Sir-- Regarding Azmi Bishara's opinion piece 'Identity and democracy' ( Al-Ahram Weekly, 28 July-3 August), after World War II when the US emerged victorious on the world scene, feeling that it had led the allies to victory, it talked a great deal about the superiority of the American way of life, supported by Hollywood. The US called itself at that time, "the melting pot", not withstanding its problems of segregation. Gradually it lowered the tone of hollow boasting and started to call itself "a salad", where every element of the mix can be recognised individually.
The same is happening now with the European Union. When preparing the constitution the problem came up about defining what is a European, especially when considering the case of Turkey.
Now, for Arabs, the only real Arabs are those from the peninsula. Egyptians certainly are not, nor are North Africans, nor indeed Sudanese, Somalis, Mauritanians, Djibouti nationals, nor indeed Iraqis, by any measure by which culture is defined beyond language. Islam is not really distinctive of Arabs.
There are more Muslims in the rest of the world than in what are loosely called "Arab states". And besides, there are Christians in these states. So what is an Arab?
Sir-- El-Ghitani and Salem's representations of two lines of reasoning vis-à-vis relations with Israel -- rejectionism and exchange respectively -- highlight a decisive split that has divided the Arab world since the 1967 war ('Games of reason' Al-Ahram Weekly, 28 July-3 August). Mr Salem should be saluted for his pragmatic stance while Mr EL-Ghitani is a remnant of an age that is hopefully close to bygone in which one could reject Israel's existence on ideological grounds without grounding such a stance in practicality.
Sir-- Ayman El-Amir ('Islamising global conflict' Al-Ahram Weekly, 21-27 July) is absolutely correct.
His article and, more like it, are desperately needed today as, in my opinion, the Zionist push for a world government, controlled by them, is in the offing. Unless the world wakes up to their modus operandi and how close they are to their goal then, a Zionist world government, based on terror and make believe, will rule.
Sir-- It is bewildering to say the least that some of your readers consider that the Israel-Palestine situation is the cause of global terrorism.
If that were the case then there is no political gain in Muslim killing Muslim in Egypt, Iraq and Turkey. Not to mention Darfur and Kashmir. When the Israel-Palestine dispute is resolved terrorism will still be around.
Learning from Israel
Sir-- Officially the Met will not talk about the Stockwell shooting but the tactics have been in place for a year and were developed after British officers learnt from their Israeli counterparts how best to tackle suicide bombers.
This was summary execution of an innocent person by London police trained by Israeli "assassination experts".
Israeli "assassination training" includes a wide allowance for error. Palestinians after all, have little opportunity of redress for the numerous "tragedies" visited on them by Israeli forces. Therefore, Israeli forces have little concern for "accidental collateral damage".
The Sharon government's assassination policies are relatively unopposed in that country. The Blair government's responsibility for Israeli- style tactics that have created widespread anger and fear amongst ethnic communities require an outraged public response.
Good for us
Sir-- The review of the play Jidariya by Mahmoud Darwish was excellent ('And in my death I'm living' Al-Ahram Weekly, 21-27 July). I am pleased to see that you are covering such important events and have such good reporters to enable us to read about them. Stuart Reigeluth spoke articulately and knowledgeably on the subject. Mr Darwish should be pleased to have had such comprehensive coverage of his play. Please have more articles like this published.
Sir-- I read with great interest the critique about Al-Sifara fil-Imara ( Al-Ahram Weekly, 28 July-3 August).
I am somewhat bewildered that there is an interest at all in such a film among the Egyptians. I fail to see the relevance, humour or need for creating artificial hatred instead of attempting to instigate signs and acts of peace.
It is about time that the Egyptian public and no less the Egyptian media realise that Israel is there to stay. Let the Israeli-Palestinian issue take its course without having a marginal "artistic" group meddling with a non-sensical subject.
I am aware of the so-called humour and slapsticks in the Egyptian comedies. But this so-called self-critical comic approach could have been a productive means if it would do something to stimulate political or economic change.
More about greed
Sir-- It has been obvious to me and to many other Westerners that religion is not the cause of what is called terrorism in the West. I accept that anyone should be allowed to make his/her own peace with whatever world may exist after we have to quit this one.
Terrorism (as is not defined by Western political leaders who themselves are the most horrible terrorists this world has seen -- Bush, Blair, Sharon and co) is the product of the greed of the West and its total insensitivity to the rights of other people to also live in this world.
All the rest is humbug.
Path of peace
Sir-- I think ('Knew it was coming' Al-Ahram Weekly, 14-20 July) is very objective and neutral. But I do not regard the London terror assault as World War III. Peace, development and democracy is the mainstream path of the world.
Sir-- I extend my sincere sympathy to the families and friends of those Egyptians that were killed and wounded in the terror attacks in Sharm El-Sheikh. It is a huge blow to Egypt and to its tourist industry and economy. I send you and all of Egypt my sincere condolences.
Sir-- After Britain was hit twice in the very depth of its capital, these thugs have brought their evil to one of the world's safest cities.
We have to stop this culture of hatred and terror by tracking down the terrorists and bringing them to justice.
Sir-- After London and earlier local Egyptian explosions, how is it that the secret and local police did not have the highest terrorist alert in place two weeks ago? What orders did they get after the first London bombs? With a small amount of fantasy it is easy to understand that Egyptian tourist resorts could be one of next targets.
Red alert should have been in place from day one.
Now Egypt risks losing tourists which is very bad for a wonderful country that is growing and doing a lot to increase the standard of living for all its citizens.
Who is responsible for this blunder?
Sir-- Who was responsible for the Sharm El-Sheikh bombings and why Egypt?
The reason for targeting Egypt is that any attack here, one of the leading Arab nations, would be considered a warning to all other Arab countries. And with Sharm El-Sheikh being one of the world's most famous resorts, one that attracts a great number of tourists, it follows that the bombings in Sharm would have a significant impact not only on Egypt but on the world as well.
We should not discount the possibility that these murderous attacks were staged by Egyptians. Were this to be the case, what kind of Egyptians would do such a thing? Likely they would be youth who fall into the hands of terrorist organisations. These people believe that such attacks are what the Quran teaches and are convinced that by carrying out such attacks they will go to paradise.
The also seek to take revenge from a system or country that they claim offers them little, especially in the job market, after finishing their studies.
The government must provide correct religious information among youth while also providing better living standards in the country. It must make youths feel that if they work hard enough they will be appreciated and rewarded. Only this can successfully combat terrorism.
Noha Hassan Ahmed