Editor, Daily Nexus,
Justin M. Rughe’s article “Support Israel; ‘The Muslims are out to Destroy our World'” (Nov. 7) in no way represents the feelings of the majority of those who support Israel. No one who believes in justice and equality can write that “the 100 millions Muslims and Arabs are the problem” (besides the fact that there are roughly 600 million Muslim-Arabs in the Middle East, one million of them in Israel). Muslims, as a group, are most certainly not “out to destroy our world.” No ethnic or religious population should be pigeonholed as essentially genocidal and intolerant, the way Mr. Rughe does. It is Rughe’s hypocritical intolerance of religion that is “un-American.”
Certain individuals and groups should, however, be labeled as such, and this is where confusion results. Osama bin Laden does in fact envision a mortal battle between the Muslim and Judeo-Christian worlds. Osama bin Laden will certainly never accept our way of life. But while he represents a radical contingent that is in fact Islamic, he isn’t a spokesman for the rest of the Islamic world.
The state of Israel wants peace. Israel is the only democracy in the region and maintains a commitment to religious freedom and plurality. Furthermore, we ought to look to Israel as a model for dealing with the threat of terrorism. But Israel does not seek to destroy anyone, or desire to remain enemies with her Arab and Muslim neighbors. Israel believes that the path to peace is through dialogue and mutual understanding. Those who believe in peace through dialogue rather than violence should support Israel, not those who believe the Muslims are the enemy. Beliefs grounded in intolerance can never result in any genuine solution to the Middle East conflict or terrorism.
President, American Students for Israel