Letters to the Editor

In Middle East turmoil, work to support peaceful Muslims

Just when you thought things couldn’t get any worse, they get much worse.

First, Israel occupies Palestine. Then, we invade Afghanistan and Iraq. Then comes the Arab Spring, which we greeted with hope. Then, Syria erupts. Then, Turkey shoots down a Russian plane. Turkey is a part of NATO and therefore a U.S. ally.

Then, a radicalized fundamental Sunni sect names itself ISIL and wants to establish a caliphate across the Middle East! Iran is a majority Shiite Muslim country, and Saudi Arabia is a majority Sunni country, and now they have severed diplomatic relations!

Where does that leave us? Nowhere!

Our military involvement cannot solve this situation. We can work on the diplomatic level, which will take years. But the most important thing the Western nations can do is to encourage, support and protect those Muslims living in our countries to speak out and reject the theology of the radicalized Muslims.

The radical Muslim fundamentalists represent 1 percent or less of the worldwide Muslim community. We must help the 99 percent turn Islam toward modernity and toward democracy! Our military cannot accomplish that, but people of faith can! Americans should take the lead in this endeavor!

Maggie Fertschneider, Atascadero

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