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Letters: The roots of anti-U.S. unrest

September 18, 2012
  • Protesters in Dhaka, the capital of Bangladesh, burned American and Israeli flags. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton issued a steely warning to foreign leaders about protecting foreign embassies.
Protesters in Dhaka, the capital of Bangladesh, burned American and Israeli… (Munir uz Zaman / AFP/Getty…)

Re "Anti-U.S. unrest among Muslims spreads," Sept. 15

It is hard to understand how a population can get so incensed over a video, a cartoon or an ignorant statement about the Koran. One has to live in a closed, homogenous society to fully grasp how something like this can happen.

Sitting here in the U.S., we can pass judgment on people and their lack of tolerance, and there is merit in that. But poverty, lack of education, lack of debate and pent-up anger and frustration over life's stresses make up the root cause of such violence. Additionally, the governments of these countries are useless in preventing the riots.

There is no excuse for such a virulent video mocking Islam, but there also is no excuse for this violence.

Syed Hussaini


As a headstrong nonreligious young woman in the 1960s, I lived in the most orthodox area in Jewish Jerusalem. One day, I went up to the roof to sunbathe in my bikini. Before I knew it there were eyes everywhere and the neighborhood was in an uproar.

A wise rabbi called in to deal with the situation asked my neighbors: "Is this woman hurting you? Is she hurting your children?" The situation was defused and there were no riots. And with my sensitivity heightened, there were no more sunbathing sessions on the roof for me.

Where is the wise imam who can explain that a poorly crafted, ridiculous video has nothing to do with Muslims, their prophet or America?

Pauline Regev

Santa Monica

Reading the headlines about violence, I yearn for the good old days. I'm talking a couple thousand years ago, when gods — and here I use the generic term to avoid tipping some wacko over the edge — did their own smiting. If you upset a god back then, you expected a bolt of lightning or a plague, not some lunatic with a gun who believes he's helping his gods.

Personally, if I were a god, I'd be a little miffed at the idea that I wasn't capable of taking care of business myself.

Errol Miller



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