letters to the editor 88.
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Sir, - Why are the Christian countries bowing to Islamic demands - are they so weak that they are afraid of Islamic violence?Last year the Muslim community in Britain demanded that all "piggy banks" be removed from banks and toy shops as they were offensive to Muslims. Britain complied.
I wonder when the demand will be that Christian countries outlaw liquor and pork products, also offensive to Muslims.
Instead of retorting: "This is a Christian country, and if you don't like our Christian ways you're free to leave, the Christian countries buckle.
Wake up, before "Islamic law rules you, too'" (Daniel Pipes, September 27).
CHRISTIAN VAN NIEKERK
Islamists in power
Sir, - In "Toward an Islamic democracy" (September 27) Zaenal Abidin Eko Putro made the point that allowing Islamist parties to compete in elections tends to placate them, thereby avoiding violence. That may be the case when the Islamist party in question, such as Indonesia's PKS, is a minority party, but the theory doesn't hold when an Islamist party is the winner.
The experience with Hamas shows that the result is increased violence, with the newly empowered regime wanting to carry out a jihad against a non-Muslim neighbor. Also the rigid Islamic social system imposed is bound to stir up violent domestic dissent.
The crux of the matter is that shari'a law is discriminatory. Its strictures on infidels not only make it a potential threat to non-Muslims; the very definition of "infidel" becomes an invitation to instigate an inquisition against everyone's purity of belief.
Perhaps it's true that Islamists can be bought off by a few seats in parliament, but their accession to power remains a threat to democracy and peace.
Fathers & sons
Sir, - The world Muslim community is very quick to print the most violently anti-Semitic articles. Yet I have never heard of Jews burning mosques or even threatening Muslims, forget about cutting their heads off.
While Muslims have called Jews "the sons of pigs and monkeys," they seem to have forgotten that they too claim to be the sons of Abraham. So how do they describe their progenitor? ("The pope, Islam and history," Elsewhere, September 28).
MORDECAI BEN NATAN
When will we learn?
Sir, - Yes, it certainly is the "Same old UNIFIL"! (Editorial, September 26.) When will we learn that the only reliable security for Israel lies in Israel's hands, and not in the UN's, the EU's or even the US's?
It's unfortunate, but a lot of people out there would like to see us disappear from the face of the earth. We dare not entrust our lives and our children's lives to outside parties.
Whatever happened to good old Israeli self-reliance and ingenuity? If we ever recapture those qualities, we'll survive. If not...
HAIM M. LERNER
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