In response to Larry Loeschen on Steve Kabe,
I (a Christian) took it very offensive in the manner in which you spoke of the Muslim countries and people.
I am a person who tries to see the positive in all things and understand that it is very difficult at times to understand a person's true purpose through written words in comparison to a face to face conversation.
Therefore, I am going to respond in a way in which I read your article whether it be the way you intended it to come off or not.
I do not believe it does anyone any good to reinforce the harsh stereotypes of any culture including the Muslim people.
Education is the key to knowledge and firsthand experience is even better than what you can read in a book or see on TV.
I had the pleasure of getting to know someone at Northwestern College in Orange City, Iowa who was from Pakistan.
Yes he was Muslim.
He lived with an individual from India who was Christian.
If you do not know, these two countries have the stereotype of hating one another.
So how could these two grow to be best friends at a Christian institution???
And why would a fine Christian institution allow a Non-Christian into the school in the first place?
Maybe it is because Jesus taught us acceptance, not hatred.
Jesus loved all people unconditionally, not just the ones who believed the same things he did.
My Muslim friend and I had the discussion in college about whether all Muslims were bad people who hated those who were not like them.
He explained what I have come to believe today with good reasoning.
There are always going to be radicals that give the whole bunch a bad name.
Unfortunately there may be more extremists in the Muslim communities than in others around the world, but nevertheless, we should not pile the whole bunch together and stereotype!
If you were to go to the website www.KKK.com, they preach about their purpose of "love NOT hate."
Yes the KKK is a Christian organization. How would that look to all other religions across the world if the media highlighted this as much as they highlight the acts of the Muslim Extremists? Let us not forget, Hitler too was a devote Christian that I think we can all agree did not turn out too well.
At a time where more and more people are coming to the western world for higher level education, the students at today's universities and colleges are becoming more exposed to a diversified culture.
This is a very good thing, but unfortunately our older generations do not get to share in this experience and still hold these false stereotypes which only hurt, NOT help.
With respect to the claims about "tolerance, religious pluralism, a free and independent press, and equal rights to women," this has only come about here in America within the last one hundred years.
It was not until 1920 when women finally had the right to vote, 1960s with the integration of whites and blackso on and so forth.
I think we can all agree that countries do not progress at the same rate, but throughout time and education, they too will have the same privileges we so freely enjoy here in America.
I do not know where you have travelled, or who you have met Mr. Loeschen, but if your TV is the only filtered source you have as to who the Muslim people really are, please educate yourself before you write in again.
Better yet, let's have a face to face discussion as civilized people do.
Royce Van Roekel, Estherville