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‘Islamic mayhem’

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To The Editor:

Re: “Prez to terrorists — puhleeze be our pal,” A Britisher’s View by Shavana Abruzzo, 2-5 issue.

I think we both agree that Islam has been at odds with the world since Muhammad had his revelations in the desert. However, with respect to Islamic mayhem that has occurred within the lifetime of our new president, there are several important cases we should recall.

In my accounting, I start with the assassination of Robert Kennedy in 1968. Sirhan Sirhan is a Palestinian. There was a time when his origins might have been overlooked. He seemed to be yet another nut and nothing more. Over the years that view should have changed, though I doubt it has.

As we know, eventually Yassar Arafat took an interest in Sirhan. Yassar asked the US government to hand over Sirhan to the PLO so that he might serve his sentence in a Palestinian jail. In my view that was Yassar’s way of praising Sirhan for his act.

Meanwhile, I totally agree with the findings of the Norwegian study. Cultural issues lead to Muslim violence. However, I do believe the cultural issues are driven, in part, by geo-politics. It seems there is a desire inherent in Islam to dominate globally, and to achieve dominance by force.

Another key episode we can not overlook is the bombing of the US Marine Corps barracks in Beirut in 1983. That attack was one of the earliest Muslim suicide bombings, and 241 Marines were killed. Hezbollah was behind it. The suicide technique was appropriated from the Tamil Tigers of Sri Lanka. Maybe they were inspired by Japanese Kamikazes? Anyway, I was deeply disappointed by President Reagan, who decided against retaliating for the Beirut bombing. His failure was a key mistake and, undoubtedly, alerted Islamic terrorists that attacking US interests was often a low-risk undertaking.

Anyway, I fully agree that Obama is approaching the Muslim world from the wrong direction. I think part of his willingness to take a soft approach can be tied to his Muslim youth.

I believe he is a Christian today, and that he has been a Christian for many, many years. But, he was a Muslim in his youth, and I believe we are deeply affected by our exposure to religion at an early age.

Many adults raised as Christians and Jews may now scoff at the preposterousness of Biblical tales, but I believe few people are capable of removing the subconscious impact of their early religious indoctrinations.

Why would a young boy introduced to Islam at a receptive age be different? He would not. Therefore, the US bears the risk of his youthful experience.

Keep up the good work. Undoubtedly, your comments are provoking some angry responses. I would take those responses as compliments.

Chris Bischof


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