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LETTERS TO THE TIMES

Anger and Sorrow Over Beheading

June 22, 2004

Having just heard the news about the brutal murder of American Paul Johnson in Saudi Arabia, my heart is filled with anger (June 19). My anger is directed toward the obvious, the murderers themselves, but also toward the Bush administration. This new, widespread hatred toward America has been fueled by the actions of the president and his cohorts. The bullying and strutting, combined with a complete lack of respect for other nations and their cultures, have turned the world upside down. My biggest nightmare is this same administration being given another four years to do more damage. I shudder to think of what could happen to my beloved country if that happens.

Doug Hayes

Sierra Madre

It is with deep disgust and extreme anger that I totally condemn the beheading of Paul Johnson Jr. I am a citizen, a Muslim and an engineer. This horrific act will never in any way represent the teachings of Islam. I do not represent the millions of Muslims in the U.S. or the 1.2 billion around the world, but I convey the same sentiment all peace-loving Muslims feel toward this act.

The word "Islam" in Arabic means "peace," and what these terrorists are doing is an insult to Islam and all humanity. I convey our condolences to the family of Mr. Johnson and the rest of the Americans who underwent the same fate under these terrorists.

Haneezain Ismail

Foothill Ranch

Why should we believe that the inept Saudi security forces could not find Johnson while he was a live hostage but managed to track his assassins within hours after the murder? Why should we believe that Al Qaeda leader Abdulaziz Muqrin was among the masked assassins? Why should we believe that whomever the Saudi security forces shot were, indeed, the people who killed Johnson? Has the Bush administration demanded any proof of any of this?

Marvin Petal

Oxnard

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