Letters to the Editor
For a better future
Sir-- I am an American who opposes the racist policies of the Bush administration with my whole heart. Not only is this administration spreading hatred and violence throughout the world but it is destroying freedom in America. Regardless of how many times Bush uses the words "freedom" and "democracy" the evidence of his actions testify to his hatred for both.
In his open letter to President Bush ( Al- Ahram Weekly, 20--26 January) Tareq Ramadan related his experience as an "expelled" Muslim. I am sorry that my country is so cowardly that it fears one man simply because he is a Muslim. Bush, however, is so ignorant of history, the cultures and religions of other peoples that he cannot understand anything but a simplistic philosophy of good versus evil. In his mind all Muslims are evil and all "Christians" (who believe what he believes: i.e. evangelical "Christians") are good. He knows nothing about the proud history of other cultures and certainly has little respect for Islam.
Ramadan is a rational man. George W Bush is not. Anyone who forgets this fact does so at their own peril. It is probable that the arrogance he has shown in the previous years will ripen into full blown megalomania before the world is rid of him. As an American I fear for the safety of mankind with such a man as president, a budding Hitler with nuclear weapons.
I am sorry that my country should be the source of so much evil. But those who believe in the value of human life, the dignity of man and the rights of all men to live free, whether they be Christians or Muslims or Hindus or have no god, must understand that we are all in danger and must work together as brothers if for no better reason than that we face a common danger.
I, for one, refuse to fear another man because he is a Muslim and I will not let hate mongers like George Bush stampede me into violence against him. And when the opportunity permits I will speak and act to oppose such evil.
Sir-- I think the open letter to President George Bush ( Al- Ahram Weekly, 20--26 January) makes a very good point regarding why what the president is doing is completely wrong. Occupying and bombing Iraq has not helped -- let alone solved -- anything. I know that he is the president of my country but I do not always have to agree with what he does.
Layers of perversion
Sir-- Was President Bush's inauguration speech just an over- reaction to 9/11, or was it even worse? Why does the president still think we need to embark on a potentially bloody worldwide war and Crusade? Because one fellow, Osama Bin Laden, is still on the loose? And yet we could have destroyed his home if we had sent enough troops to Tora Bora.
How can this be about the "spreading of freedom" throughout the world? And why the focus on the Arab world? In short because they [the Arabs] have grievances with Israel for kicking most of its indigenous people off of their land. And the Arabs have a grievance with us for supporting Israel.
In other words, the Arab world has a bone to pick with us because of the destruction of a people's freedom! So the speech was worse than a mere over-reaction. It was a perversion -- a perversion of as many layers down deep into reality as there are to examine.
Only when they leave
Sir-- After reading Nermeen Al-Mufti ( Al-Ahram Weekly, 20-26 January) I believe that the upcoming Iraqi elections will not be democratic, free or transparent. I cannot imagine the process of "free" elections under the supervision of the US occupation forces! And besides the elections will be held excluding several Iraqi sects.
Hence, I think the Iraqi elections will only succeed once the US occupation forces get out and leave the country to the management of its people.
Lying by omission
Sir-- Arguably the biggest lie in history is that about the Iraqi weapons of mass destruction (WMDs) -- this lie enabled the illegal invasion of Iraq that has so far resulted in thousands of avoidable Iraqi deaths.
The US investigation team recently reported its failure to find Iraqi WMDs after two years of minute examination. Nevertheless, an Advanced Google Search for "WMD" and Iraq has yielded 3.1, 4.1 and 3.5 million results, respectively -- indicative of massive media coverage of the "Big lie". In contrast, an Advanced Google Search for the phrases "under-five infant mortality" and "under-five infant mortality" has yielded meagre results of 394 and 125, respectively.
Exposure of this mainstream media complicity in Anglo-American "democratic imperialism" may help restrain further Anglo-American violence throughout the world.
Sir-- I am an Egyptian accountant and regular reader of your respected newspaper. However, last week's article on Eid Al-Adha ( Al-Ahram Weekly, 20--26 January) gave the impression that the timing of the Eid this year was manipulated.
I do not think this kind of rumour should be spread by your newspaper.
Sir-- Too much of Egypt's ancient heritage has been destroyed by foreigners; too many treasures claimed by museums and government with no legitimate right to continue to hold them.
Hence the Egyptian government must continue to protect its treasures and bar amateurs from other parts of the world against doing any further damage.
In this respect I admire Zahi Hawass's dedication and I believe that he has more than demonstrated his commitment to the preservations of Egypt's glorious Pharaonic monuments and relics.
Reading Jill Kamil's beautifully written article on the auditoria at Alexandria's Kom Al-Dikka ( Al-Ahram Weekly, 20--26 January) it occurred to me that the South Auditorium with the two tribunals may be an apt site of debate, perhaps promoting Kom Al-Dikka as a centre of adjudication?