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Letters to the Editor 10/17

Nation should not divide during crisis

We seem to have gone back to our primitive instincts of kill all, except us. We are superior, great, the best, the only. War is the answer to everything. I have one thing to say: Bull. And I don’t mean USF’s mascot, either. We also seem to like reforming to our child-like ways of name-calling and etc. to people who have different opinions than we do.

Trey Powell, take note. Just because someone wants peace does not make him or her a tree-hugger. Nor does it mean she or he want to invite bin Laden and the Taliban over for a tea party and a round of “Kumbaya.”

Your accusations were child-like, and indeed I would expect such a thing from a child. War isn’t the answer to everything, though we seem to think so. Patience is a virtue, a virtue which everyone in the United States seems to have lost.

Because of it, many more innocent people are going to die. Yes, I understand we took massive collateral damage ourselves, but it doesn’t mean we should turn around and punish the innocents of Afghanistan. It wasn’t the citizens who attacked us, it wasn’t Afghanistan’s military, or the Taliban. It was a group of terrorists. Therefore, every Afghan’s death is an innocent person killed. Peace was a possible answer, but the path was never explored.

Mr. Powell also stated that “freedom comes at a price.” Perhaps it does. But how many are willing to let the price be a full-body, full-luggage search at the airport? The banning of pocket knives, pen knives, etc., on airplanes?

Are you willing to pay that price? I am for the simple fact that air travel is not a right. The same measures should be taken at bus and train stations. There’s a price for freedom. How many are willing to pay?

On to the issue of Mr. Al-Arian. Kris Kaiser, many of my friends were drug-addicts. Two of them, in fact, died of an overdose. Does that make me a druggie? Does it make me a bad person? How is guilt by association just, Mr. Kaiser?

More caution in choosing your friends, you say? How do you know if your friend is going to become a terrorist 10-15 years from now? Maybe one day you’ll learn what it’s like. Maybe one of your friends will become a mass murderer. It can come back at you.

In these times of crisis, we need to pull together, not push apart. United we stand, divided we fall. We can’t push people away because they “knew someone.” What if someone’s mother dated one of the terrorists way back in high school? Should we take her away and give her the third degree, even if she hadn’t heard from him in years? What if someone was childhood friends with one of the terrorists, but hadn’t seen him since elementary school? Take that person away too?

People are looking for someone to blame, someone to take their anger out on. They can’t find one of the terrorists, so now they’re turning to the irrational “guilt by association.”It’s not right. Lay off it people, we’re Americans. Land of the free. We need to pull together. We need to stop these irrational actions. We need peace. Oh … whoops. That’s right. You prefer war.

  • Nicholas Huber is a freshman whose major is undeclared.

    University should offer courses on Islam

    After reading Rob Brannon’s article in Monday’s Oracle, I went to the department of religious studies. I stood there with the secretary and together we read through the list of course offerings to confirm that contrary to Brannon’s article, the department teaches no classes on Islam. We have classes on Judaism, Christianity, Buddhism, witchcraft and Paganism, religions of India, Caribbean religions and Native American religions but not a single class on Islam.

    Considering that there are 1 billion Muslims in the world and Islam is the fastest growing religion in America, I find that amazing for our school, which is one of the 15 largest in the country.

    By offering a class on Islam, I think that we can help bridge the rapidly expanding gap between the West and the Muslim world.

  • Basim Ahmed is a senior majoring in management information systems.