Dr. S. Amjad Hussain’s Oct. 1 op-ed column, “Blame for Mideast violence lies with the provocateurs,” includes a contradiction.
On one hand, he says he is opposed to “violence in the name of religion.” On the other, he suggests that we should blame the recent violence in Libya and Egypt not on the people who committed the violence, but on those who provoked them — the people who made the film trailer about the Prophet Mohammed — and consider restricting their right to free speech.
To apply that logic to other situations, we should blame a rape not on the rapist, but on the woman who wore revealing clothing and provoked the man who raped her.
Freedoms of expression and religion are two of the highest virtues of Western civilization. I hope that someday the Middle East reacts less violently when someone disparages Islam.
Survivor contests Holocaust points
Dr. Hussain rightly describes the Holocaust as “one of the most horrific episodes in history.” As a Holocaust survivor, I support such a characterization of the atrocities committed by the Nazis during World War II.
However, I object to some points in his column. The Holocaust is not in the same category as topless photos of Britain’s Duchess of Cambridge, the wife of Prince William.
Dr. Hussain appears to propose that the denial of the Holocaust should be protected by the principle of freedom of speech. I disagree. It does not matter that there is only a minuscule number of such deniers. Experience shows that lies can outlive the truth.
Without keeping alive the memory of the Holocaust, it may fade into oblivion.
Free speech trumps all else
Dr. Hussain is wrong in his lessons on free speech.
I like my First Amendment rights. I will not be silent when such ridiculous assertions as that provocateurs are to blame for people acting like savages are made.
Our freedoms are not always pretty or polite, but our Founders were smart enough to understand their significance.
‘Sticks and stones’: Words to live by
Dr. Hussain and his fellow Muslims should learn the lesson we grew up with before political correctness supplanted it: Sticks and stones may break my bones, but names will never hurt me.
Rich Democrats in the dark too
The writer of the Sept. 30 Readers’ Forum letter “Romney unaware of how others live” says that because Mitt Romney is wealthy, he cannot know how the rest of American society lives. But President Obama and other prominent Democrats such as Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid, Joe Biden, and John Kerry do?