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Letters to the Editor

- The Washington Times - Friday, July 20, 2007

The boiling point on illegals

On July 13, The Washington Times published the article "County's alien crackdown may spread to other areas" (Metropolitan), for which Walter Tejada, vice chairman of the Arlington County Board of Supervisors, provided the following comments: "A vocal, angry minority in their locality has manipulated the system... to convince the political leaders to enact a very punitive, anti-immigrant resolution. We now see in Prince William County an example of government-sanctioned xenophobia. If anger and divisiveness is what they intended to achieve, they have succeeded."

The Prince William County Board of Supervisors, the social welfare group Help Save Manassas and supporters of the recent legislation in Prince William County have been accused of being racist and xenophobic. Do the accusers understand what these terms mean?

We are not xenophobic, nor are we racist. We don't fear or hate foreigners. As U.S. citizens, comprising every possible racial, ethnic and cultural background, we do not feel we are superior to non-U.S. citizens. We simply ask that anyone who wishes to immigrate to this country follow our immigration laws and come to our country legally. Illegal aliens, regardless of race, ethnicity and cultural background, are violating our laws once they enter the United States without the permission of the federal government.

Illegal immigration and amnesty supporters cannot provide arguments against the fact that illegal aliens are just that — illegal. So what do they do? They accuse the other side of being racist and xenophobic.

The passage of the resolution in Prince William County was not manipulated by a "vocal, angry minority." The majority of U.S. citizens do not want amnesty. We need only to look at the public outcry that took place when the Senate tried to ram an amnesty bill down our throats. The U.S. citizens spoke, and the Senate was forced to listen.

The resolution was not "punitive" — it simply denies certain services to illegal aliens who have no legal right to those services under federal or state law. The resolution is not "anti-immigrant" — an immigrant would be in the United States with the authorization of the federal government and would be entitled to certain services. The resolution is not "government-sanctioned xenophobia" because U.S. citizens do not fear non-U.S. citizens.

The only truthful word Mr. Tejada used was "angry." We are angry because our federal government refuses to enforce our immigration laws. We are angry because the taxpayers pay the enormous burdens that illegal aliens have placed on our communities, states and our country.

The citizens have spoken, and we fully expect our local, state and federal government representatives to enact legislation to solve the illegal alien problem plaguing our great nation.

ALLISON CARMAN KIPP

Manassas

What the Koran says

Surely Maha Akeel, being a Muslim, is aware that the verse in the Koran to which he refers (Sura 2:256: "Let there be no compulsion in religion") in his letter defending the Organization of the Islamic Conference and Shariah ("Slandering Islam," Monday) was superceded by the Sword Verses under the doctrine of abrogation (nasikh):

8.39: "So fight them until there is no more Fitnah [disbelief of non-Muslims] and all submit to the religion of Allah alone in the whole world."

9.5: "Fight and kill the disbelievers wherever you find them, take them captive, harass them, lie in wait and ambush them using every stratagem of war."

9.29: Fight those who do not believe until they all surrender, paying the Jizyah [protective and 'guilt' tax] in submission."

Speaking specifically of Sura 2:256, the Saudi Sheikh Muhammad Saalih al-Munajid, whose lectures and islamic rulings circulate widely throughout the islamic world, confirms the centuries-old Islamic teaching that "the Ayat al-Sayf [the Verse of the Sword] and similar verses abrogate those saying that there is no compulsion to become a Muslim."

These are further codified in the revelation Muhammad received from his deity to: "Fight in the name of Allah and in the way of Allah. Fight against those who disbelieve in Allah. Make a holy war... When you meet your enemies who are polytheists, invite them to three courses of action. If they respond to any one of these, you also accept it and withhold yourself from doing them any harm. Invite them to [accept] Islam; if they respond to you, accept it from them and desist from fighting against them... If they refuse to accept Islam, demand from them the Jizyah. If they agree to pay, accept it from them and hold off your hands. If they refuse to pay the tax, seek Allah's help and fight them." (Sahih Muslim, Book 19, Number 4294)

Shariah is based upon the premise of inequality, which is at the heart of Islam. Shariah regards Muslims, male and female, as worthier than all non-Muslims and Muslim men as above Muslim women, which results in huge injustice, degradation and denial of basic human rights. In past caliphates Jews and Christians were severely restricted in the practice of their religious faiths, education and employment.

Many of the claims of a "golden age" of Islamic civilization rest upon the compilation, translation and then transmission of the writings and achievements of non-Muslims. Since the 11th century, with the cessation of critical enquiry (ijtihad), intellectual stagnation has characterized and blighted Islamic societies.

KATHERINE BARLOW

Vienna

The 'war' that wasn't

While National Drug Control Policy Director John P. Walters laments the invasion of U.S. public lands by international marijuana cartels, perhaps he should take time to review our government's senseless war on drugs ("Cartels grow pot on 'national treasures,' drug czar says," Page 1, Monday).

Over the last several decades, the government has spent billions of dollars fighting its futile "war on drugs" and has failed to produce even the most modest results. So the drug war, which has wasted our tax dollars and even seen innocent Americans wrongly imprisoned or sometimes killed, now has a new victim: our national parks.

BILLY HANKINS

Auburn, Ala.

Biogenerics legislation

Monday's Op-Ed "Proceed with caution" offers the biotechnology lobby's perspective of legislation to grant the Food and Drug Administration authority to approve lower-cost biopharmaceutical products but neglects to mention why a broad coalition supports the legislation. Consumer and employer groups understand that this legislation will:

1) Spur innovation

2) Improve health outcomes for patients through increased access and compliance

3) Reduce the costs of these products that can cost hundreds of thousands of dollars per patient per year.

Without generic competition, prices will continue to place these miracle medicines out of reach for consumers.

All parties in this debate agree that only safe products should be allowed on the market. The FDA has testified that it has the scientific expertise to review these products but currently lacks the authority to approve them. Further, the "interchangeability" or substitutability of biologic products would only be determined by the FDA if its scientists conclude it to be safe for the patient.

The biotech drug lobby claims that biogenerics legislation could undermine innovation.

Drug manufacturers said the same thing 20 years ago when a pathway for traditional generics was created. Since then, innovation has flourished. According to Dr. Scott Gottlieb, former FDA director of Medical Policy Development Commissioner for Medical and Scientific Affairs, biogenerics legislation will actually speed up progress. In short, the time is now for biogenerics legislation.

MARK MERRITT

President and CEO

Pharmaceutical Care

Management Association

Washington