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Voice: All major religions seek peace on earth

January 17, 2002

Dr. Strong in his letter of Jan. 8 made a grievous error with regard to laying blame on a religion, instead of those individuals who perpetrate atrocities in the name of religion, for political, personal or financial gain.

Christianity cannot be blamed for the horrors of the Crusades, the Spanish Inquisition, or more recently the genocide in Bosnia. The Davidian Seventh-day Adventist Church cannot be held responsible for the actions of David Koresh.

Which religion should be castigated for the draconian laws of "apartheid," the systematic violation of human rights of 30 million blacks in South Africa? Should blame be cast on the Anglican Church, since South Africa was a British colony, or is the Dutch Reform Church to blame?

It should be obvious that blaming religion for the actions of its followers is erroneous and overly simplistic.

I believe the proximity of religious celebrations this past year, including Diwali, Hanukkah, Eid-ul-Fitr (the end of Ramadan) and Christmas should facilitate feelings of compassion, understanding, tolerance and cooperation between all religions.

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A study of the Bhagwat Gita, the Torah, the Quraan and the Bible yield a common message, "peace on earth." In the words of Betty Shabazz, late widow of Malcolm X, " We can say ‘peace on earth,' we can sing about it, preach about it or pray about it, but if we have not internalized the mythology to make it happen inside us, then it will not be."

FATIMA SULIMAN

El Centro

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