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Kucksdorf column paints Muslims with broad brush

To the editor:

In his June 15 column, Mr. Richard Kucksdorf advocated that the U.S. declare war on “radical jihadi Muslims.” In that piece, he seemed to be making three points: that the Islamic religion spurs its followers to violence; that radical jihadi Muslims are bent on killing anyone they can; and the U.S. should declare a borderless war against them.

To the first point, Islam is not the only religion that has violent passages in its scriptures. The Judeo-Christian scriptures are filled with calls to violence and killing. Even Jesus in John’s gospel advocates carrying a sword. Those scripture passages have been used to justify violence from Christians since the Crusades through the Holocaust, but that history is not a true expression of Christianity, and a few Muslims carrying out terrible acts of violence are not a true expression of Islam.

To his second point, he writes that “America has seen plenty of attacks within our borders by radical jihadi Muslims,” but even Mr. Kucksdorf acknowledges that Muslims suffer the most from acts of violence in the name of Islam. The U.S. response to the Sept. 11 attacks — the war in Afghanistan — has resulted in over 30,000 civilian Afghan deaths. A violent response to violence creates more violence.

To his third point, a borderless war covering the globe would be a terrible mistake. First, it would only make matters worse. The war in Iraq (built on the falsehood that weapons of mass destruction were in Iraq), led to the deaths of hundreds of thousands of people and created instability that helped give rise to groups like ISIS. An unending, borderless war would only embolden people committed to violence. It would alienate desperate people who simply want to survive but would inevitably be caught up in the crossfire, much as they were in Iraq.

Second, we can never eradicate “radical jihadi Muslims” by killing all of them. We can only “win” such a confrontation by working with the countries and the people who are desperately poor and who fear America because of our actions in places like Iraq. In doing so, we undercut the support for violence by giving people a hopeful and peaceful alternative.

Mr. Kucksdorf writes that “I am not saying Muslims are bad.” Unfortunately, I believe his column as a whole may have the opposite effect, feeding discrimination and fear against Muslims.

Dan Robinson,

Shawano