Edward Ott, Washington Times, 12/9/04

I found Sam Harris’ Thursday Op-Ed column, “‘Mired in a religious war,'”
very disturbing. I thought for a moment, “Am I reading the Klan monthly?”

This type of hatemongering and misinformation has no place in any newspaper
or magazine in America. All Mr. Harris has done has been to provide
propaganda for the Muslim extremists who want it to be a religious war.

Dierdre M. Freamon, Wash Times, 12/9/04

I am responding to Sam Harris’ assertion that Koranic doctrine is
essentially violent. I hope he reads this so he can understand Islam

In Mr. Harris’ opinion, the “vision of life” in the Koran is murderous and
violent. Has he read the section where God says: “God has sent down signs
to his servant to lead you out of darkness and into light. And he is to you
(all people) Most Full of Pity, Most Merciful.” Has he read the repeated
mentions of God as “Most Gracious” and “Most Merciful”? Does he understand
that the Koran is written in such strong language to wake mankind out of
its slumber of apathy and toward a more fulfilling and just life? Does Mr.
Harris know the history of the Koran?

At the time of the prophet Muhammad, there was severe arrogance and greed
in all worldly affairs. When the Koran mentions nonbelievers, it talks of
people so overcome with love of their status that they refuse to believe or
practice anything that might mean a loss of their power.

In a similar way, Jesus admonished the Jews who wanted to be seen
worshipping just for the power and prestige their outward behavior garnered
and not for the sincere love of God. The Bible talks of the everlasting
punishment of spiteful, arrogant, rebellious and perverse people. Do you
call the central doctrine of the Bible murderous and violent?…

Dr. Louay M. Safi, Wash Times, 12/9/04

I read with pain and dismay Sam Harris’ “‘Mired in a religious war.'” It
saddens me that such ignorance and bigotry can be propagated.

The Times should not, in the name of free expression, allow hatred, bigotry
and incitement against a religious community and a religious tradition to
become part of our national discourse.

Mr. Harris should make a serious attempt to understand Islam’s sacred book
and learn what Muslims believe before passing judgment on them and their

Suhail A. Khan, Wash Times, 12/9/04

I was deeply saddened to read Sam Harris’ Op-Ed column “‘Mired in a
religious war,'” in which he questions the nature of the faith of Islam and
criticizes President Bush (without naming him) by disputing Mr. Bush’s
claim that Islam is a “peaceful religion hijacked by extremists.” I humbly
ask that Mr. Harris and your readers make a distinction between an entire
faith and the actions of misguided individuals.

History is replete with instances of fanatics twisting religion to further
their own hateful agendas: Thousands of Muslim, Christian and Jewish
civilians were killed by “Christian” soldiers during the Crusades;
thousands of Jews and Muslims were tortured and murdered in the Catholic
Church’s Spanish Inquisition; Puritan elders presided over the shameful
Salem Witch Trials; and, more recently, Eastern Orthodox Christian Serbs
engaged in the mass rape and murder of tens of thousands of Muslim Bosnians
and Catholic Croats in the former Yugoslavia. In these instances, and in
the cases of the Christian “identity movement,” the Ku Klux Klan and
countless others, many have twisted the tenets of their faith to perpetuate
hate and often violence”¦

Capt. Yahya Radwan, Wash Times, 12/9/04

I was extremely offended by the Op-Ed column “Mired in a religious war.”

I am a fundamentalist Muslim (in that I believe in the fundamentals of
Islam), an officer in the U.S. Army and a veteran of Operation Iraqi
Freedom. Mr. Harris claims that “we are absolutely at war with the vision
of life that is prescribed to all Muslims in the Koran.”That is false.

The vision of life prescribed to all Muslims in the Koran is one of an
entire way of life, including justified military self-defense. If Mr.
Harris thoroughly researched the Koran, in context, he would understand
that any measures that were taken against enemies of early Muslims were
done so after years of humiliation, torture and unbearable violence simply
because they professed a faith that was different from that of their
countrymen. Muslims are never allowed to take an innocent human life…


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