Letters From the Issue of Thursday, March 16, 2006

Holy War

The Muslim Mafia: In the article "The Chosen One" (Joe Watson, March 2), Deedra Abboud, who converted to Islam, fails to say why she believes and accepts as factual the Koran's claims, such as:

Non-Muslims are friends of Satan and enemies of God, the numerous (ad nauseam) commands for Muslims to terrorize and kill those who are not Muslims wherever they are found, that killing people who are not Muslims is a good deed in the sight of God, that God transforms Jews and Christians into pigs and apes, that the 4th century B.C. Greek general Alexander the Great lived before the biblical Moses, that Jews believe someone named Ezra is the son of God, that Muslims are to kill any Muslim who leaves or tries to leave Islam.

This along with Islamic history causes many people to believe that Islam is not a religion, but a criminal organization that uses God as an excuse to perpetrate atrocities on those who are not members of the organization.

Mrs. Abboud also did not explain why in more than a millennium, especially in the last century with more than a billion Muslims in the world, not one discovered, invented, created, or did anything to advance civilization. All the progress made by humanity has been based on contributions made by the likes of Jews, Christians and atheists.

You deserve credit for having had the courage to publish the Danish cartoons that led to violent rampages by Muslims. Unfortunately, much of the world's news media have been too cowardly to print them to show how irrational Muslims can be. Indeed, it is the Muslim obsession with pillaging, destroying and killing that may be the reason they do not have the time or inclination to do anything that would enhance human life.
John Monkton, Phoenix

Cartoon controversy: As an American, I grow impatient at Deedra Abboud for being one of Arizona's chief apologists for terrorists, who have overreacted to the inflammatory Danish political cartoons.

Joe Watson's article "The Chosen One" let the Arizona chapter director of the Muslim American Society's Freedom Foundation paint herself exactly as she is -- "well-intended" but enacting political activism that only serves to keep women sheathed in black and two steps behind men.

The article claims Abboud "doesn't understand the fuss over the Danish cartoon controversy that's sparked violent protests around the world," including by those who directed their anger at the United States and its "war on terror."

However, while Abboud claims to be indifferent, Watson's article suggests that she's been welcoming, if not looking for, a fight over the cartoons. Worse yet, Abboud nonetheless seems to support the anger behind these types of socially deviant behavior, saying:

"I'm not defending the violence. But . . . they've really got a Nazi mentality in Europe right now."

Bill Straus, the regional director of the Anti-Defamation League, perhaps said it best: "The irony is unbelievable. . . . For years, the U.S. and various organizations have appealed to the Muslim leadership to do something about the hate and anti-Semitism smeared every day in Middle Eastern and Arab newspapers. And you know what the defense has been? 'We don't interfere with the freedom of the press.'"

Perhaps local activist Abboud could learn something from the legitimate leaders of her adopted country, and not (ironically) support those who are trying to interfere with global freedom of the press.
Scott Hume, Phoenix
The un-American way: I may have missed "The Chosen One" author's mentioning the alleged terrorist ties of the Council of American-Islamic Relations. Deedra Abboud will not admit to any ties, nor does she care very much about the vilification of Jews, Christians and other infidels.

Her treatment locally of Dr. Zuhdi Jasser, who is a loyal American and not an apologist for terrorists, has been at least shabby but more accurately un-American!
Howard Weinstein, Mesa

Duh, it's still a quarrel, Paul: If I am the unnamed "columnist for the East Valley Tribune who advocated that U.S. papers should run the cartoons" mentioned in "The Chosen One," your story is mistaken to say that Deedra Abboud and I have "quarreled."

Though Abboud and I had pieces in the February 12 edition of the Tribune taking opposing stands on the Danish cartoon controversy, though she sent me an e-mail that day objecting to the Internet links to the cartoons I chose to include with my piece, and though we both spoke at the panel Arizona State University's Center for the Study of Religion and Conflict held on the issue February 15, we have had no direct words with each other about the matter, quarrelsome or otherwise.
Paul Green, Mesa

Democratic Demagogues