- The Washington Times - Thursday, September 20, 2001

Muslims and Christians are 'brothers and sisters' in God

During the past six years, I have had the pleasure of knowing and becoming friends with many Muslim people. Mostly, this has been through my association with delegates from Arab countries, as we worked side by side to promote family friendly international policies at U.N. conferences.
Because of this friendly association, I have been invited to participate in conferences in Sudan and Pakistan both countries which are prominent in the news at this time. As a Christian and as a U.S. citizen, I was treated with utmost respect. The treatment I received in Sudan was especially noteworthy. In the midst of the Monica Lewinsky scandal, President Clinton ordered the bombing of Sudan's only pharmaceutical factory. About a million refugees outside the capital of Khartoum are now desperately in need of medicine.
Last October in Pakistan, I called Muslim women "my sisters" as I thanked them for their support of family values and for upholding the importance of motherhood. We hugged, with tears in our eyes, and felt a strong bond in our cause.
Now, some of those same men and women are opposing the use of Pakistani soil for a war against their Muslim brothers and sisters in Afghanistan. I don't know the answer I don't even know what questions to ask. I do, however, know this my Muslim friends are very good people. They love God, and they love their families. They are a peaceful people and would each oppose terrorism as much as I.
We need to be careful not to judge people by the evil acts of a few who may be similar in skin color or religious belief. I want the Muslim people in this nation to know that, when others associate them with the horrific tragedy of last week, I share their pain. We should show such people our love for them, as Jesus would have us do.

SUSAN ROYLANCE
President
United Families International
Salt Lake City

'They wrought mightily for freedom'

If you have been worried about how the recent attacks on the United States will affect the health of the economy and the markets, you're not alone. On Monday, the first day of trading since the attacks, the Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 684 points (7.1 percent), closing at 8,921.18. The Nasdaq fell 116 points to levels not seen since October 1998.
These new valuations are part of what makes American capitalism the strongest wealth-producing engine in the world.
On Monday, the New York Stock Exchange handled its largest volume in history. In an orderly manner, about 2.3 billion shares traded hands as millions of Americans helped determine the current challenges could best be met by investing in companies in the gold, defense, telephone, security and storage sectors. Millions of Americans also determined that other industries would experience a decrease in demand for their services. Stock prices dropped for airline, hotel, casino and on-line travel companies. Although Monday saw the largest point loss on the Dow, it did not even make the top 10 biggest daily percentage drops.
For every 2.3 billion shares sold, there was an equal number of shares bought. Many Americans called their brokers to buy stock based on the patriotic sentiment that America is a strong nation whose economy will recover quickly. Monday's drop offered ample opportunity for confident investors to invest in American companies at a discounted rate.
If history is any indication, those who buy stocks over the next month will get a good return on their investment. Historically, after the past six attacks that caused the Dow to drop sharply, the market rebounded 11.3 percent after six months.
Investors need not feel guilty about resuming trading in the American markets. As President Calvin Coolidge once remarked, "The chief business of the American people is business. They are profoundly concerned with producing, buying, selling, investing and prospering in the world."
Speaking to the New York Chamber of Commerce in November 1925, Coolidge said: "New York is an imperial city, but it is not a seat of government. The empire over which it rules is not political but commercial. The great cities of the ancient world were the seats of both government and industrial power. The Middle Ages furnished a few exceptions. The great capitals of former times were not only seats of government but they actually governed. In the modern world government is inclined to be merely a tenant of the city. Political life and industrial life flow side by side, but practically separated from each other. When we contemplate the enormous power, autocratic and uncontrolled, which would have been created by joining the authority of government with the influence of business, we can better appreciate the wisdom of the fathers in their wise dispensation which made Washington the political center of the country and left New York to develop into its business center. They wrought mightily for freedom."

DAVID JOHN MAROTTA
Marotta Asset Management Inc.
Charlottesville

We don't want bin Laden alive

In the tumult following the vicious and cowardly attacks upon the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, President Bush has properly focused upon rooting out terrorism. But in pressing to get Osama bin Laden "dead or alive," we may be making a grave error. I have seen no analysis that considers what happens if bin Laden is actually turned over to us alive. Arresting him would actually do more damage to our cause than good, hindering our ability to deal with the immediate problem of securing our country. If arrested, bin Laden could maximize his damage to U.S. interests.
Consider this: bin Laden has acted just like a good criminal defendant by steadfastly denying any involvement in the attacks. He probably has some understanding of U.S. culture and suspected that we would investigate his atrocities forensically, treating them as crimes. It is not a giant step to suppose that he would be aware that, if taken into custody, he would be perceived as a political prisoner in some quarters. In a federal prison, he would have a platform from which he could make pronouncements about jihad against the United States. An "us vs. them" approach could work to his advantage even among more moderate Muslims. Plus, elements of the media would love interviewing the "alleged" and "accused" terrorist and publishing his poison.
A further complication is that, in a legal sense, we might not be able to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that bin Laden was involved in the attacks. A scenario in which he could inflame the fundamentalist Muslim world from behind bars is bad enough. But what if he was to get away with it?
The worst scenario for U.S. security interests is if the Taliban surrender bin Laden. We would be unable to even adequately punish the Taliban "government," because they would have cooperated and did as we asked. Furthermore, nuclear club member Pakistan might be destabilized as a result of internal dissension, since the Taliban would certainly surrender bin Laden to the United States through them. This would create a cause for the radical Muslims in Pakistan to rally around.
The Bush administration clearly does not expect the Taliban leaders to surrender bin Laden. But what if they do?

MICHAEL J. GEORGE
Fredericksburg, Va.

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