President Obama is correct. In fighting against al Qaeda-like terrorism, we are combating violent criminals who try to hide behind religion in order to justify their views and actions (“It’s not over until it’s over,” Letters, Thursday). We must not fall into the trap of those terrorists by legitimizing their false claims to the religion of Islam. Labeling them “Islamic” is the best PR gift we can hand to them as they try to recruit disenfranchised young people.
Abortion-clinic bombers and al Qaeda murderers are not Christian or Islamic murderers, respectively. They are murderers and criminals who must be stopped and punished, regardless of which Scripture they twist to rationalize their hatred and violence.
I am not surprised to read that Zuhdi Jasser, a longtime darling of the neoconservatives, is unhappy with the Obama administration’s decision to retire the neocons’ fear-mongering rhetoric and terminologies. Extremists on both sides — the neocons and al Qaeda — need each other’s rhetoric of fear in order to justify their views and raison d’etre. However, the rest of us are tired of both sides’ destructive behavior.
Executive Director, Los Angeles Office
Council on American-Islamic Relations