maybe he would be alive today.

Ruth Crystal

Tarzana

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