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Readers write: Islam and Christianity too divergent, a careful response to terrorism

Letters to the editor for the March 9, 2015 weekly magazine.

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Vice President Joe Biden opens a White House Summit on Countering Violent Extremism that runs Feb. 17-19.

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Islam and Christianity too divergent
Regarding the March 2 Monitor’s View “Shining a light on Islamic State’s darkness”: This is a complex issue. Impressionable youth are being radicalized by certain Islamic teachers, peers, YouTube postings, etc. This is blatant hypnotism. It must be unmasked and countered with the facts. However, to say that the problem is not with Islam is disingenuous “multiculturalism.” Islam sees the state and Islam as one. Rather Islam is the state and the state is Islam. There is no separation. How do you counter this ideology with the Western ideal of a separation between church and state? Further, Islam rejects Christianity whereas Christianity embraces different faiths. So far I see no compatibility.
Paul Sedan
San Francisco

A careful response to terrorism
The item “Smarter ways to meet the threat of terrorism” from the Feb. 23 Global Newsstand impressed me with a Canadian’s view of handling terrorism. While conservatives in the United States use oversimplistic reasoning and chest-thumping bravado to justify military solutions, the concluding sentence of the excerpt is a stance that is hopefully gaining popularity worldwide: “Never bring in a steamroller for a job that calls for the surgeon’s knife.”

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History certainly shows instances in which crushing one’s enemy not only did not solve the problem, but nurtured and fed more conflict: for example, the crippling dictates of the Treaty of Versailles led to World War II, and America’s heavy-handed and clumsy intervention in Iraq assured the growth of Islamic State. A rational and open-minded effort to understand the conditions and circumstances that drive people to desperate acts will go much further in permanently solving today’s terrorism threat.

The founder of this newspaper, Mary Baker Eddy, speaking of the abolition of slavery once wrote, “oppression neither went down in blood, nor did the breath of freedom come from the cannon’s mouth. Love is the liberator” (“Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures,” p. 225).
Rick Soule
South Lake Tahoe, Calif.


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