LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Encourage moderates to combat hatred

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Osama bin Laden was taught and accepted the extreme radical interpretation of the Koran that calls for us infidels to submit, convert to Islam or be killed. He believed that Allah had called him to lead and rid the earth of nonbelieving infidels — starting with the United States, which he believed ought to be ruled by Shariah law under a caliph.

Bin Laden began his crusade by telling us he had found our Achilles heel: fear. With little investment in four hijacked airliners and 20 suicidal followers on Sept. 11, 2001, he sucked us into two costly and debilitating wars in Afghanistan and Iraq that have resulted in our economy teetering on the brink of bankruptcy and the change of our government from one supportive of wealth-creating capitalism to one that advocates wealth-redistributing socialism.

Alexander Tytler, a Scottish historian, predicted in 1810 that the ongoing progression toward socialism could result in loose fiscal policy, out-of-control spending, hyperinflation, class warfare, panic, rule by decree, martial law, disillusion with Congress and dictatorship.

Fear turns to anger every time I have to take off my shoes going through security because of the would-be “shoe bomber.” Anger can destroy as effectively as bin Laden’s suicide bombers. We must all guard against falling into bin Laden’s fatal trap of fear-to-anger-to-hate.

We need to help. We should encourage the moderate Muslims in our midst as well as the other 85 percent of moderate Muslims in the world to become Koran “reformers,” revising and promoting a new version of Islam that rejects jihad, terrorism and hatred. Otherwise, the world could degenerate into a clash of cultures, an Armageddon that will destroy millions of Muslims and Westerners alike.

H.D. LEIGHTY

Waterloo, Iowa

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