Fire with fire
Sir-- I was appalled when Pastor Terry Jones called on Christians to burn the Quran. In essence, by burning the Quran you are burning the Bible. You must treat Muslims with love and respect, as you would like to be treated.
The action, which was not taken, could have created a wider gap and this time there may have been an extreme reaction from Muslims. Our religion teaches us tolerance to the extreme. Yes, we are extremely tolerant but I advise you not to cross the line.
Quran burning reminds people of Christian Nazis burning Jewish books all across Adolf Hitler's Germany in the 1930s and 1940s. People of conscience must prevent the spread of Islamophobia and must support positive educational efforts. Anti-Muslim bias decreases when people have access to accurate information about Islam and are able to connect on a personal level with ordinary Muslims.
This could have been an act of pure evil. It is an attack on Islam, an attack against Muslims -- because it is an attack on what they hold most dear -- and it is an attack against God. It is Satanic, a sin of the worst kind because it is deliberate. That makes it far more than an act of ignorant stupidity. Those involved are being intentionally provocative. They know that actions have reactions and that there could be potentially horrific ones if the burning had taken place. Thank God it did not.
We are fully aware that these bigots are wholly unrepresentative of the US and Christianity. Mainstream American Christian leaders have been united in condemning the act, as have American Jewish leaders and the American political establishment -- and for that we thank them. Yet, in choosing to have performed this obscenity, this small Florida church perpetrated a second offence, one in which others in the US and elsewhere are sometimes complicit -- the great lie that Islam was responsible for 9/11. The fact that those who carried out the 9/11 attacks were Muslims and that 15 were Saudis are painful facts that cannot be wiped away. But they were deviants and no more represented Islam or Saudi Arabia than this small Florida sect represents Christianity or the US. Perhaps that reality will now finally get through to the American public and opinion-makers who believe the lie.
Hopeful but helpless
Sir-- I'm not Muslim or Christian or Judaist. I'm an ordinary Japanese student. Thus, I might not have a say about the burning of religious books. But I want to say I've never felt so sad in my life. I think the world is covered with hatred and I would not like to see more.
But how to go about it, I do not know.
Sir-- I remember President Mubarak saying a while back that he wanted to take things slow with the West, to choose the good things for Egypt and reject the bad. But the West is a cold and insensitive place, a dog-eat-dog world that worships only money and power and is destroying American society, as well as Egypt's.
I love your country more than my own, but it breaks my heart to see and hear the things I did on my resent visit to Egypt, and I am sorry to say I have no desire to return. It's to hard to look into the eyes of my brothers and sisters and see the hopelessness within their hearts.