[Sarwat Husain is president of the Council on American Islamic Relations-San Antonio.]

The recent deaths of the two young American soldiers in Iraq are another extremely painful reminder of the unnecessary war we are fighting in Iraq and its tragic consequences.

On behalf of the American Muslim community, I extend our sincerest condolences to the families of Pfc. Kristian Menchaca, 23, and Pfc. Thomas Tucker, 25, for their tragic loss.

We are deeply disturbed by the way they were barbarically tortured and killed. We do not know for sure who perpetrated these crimes or who the killers were. They could be insurgents, al-Qaida affiliates or just petty criminals. Regardless, there is no doubt that they are cold-blooded murderers.

As soon as the news reports of the slayings appeared, the Muslim community started receiving blame, accusations of collective guilt and demands for apologies. If such apologies and condemnation statements, which Muslim organizations and groups issue each time any such crime is committed against coalition soldiers, would prevent further killings, these latest murders would not have taken place.

Instead of this juvenile blame game, which does not achieve any constructive understanding, let all of us Americans join hands and truly start working together to stop any more loss of lives.


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