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Voice: Strong reaction to Strong's letter on Islam

January 14, 2002

I read with great sadness the letter published in your newspaper Jan. 8 related to the religion of Islam. I find it very troubling that the horrific events of Sept. 11 have created a rift among the believers of God.

Sadly, intelligent people, including some religious leaders, have presented their negative view of a faith based on actions of a few of its followers. To them I say, "Let those who have never sinned throw the first stones!"

I will not argue with Dr. Strong over the credibility of all his accusations, despite my disagreement with some of them. Nevertheless, I would remind him that people who called themselves Christians have committed every single accusation cited in his letter.

The killing of Jews and Moslems during the Inquisition, the rape of Moslem women in Bosnia and the use of black slaves in the plantations of the South are just a few examples.

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The gracious pope of Rome did not have a shortage of atrocities to offer the apology of the Catholic Church. It would be foolish to accuse Christianity of being a "wicked faith."

One should not misjudge a faith with the interpretations or actions of some of its followers. Atrocious acts are never committed by a true believer in God, who instructs us in all His books to be kind to one another.

Finally, regarding Dr. Strong's comments about Egypt: I lived many years of my life in that country and I still follow closely events in that region. Kidnapping, raping and forcing young Christian girls to marry Moslem men perplexes me.

I wonder if Dr. Strong is aware that Egypt currently has three Christian cabinet members out of a total of 18. One of those three is her excellency Mrs. Mona Makram Ibed, a fine Christian Coptic Egyptian woman. Perhaps Dr. Strong would be interested in getting her address to ask her how on earth did she manage to get to this position while living in such horrifying conditions?

We have repeatedly heard that we have embarked on a war against terrorism and not against Islam. Dr. Strong's letter shakes that belief.

HALA KARDASH, Ph.D.

El Centro

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