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Demonizing Islam and Muslims

Dear Editor:
The message I received from Mr. Michael Berglin's "Reactions to my article, 'Is there something the world needs to learn from the latest tragedy'", was one of pure demonization of Islam and Muslims,  and I am not a Muslim, to make that clear from the start.

Mr. Berglin makes reference to Muslims dancing when 9/11 occurred, but I could make reference to a shocking article which appeared in Israel's well-known paper Ha'aretz on December 18, 2001 by Aluf Benn  in which he reported that the  Israeli political-security establishment was coming to the conclusion that the terror attacks on September 11 were a kind of "Hanukkah miracle" for Israel just as Israel was under increasing international pressure because of the ongoing conflict with the Palestinians, and that America could now perhaps equate itself with Israel.  Notably, though, Americans do not live under an occupation which so brutally carries out crimes against all Palestinian Arabs (children included).  Furthermore, I am sure that the families of the approximately 3,000 people who died on 9/11 did did not consider it a "miracle."

In his recent article, Mr. Berglin asks, "Why should the world not judge Islam by the actions and words of Moslems?"

The answer is for the very same reason why Christianity and Judaism should  not be judged by the actions and words of Christians and Jews.

Astonishingly, Mr. Berglin makes reference that radical Muslims have stooped even lower than the Nazis (who only killed countless millions of people).  He needs to be reminded of how the Nazis slaughtered Jews, Gypsies, Poles, Slavs, the physically and mentally disabled, Jehovah's witnesses, homosexuals, political prisoners, dissenting clergy, and others who were considered unworthy of being
a member of society (children included), withl the German Nazi army proudly carrying the insignia of  "Gott mitt uns" ("God With Us") inscribed on their belt buckles.

While Mr. Berglin refers to Anwar Sadat being assassinated by a devout Muslim, it somehow escaped him that the Israeli  Prime Minister Itzhak Rabin was assassinated by a fanatical religious Jew (Yigal Amir) who believed that his act was a just one in accordance with Jewish law due to peace efforts on the part of Rabin, which was instilled into him by teachings of religious fanatical rabbis.

There are religious fantical Israeli settlers today who believe that in accordance with their beliefs, it is permissible to assassinate Ariel Sharon (or anyone else who interferes with their religious doctrine), and to expel all the Palestinian Arabs from the land which they say God gave to them exclusively.  These fanatics have already threatened to blow up the Temple Mount, as known to Jews/Haram Al-Shariff (Al-Aqsa) , as known to Muslims, and it is a common sight to see signs saying "Expel the Arabs," and "Arabs to the Gas Chambers" in places like Hebron, which should make every Jew thoroughly ashamed.  There are fanatical religious Jewish terrorist groups which exist today in the occupied territories, but who have
been permitted to thrive by the Israeli government.  Their plan to blow up a Palestinian girls' school was not very well publicized in the western press

It is also acceptable for Israel to have racist laws which openly
discriminate as to all Palestinian Arabs,  and carry out atrocities in the name of Judaism, which is well-documented by even Israel's own human rights group of B'tselem who has recently issued a report on "apartheid" conditions in the occupied territories.  This also includes other voluminous documentation of Israel's crimes against humanity.  See http://www.btselem.org/

The United States of America has attacked a sovereign country
causing massive destruction of cities and life based on lies by a President who claims that God speaks to him, and through this, Bush has made the ultimate determination of who is evil, and who is good.

In light of the above, it is quite puzzling why Islam should be so villified.  It is time for people like Mr. Berglin and the rest of
the world to stop demonizing Islam and Muslims, and look in their own backyards, or at least re-familiarize themselves with some history before they make judgments as to who are the righteous and who are the radicals.

Marlene Newesri
New York City