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The Link Between Islam and Terror Is Ignored

LETTERS TO THE TIMES

September 13, 2004

Your attempt to dissociate terrorism from Islam ("Criminals, Not Muslims," editorial, Sept. 9) is typical of the American media and ignores the obvious: Most terrorists are professed Muslims. Were any other religious group or ideology so consistently breeding suicide bombers, the condemnation and calls for reform would swiftly follow. Instead, your editorial is careful to disconnect the terrorists from the religion which they so openly claim drives them.

It is time the world community answers two questions: What is it about Islam that repeatedly leads some adherents to terrorism; and why is the mainstream media so hesitant to connect the dots?

Mike Duran

Fontana

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Your editorial says " ... governments fighting such assaults need to know what leads to the crimes and find out if there's a way to drain the swamps that produce them."

In the case in Russia, Russian leaders know why Chechen terrorists have targeted them. If I were Russian, I would be outraged too, outraged to the point that I would attack any Muslim I saw. I think Russian President Vladimir V. Putin should order all Muslims out of Russia and build a wall to keep them out.

Leila A. Kelly

Cardiff by the Sea

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Re "Russia Warns of Preemptive Strikes," Sept. 9: It is highly indicative that State Department spokesman Richard Boucher calls for negotiations with Chechen rebel leaders, but "did not say which Chechens the U.S. would support talks with." The problem is that said leaders are in the same position as Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat. They either serve as a cover for the terrorists, condemning their horrible crimes in word only but in fact supporting the terror (and in this case they are terrorists themselves) or they do not control the terrorists and as a result cannot stop the terror. In either case, the suggested negotiation does not make any sense.

Vladimir Bogorad

Van Nuys

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