Careful whom you call a terrorist

Published 8:42 pm Monday, September 21, 2015

To the editor:

A recent opinion piece in the Suffolk News-Herald seemed to blame our problems in the Middle East on Islam and on the alleged weakness of our president in failing to use the term “Islamic terrorists” for the members of ISIS and in his dealings with Iran.

The ISIS thugs are certainly terrorists, but we gain nothing by calling them Islamic terrorists. The effort seems to be to blame their religion.

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Our Christian forefathers were immigrants and refugees when they came to this country. Some of them took the lands and the lives of Indians who were already here. Some self-proclaimed Christians started World War II, killed six million Jews and caused the deaths of many more millions. Other Christians started the war in Iraq, resulting in the loss of thousands of lives, the expenditure of billions of dollars we had to borrow, the disruption of the Middle East and the rise of ISIS.

We don’t call the instigators of these horrific acts “Christian terrorists.”

The vast majority of the followers of the major religions of the world are good people. There are also some evil people in every religion. Our problem often is that we think our own religion is the one and only true religion and that the followers of other faiths are heretics doomed to eternal damnation.

Such views only lead to more hatred and conflict. We are fortunate to live in a truly great country. It would be even greater if we showed more respect for other people and their religions.

The situation in Iran is complex, just like in the rest of the world. When we think of Iran, we remember that the Iranians held our diplomats in captivity for more than 400 days. When the Iranians think of us, they remember that our CIA overthrew their duly selected government and installed the Shah, who was generally hated by the Iranians.

Our interference in Iranian political affairs and our support of the Shah and his tyrannical rule helped to cause the revolution in Iran and the establishment of the current unfriendly regime there.

President Obama, working diplomatically with other world leaders, was able to stop Iran’s imminent development of nuclear weapons and another probable armed conflict in the Middle East. That is strength, not weakness.

Sam Glasscock