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Our hearts go out to the Shiite Muslims who were attacked today.

By Andrew Pollack on 03/02/2004 at 10:42 AM CET

Having grown up in a Jewish household, and being American and therefore subject to the constant negative imagery associated with the Muslim and particularly some of the Shiite branches of Muslim over the years, I would like to call on everyone who bothers to read this to remember that the vast majority of Muslims -- Shiite and otherwise -- are just people trying to go about their lives and cultures in a peaceful and safe way. Like us they want peace, health, and prosperity. None of us would like to be known by the deeds of the worst of our kind and I am sure it is the same for the overwhelming majority of those killed today. It is too easy to sit at this distance and lump all the Shiite Muslim people into one group and blame them for the attacks on our soldiers, friends, or brethren but that temptation must be avoided. Acts like this are despicable and hurt everyone. They of course most directly hurt the families of those killed, but they also hurt the rest of us in our goals of peace and unity by producing only more hatred and suffering.

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Mixed feelingsBy Gerco Wolfswinkel on 06/23/2004 at 11:21 AM EDT
I agree with your statement - never judge an entire religion by some of its most fanatical members. I know christians did horrible things, completely contradictory to the teachings they say they adhere to, and I wouldn't want to be compared with them either. But somehow I'd like to see some more official statements from shiite leaders condemning these acts of hatred and violence - and some real actions to stop it, too. In The Netherlands for instance, investigations keep finding evidence of radical political islamists from Saudi Arabia financing islamic schools. These schools teach hatred towards jews and gays, and the values of our society in general. Sometimes they teach denial of the holocaust. They stand in the way of a healthy integration of these kids into our society, wich is based on democracy and tolerance. So why are our Saudi allies in the war on terror, funding schools that sow the seeds of hatred in the hearts of young children, living in our midst? It's two faced, really. And personally, I don't know what to make of it. Are they genuinely interested in eradicating hatred and violence, or are there hidden agendas? I hope for the first, but sometimes fear it really is the second. In short, why don't they just put their money where their mouth is?
we don't dissagreeBy Andrew Pollack on 06/23/2004 at 11:21 AM EDT
Of course leadership has been as guilty as many of the terrorists. Nonetheless, that leadership was not attacked yesterday. People, mostly innocent, mostly tired and strugling, were killed while trying to celebrate an important day in their belief system. You make a good point -- and a well supported one -- but it applies to leadership. The relationship with the Saudi's is a complex one to be sure. --AP
Mixed feelings tooBy Carl on 06/23/2004 at 11:21 AM EDT
For a long time "some" Americans were funding the IRA (not the pension) and providing various arms and weapons to the cause. In some ways it is intersting to witness how Americans have now changed their attitude to terrorists, or what others call freedom fighters. The key thing is, a life is a life, doesn't matter who's it is, no human has the right to take anothers, no matter what race or religion they are.

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