Letter to the Editor


Again, the question needs to be asked as to why a young man would strap a bomb to his underwear to kill himself and the rest of the people on an airplane. If you ask a media representative or talk radio host they will tell you it is because he is evil, like all the Taliban, Al Qaeda and Muslims in general.  This simplistic answer needs to be questioned.

Did it ever occur to the media and talk show hosts that the reasons given by the Muslims might actually be valid?  The reasons they gave for the terrorist attacks are:

1) The U.S. supports Israel militarily (recently given $3 billion in military aid), in denying human rights to the Palestinians. The Israelis tear down their homes with U.S. made Caterpillar bulldozers, root up their crops, harass school children, invite more settlers onto land belonging to the Palestinians and have built a wall making it more difficult for the Palestinians to tend to their crops and go to work. A large number of Palestinians are also being detained indefinitely by the Israelis.

2) The U.S. is held responsible for killing 1.5 million Iraqis, injuring millions more, causing 4.5 million to flee their country, impoverishing millions, indefinitely holding hundreds of their citizens and now bidding for their oil.  Now it is doing the same in Afghanistan.

In effect, the Muslims feel they are being mistreated and are being denied their basic human rights by the U.S.  After all, people in the Middle East already know how Palestinians have been mistreated for decades; how Washington for the sake of getting oil has propped up Arab dictatorships; how Muslims have been locked away at Guantanamo without charges; how the U.S. military has killed civilians in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere, and how U.S. mercenaries have escaped punishment for slaughtering innocents.

If we are serious about stopping the terrorism we have to stop being terrorists. If we want to be safe then we need to make other people feel safe. Instead of disrespecting and mistreating them we must do good to them and treat them with respect and justice. Americans seem to think this does not work. However, it has yet to be tried. I believe, like Christ, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and others, that nonviolence, not violence, is our only hope for peace.

"Before it is too late, we must narrow the gaping chasm between our proclamations of peace and our lowly deeds which precipitate and perpetuate war. We must pursue peaceful ends through peaceful means."
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Rev. Don Timmerman

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