Media showed biasAs a Muslim American, I am appalled at...

The Forum

April 28, 1995

Media showed bias

As a Muslim American, I am appalled at the way the news media treated the Muslims immediately after the bombing in Oklahoma City.

The fingers were pointing and the stereotyping machine was at full speed to condemn and demand retribution. Many of the so-called experts were heard convicting the "Islamic extremists" of causing the bombing.

As the facts started to point to others for committing this terrorist act, the same news machine and its experts fell into a deep silence.

The same people so eager to blame Muslims for this act have, by their silence, reflected the ugly racist attitudes now directed against Islam and Muslims by the news media.

The overwhelming majority of Muslims are law-abiding, highly educated citizens, yet the news media continue to use the criminal activities of persons who claim to be Muslims to define all Muslims.

Does Hitler define Christianity? Absolutely not. Does the criminal activities of the Jewish Defense League define the Jewish faith? No.

Let us take this opportunity, as Americans, to heal the scars caused by any criminal activity hiding behind religious causes.

Let us all pray for those who died in this bombing and their families. May Allah give them the strength to carry on with their lives.

Ahmed G. Awad

Towson

Stop all terrorism

Terrorism in any form is the most despicable obscenity known to man.

The willful murder of innocents to promote political, ethnic or religious beliefs by means of sneak attacks cannot be tolerated in a society that claims to lead the world in protecting human dignities and the right to live in safety without fear.

It is so sad that it took a heart-breaking tragedy such as a bomb in Oklahoma City to prompt the president to speak out against such terrorism with such authority on TV.

But where have these words been while many ultra-radical groups whose politics are based on religious faith, ethnic background or other maniacal reasons, spew violence as the necessity to "change the system" that they live in?

Is not a drive-by shooting terrorism? Is not a crack-house in a neighborhood terrorism? Is not the death of innocent bystanders -- especially children -- caught in the cross-fire of gang shooting terrorism?

Clinton's comments regarding hate mongers has struck at the core of a problem. But they have also created a field day for the media and politicians to climb aboard the bandwagon and take pot-shots at possibly the wrong group of people.

Standing tall, looking stern and making politically correct comments may make good press for the president, but empty words have not the power to effect change.

Developing a cure for a disease doesn't do much good for the patient after he is dead.

Until our society makes it clear through actions, not words, that all inflammatory rhetoric is unacceptable, those who would promote violence in the name of revolution will continue to brandish the deadly invisible sword of terrorism at will.

R. E. Johnson.

Glen Burnie

Brotherly love

Perhaps it wouldn't hurt if the United Nations, the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank gave most of the aid distributed to the former Yugoslavia only to organizations run cooperatively between Christians and Muslims, thereby giving them a reason to love their enemies.

Scott Lawrence

Parkton

Bombers destroy all they claim to defend

I pick up my 11-month-old daughter and my heart aches for the parents in Oklahoma City who will never do that again. It aches for the children who will never get a good answer when they ask why their parents died.

When President Clinton called the bombers "evil cowards," he was right. But he left out another adjective: stupid.

Stupid because the bombing is likely to work against what the bombers supposedly believed in, which somehow became twisted in their fevered brains into a plan of terrorism.

The tragedy at Waco two years ago should be investigated. But now anyone who suggests that the government agents involved in that incident might have been guilty of wrongdoing will be viewed with suspicion.

It is as wrong to lump all those who call for justice in the Waco affair and those who support the right to keep and bear arms with the lunatic fringe as it would be to blame all Arabs for a few Arab terrorists, or all environmentalists for the few who blow up dams and spike trees.

With the possible exception of a few lunatics, the militia movement makes it clear that it does not intend to overthrow the government or condone terrorism, that its intention is to demonstrate what is meant by a "well-regulated" citizen militia. Not regulated by the government, as that would undermine its purpose, but by the common morality of its members.

The bombers are stupid, because the actual result seems likely to be more power given to law-enforcement officials and more infringements on the rights these killers thought they were defending.

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