Reporter's murder gives us no reason to condemn Islam...


March 04, 2002

Reporter's murder gives us no reason to condemn Islam

Neither The Sun's reporting of Daniel Pearl's slaughter ("Suspect in Pearl kidnapping says consulate attack planned," Feb. 23) nor its editorial "The death of Danny Pearl" (Feb. 23) noted the gruesome irony that pictures of Mr. Pearl's death reached us on Islam's Eid al-Adha - the feast of the sacrifice.

This, the most important holiday of the Islamic calendar, commemorates God's merciful remission of the demand that Abraham sacrifice his son. But no godly mercy came forth for Mr. Pearl.

The Pakistan Muslim League's Hamida Khuhro is correct in feeling "bowed down in shame" by Mr. Pearl's murder. Shame is proper for all true Muslims when such deeds are done in their name, whether or not they feel we oppress them.

We Westerners (Christians, Jews or secularists) must not, however, take the Rev. Pat Robertson's path. His condemnation of Islam as a "violent religion" ("The week that was," Feb. 24) tells us more about his warped, hate-filled mind than about Muslims, much less Islam.

More than ever - as even our allies seethe at our arrogance and self-righteousness - we should wish for the power to see ourselves as others see us. And a great deal of self-examination is deeply needed before we start dropping bombs on Baghdad.

Peter D. Molan


The writer is a retired Middle East analyst for the Department of Defense.

Daniel Pearl was killed because he was Jewish ...

In "The death of Danny Pearl" (editorial, Feb. 23), The Sun's editors correctly assert that Mr. Pearl's death demonstrates "the barbarism ... that Islamic extremism breeds."

But they are wrong to assert that the killing of Mr. Pearl represents "senseless violence." Mr. Pearl was Jewish, and that is why he was killed.

And there is no separating Mr. Pearl's death from the violence directed against Israel and its citizens by the Palestinian Authority.

David Gerstman


... and it's hatred of Jews that blocks Mideast peace

While arguing for the need to "move boldly in the Mideast," Richard Gross forgets that Israel has already taken bold steps ("Time for U.S. to move boldly in the Mideast," Opinion Commentary, Feb. 21). The "barren Sinai," surrendered to Egypt for peace, had both Israeli settlements and oil deposits. And under a proposal by then-Prime Minister Ehud Barak, Yasser Arafat was offered 95 percent of the land he claimed to want.

Had that offer been accepted, the settlements in the remaining 5 percent would likely have been dismantled and negotiations would have led inexorably to Palestinian statehood. But Mr. Arafat rejected this unprecedented chance for peace and resumed his violent jihad.

Mr. Gross and others fail to recognize that this conflict cannot be resolved by an exchange of land and United Nations peacekeeping troops. Palestinians now view Jews much as the Nazis did, as vermin to be eradicated. One has only to read the Arab and Palestinian press to realize that the goal of Mr. Arafat and his cohorts is a completely Jew-free Middle East.

Even the boldest moves cannot succeed against such hatred and fear.

Cronshi P. Englander


Go back to collecting recycling in city's alleys

Councilman Bernard C. "Jack" Young is right that the Department of Public Works should go back to the old way of collecting recyclable items so that all neighborhoods are treated fairly ("Recycling policy exceptions protested," Feb. 22).

It's really pretty simple: If the DPW can use neighborhood alleys to make regular trash collections, it can use those same alleys to pick up recyclable items.

That's the way it was before, and that's the way it should be now.

Francis J. Gorman


Glad to see East Towson finally get some attention

Kudos to Baltimore County Executive C.A. Dutch Ruppersberger ("Rebuilding to begin in historic E. Towson," Feb. 27). It is gratifying to learn that this special community finally will be getting recognition and that years of neglect will be rectified.

We must all hope that succeeding county executives will follow Mr. Ruppersberger's example.

Susan Shankroff


Cloning offers new options for owners of livestock, pets

The Sun's Kevin Cowherd mistakenly assumes that Genetic Savings & Clone, the company that sponsored CC, the world's first cat clone, serves clients who "want to keep their pets with them forever" ("Scratching heads over cat-cloning fever," Feb. 18).

We do get calls from such people, but we gently correct their misconceptions and steer them toward animal adoption or grief counseling resources.

In actuality, our clients are livestock owners who wish to extend their investment in a valuable bovine or equine genetic line, or pet owners who believe their animals have an exceptional genetic endowment. Often those animals are mixed-breed, sterilized or beyond breeding age.

Our company also plans to use cloning to preserve endangered species and reproduce the healthiest and best-performing assistance and rescue dogs.

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