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Letters to the Editor 

Don't Stereotype Muslims

To The Editors:

In response to Ben Williams' letter ("Where Is Muslim Outrage?" October 24) bemoaning the lack of public outcry from Muslim leaders after the September 11 attacks: Is he reading the same news as me? The "deafening silence of Muslim religious and political leaders" is a pure fabrication. Even the leader of Pakistan has condemned the attacks and let us use military bases, at great risk to his own popularity. What more does he want?

Mr. Williams' willingness to lump all Muslims into the same camp as Islamic extremists is disturbing. His justification is that they "all read the same book -- the Quran." Didn't Germans read the Bible during WWII? Were Americans the same as them? Don't the Protestants and Catholics in Northern Ireland both read the Bible? Are they homogeneous?

Osama bin Laden has gone to great lengths to try and paint this conflict as one between Muslims and non-Muslims. I know one person who has bought Mr. bin Laden's spiel hook, line, and sinker. His name is Ben Williams.

Glenn Carlson

Mecklenburg County

Selling Tragedy

To The Editors:

Sam Boykin's commentary on the exploitation of patriotic sentiment for profit ("Disastrous Profits," October 24) was very well taken. It is, in fact, appalling and reprehensible to find that in the midst of national tragedy there are still those among us whose focus is still the almighty dollar, and that only by spending money will Americans find their way back to normalcy. Mr. Boykin's point about the need to change what "business as usual" means was a good one, but it would have been much more poignant if he had taken his commentary one step further and suggested that this unrelenting consumerism is at the heart of what has driven Osama bin Laden and others like him to hate Americans. We make up roughly one-fourth of the world's population, but consume well over half of the world's resources. It's no wonder that poverty-stricken countries have grown to resent our gluttony, and our indifference to their plight regardless of who's at fault for what. The people who led this terrorist attack knew their foes well; they knew it would take no less than two planes flying into the World Trade Center Towers for us to wake up from our haze of overindulgence. And now that we've learned the true meaning of tragedy, the best thing we can think to do for each other is to continue to spend money on things we don't need? Continue to waste resources so those starving in Afghanistan and elsewhere in the world have more reason to hate us? Let's change this "business as usual." Maybe that way we'll actually be able to sleep at night.

Alexandra Obregon


Walters' Welcome Columns

To The Editors:

David Walters' recent columns about world geopolitical realities prior and subsequent to September 11 provide valuable analysis for Americans from an "outsider's" viewpoint.

Walters' remarks on the brutal difficulty of any outsider winning a war in Afghanistan ("Afghanistan's Plains," September 19) provided a historical insight and perspective not seen elsewhere. The question is, other than chasing bin Laden, will Afghanistan prove to be a proper target for "conventional" military action combating worldwide terrorism?

Walters' most recent column ("The Pen and the Sword," October 24) on the English antecedents for Americans' freedoms is excellent. David's prescription for, and the definition of, prudent patriotism in a democracy as a questioning process is a valuable offering. This column has far more relevance to our daily lives now than his standard chastisements for our region's failure to engage in rational zoning and to dot the countryside with European style villages instead of gold communities.

It was regrettable, but predictable, that the American cousins of the "little Englanders" attacked Mr. Walters. To be attacked in print by either a rabid jingoistic flagwaver skewering a publicly offered opinion, or a dispassionate individual offering a subtly nuanced argument countering another's viewpoint is a vital part of the American free speech process -- a process which we all need to recognize had its beginnings on the soft green verges of the River Thames.

For me, Walters' key point is that America now realizes we need the world (and it should be added each other) more than we had ever thought. Yet, considering what has taken place since September 11, Americans' responses have been, overall, rational, solid and caring. There are no cries for vengeance and irrational actions because we do recognize, perhaps too fearfully, the difficulty of the long arduous tasks before us; and in combating terrorism, Americans desire to exhibit our best qualities and attributes as a people. However, we need to be strong watchdogs of American values, goals and those improvements appropriate both for our society and the rest of the world that could be lost during an anti-terrorist fight.

We are glad that David Walters is staying on and we are glad for Tony Blair's strong support and leadership as he serves as the informative, well-spoken, even-keeled point man for the English-speaking people's response to international terrorism. I hope Tony continues Britain's crucial support of the United States and David continues his unique columns.

Chris Scobie


Everybody's A Comedian

To The Editors:

Asking Creative Loafing to pick the 10 scariest people in Charlotte is like asking Humpty Dumpty who is cracked.

Angie Vineyard

Charlotte World newspaper

Daniels Quit, So Let Him

To The Editors:

In response to Mack Monroe III's "Reinstate Daniels" (Letters, October 24): Mr. Monroe has taken the standard head-in-the-sand attitude present whenever there is a dispute concerning a minority employee of local government. The most important fact he chooses to ignore is that Mr. Daniels quit! He was not fired, but made the conscious decision to focus on other areas of his personal life. It is entirely appropriate to make an informed decision as to whether or not he should be allowed to return to his former position. He is a disruptive force in local government inasmuch as racism, whether black or white, should not be tolerated. He has expressed distrust of all things white on more than one occasion and, in fact, would have been fired before now if he had been a white man expressing similar views of blacks. It is time to get on with life and let Mr. Ahmad Daniels get on with searching for satisfaction in his personal life as he requested. If he was hasty in his decision to resign from his job with the city, then that is a decision he has to live with.

Doug Dover


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