Vilification at its worst
Dear Editor:To me, Dr. Tafik Hamid’s speech on June 25 incited a fear of Islam and the threat it poses to anyone not accepting its ideology. I have visited three Islamic countries (Iran, Jordan and Syria) and never experienced fear. People were warm, welcoming and accepting of me, as well as Jewish people in my travel group. Bill Moyers had an Islamic imam on his show on Friday, who voiced the opposite views of Dr. Hamid, as does Denver’s Imam Ibrahim Karerooni.Dr. Hamid’s selective reading and analysis of Islam confers a fundamentalist Islamic interpretation onto most of Islam. Specifically, the form al-Qaida follows. Dr. Hamid attributed extremists’ focus on the U.S. to their historic desire to destroy the most powerful nation, but did not explain why bin Laden’s initial cause was to work with Americans to expel the Soviets from Afghanistan or his listing of Israel’s occupation of Palestine as a factor in the 9/11 attacks.A segment of the local community, so devoted to the existence of Israel, seem to support vilifying the entire Islamic religion. It is unfortunate that some groups give credibility to Dr. Hamid. As I listened, I wondered why Dr. Hamid was here talking to a group in Aspen and not in Egypt, Saudi Arabia and Pakistan trying to reform the schools that teach an extremist interpretation of Islam. Magnifying fear of Islam seems necessary to continue our global war on terrorism that is making U.S. arms manufacturers richer and us less safe. Talking to one’s adversaries is not a sign of weakness, but of intelligence.Cathleen KraheCarbondale
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