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Extremism is wrong for Islam, but also for U.S.

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    Extremism is wrong for Islam, but also for U.S. Imam Mohammad Ali Elahi: Faith and policy Tuesday, August 5, 2008
    Message 1 of 1 , Aug 5 9:45 AM
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      Extremism is wrong for Islam, but also for U.S.
      Imam Mohammad Ali Elahi: Faith and policy
      Tuesday, August 5, 2008
      http://www.detnews.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=2008808050305


      In a Pentagon strategy report last Thursday, Defense Secretary
      Robert Gates pledged partnership with China and Russia, while he
      suggested a long war against Islamic extremism. The promising point
      in the secretary's statement was his emphasis on the need to prevent
      Islamist militancy by promoting economic, political and social
      development in vulnerable areas. So he admits it: the best way to
      end militant extremism is to fight poverty, corruption and social
      injustice!

      The U.S. invasion of Iraq caused death, destruction, and the
      relocation of many millions of Iraqis and thousands of American
      soldiers -- to destroy a weapon that didn't exist. That was in
      itself an act of extremism which created even more violent
      extremism!

      The Iraq war has cost $600 billion but the human cost is greater.
      This year more than 22,000 traumatized veterans sought help from a
      suicide prevention hot line.

      Even more astonishing is the recent report on CNN that 41 percent of
      the women at one veterans hospital in Los Angeles have said that
      they were victims of sexual assault from other soldiers while
      serving in the military. What does that say about the moral
      casualties of this war?

      What happened to the America of JFK and Martin Luther King? The
      American rule of law and the U.S. Constitution disappeared at Abu
      Ghraib, Guantanamo and in our foreign policy.

      Extremism is against the pure teachings of Moses, Jesus and
      Mohammad. The Dalai Lama said recently that "it's totally wrong,
      unfair" to call Islam a violent religion.

      Are the Armageddonites, who believe that all 5 billion non-
      Christians on the planet must be killed and sent to hell, not
      violent Christian extremists?

      Are those Israel settlers, who illegally occupy Palestinian
      property, not violent Jewish extremists?

      Scapegoating Muslims leads to the loss of civil rights for all of
      us. Not only do I get stopped for questioning every time I return
      from a foreign trip, but even U.S. Senator Edward Kennedy and Rep.
      John Lewis have been repeatedly stopped and searched at the airport
      and made to fill out multiple forms. We aren't extremists! We love
      our country. We always condemn terrorism, extremism and violence in
      any form.

      There is a need to rebuild mutual trust. Let's not waste our time
      and resources for another 30 years fighting an enemy that doesn't
      exist. Let's correct our mistakes, get out of isolation or what Phil
      Gramm recently described it as "mental recession" and become a
      source of inspiration and prosperity for our nation and the world.
      Mr. Secretary! Let's dislike for ourselves what we dislike for
      others!

      Extremism is wrong for Islam but it's also wrong for America. A
      recent survey indicated that 76 percent of Americans say the U.S.A.
      is going in the wrong direction. Do those oil companies whose profit
      passed $12 billion in three months care about people's opinions or
      our new $500 billion budget deficit?

      If we can dialogue with China and Russia despite their thousands of
      nuclear bombs, how come we can't have a serious dialogue with Iran,
      who isn't even making nuclear weapons, based on our own intelligence
      agencies?


      Imam Mohammad Ali Elahi heads the Islamic House of Wisdom in
      Dearborn Heights. Send letters to The News at 615 W. Lafayette,
      Detroit, MI 48226 or (313) 222-6417 or letters @ detnews.com.


      NOTE: Make sure you zip a letter to the editor in support. Important.

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