Letter: Condemning terrorism

The hostage taking in Beslan has been widely condemned by Muslims around the world. In an editorial titled, “Criminals, Not Muslims,” The L.A. Times reported the majority Muslim view and quoted Egypt’s top cleric, Grand Sheikh Mohammed Sayed Tantawi, who said during prayers Friday “those who carry out the kidnappings are criminals, not Muslims.”

“But those asked to do the condemning,” in the words of Tim Weis writing for GlobeAndMail.com, “most likely had nothing to do with the atrocity and don’t appreciate the insinuation that they support the slaughter unless they explicitly deny it.” Condemnations by ordinary Muslims living in the comfort of Champaign-Urbana or for that matter condemnation by the Grand Sheikh, are unlikely to have an impact on the perpetrators of these atrocities anyway. Once again, L.A. Times is hinting at the troubled history of the region

100,000 Chechens, mostly civilians, killed in the last decade in a brutal war suggests a logical step that might actually have an impact: The newspaper editorial went on to urge that “governments fighting such assaults need to know what leads to the crimes and find out if there’s a way to drain the swamps that produce them.”

Rizwan Uddin

University employee