April 19, 2013 at 7:38 AM
Is the Boston Marathon bomber Muslim?
Conservative does not mean intolerant, and lunatic does not mean terrorist
I definitely understand why Arsalan Iftikhar wishes that the Boston Marathon bomber not be a Muslim [“Please, God, don’t let the Boston Marathon bomber be a Muslim,” Opinion, April 18]. Muslims are often held to be guilty by association for Islamic terrorist acts.
However, he betrays his own prejudice toward conservatives by conflating conservatism with intolerance. Most conservatives are no more or less prejudiced than anyone else.
The problem Muslims have is that factions in Islam (and some other religions) hold beliefs that lead to violence. There seems to be a significantly sized subset of Islam that is sympathetic to using violence as political expression.
Iftikhar also characterized other acts of mass violence as acts of terror e.g., he refers to the Virginia Tech shootings as acts of terrorism. Terrorism is a horrible form of political expression, but some mass violence is an act of lunacy and not virulent political speak.
While not all acts of terror attempted or actualized are perpetrated by Muslims, too many do fall at their feet.
Steven J. Goldsmith, Bellevue
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