Letters

Letters 05-23-2016

Examine The Priorities Are you disgusted about closing schools, crumbling roads and bridges, and cuts everywhere? Investigate funding priorities of legislators. In 1985 at the request of President Reagan, Grover Norquist founded Americans for Tax Reform (ATR). For 30 years Norquist asked every federal and state candidate and incumbent to sign the pledge to vote against any increase in taxes. The cost of living has risen significantly since 1985; think houses, cars, health care, college, etc...

Make TC A Community For Children Let’s be that town that invests in children actively getting themselves to school in all of our neighborhoods. Let’s be that town that supports active, healthy, ready-to-learn children in all of our neighborhoods...

Where Are Real Christian Politicians? As a practicing Christian, I was very disappointed with the Rev. Dr. William C. Myers statements concerning the current presidential primaries (May 8). Instead of using the opportunity to share the message of Christ, he focused on Old Testament prophecies. Christ gave us a new commandment: to love one another...

Not A Great Plant Pick As outreach specialist for the Northwest Michigan Invasive Species Network and a citizen concerned about the health of our region’s natural areas, I was disappointed by the recent “Listen to the Local Experts” feature. When asked for their “best native plant pick,” three of the four garden centers referenced non-native plants including myrtle, which is incredibly invasive...

Truth About Plants Your feature, “listen to the local experts” contains an error that is not helpful for the birds and butterflies that try to live in northwest Michigan. Myrtle is not a native plant. The plant is also known as vinca and periwinkle...

Ask the Real Plant Experts This letter is written to express my serious concern about a recent “Listen To Your Local Experts” article where local nurseries suggested their favorite native plant. Three of the four suggested non-native plants and one suggested is an invasive and cause of serious damage to Michigan native plants in the woods. The article is both sad and alarming...

My Plant Picks In last week’s featured article “Listen to the Local Experts,” I was shocked at the responses from the local “experts” to the question about best native plant pick. Of the four “experts” two were completely wrong and one acknowledged that their pick, gingko tree, was from East Asia, only one responded with an excellent native plant, the serviceberry tree...

NOTE: Thank you to TC-based Eagle Eye Drone Service for the cover photo, taken high over Sixth Street in Traverse City.

Home · Articles · News · Random Thoughts · The Fatwa of Osama bin...
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The Fatwa of Osama bin Laden

Robert Downes - May 9th, 2011
The fatwa of Osama bin Laden
Experienced travelers know that the world is generally a safe place where
one is far more likely to encounter smiles and the hand of friendship than
the kind of scary situations we see on the TV news each night.
But it’s never wise to travel blind, and for Americans in particular, that
has meant being mindful of the fatwa of Osama bin Laden over the past 13
years.
In 1998, bin Laden and four other representatives of jihadist groups
signed a fatwa, or holy decree, that provided religious authorization and
justification for the killing of Americans and Jews throughout the world.
By extension, that has come to mean Westerners in general.
As seen in 9/11, the Bali bombings of 2002, the Madrid train bombings of
2004 and the London subway bombings of 2005, Osama bin Laden and his
minions took this fatwa to heart. This is not to mention the thousands of
innocent Muslim persons who have died, often in anonymity, for not living
up to al Qaeda’s perverted ideal of Islam.
There are a fair number of Americans weighing in with the notion that the
death of any human being shouldn’t be celebrated, and that the happy
demonstrations in Washington, D.C., New York, and across the world are
unseemly. Some feel this way from religious convictions, and some for
reasons grounded in humanist traditions.
Fair enough, but perhaps they might recall that under the fatwa, bin Laden
& Co. would have had no such qualms in sending them off to heaven in a New
York second, no pun intended.
For what it’s worth, even the angels were depicted as having venial and
vindictive natures at times in the Old Testament and in works such as
Paradise Lost. We’re no better.
Osama bin Laden gave up any claim to humanity long before he sent his
goons to slit the throats of stewardesses with box-cutting knives, prior
to ramming jets into the Twin Towers and Pentagon.
Our humanity is not diminished by celebrating the death of bin Laden; it’s
a toast to the eradification of evil. Given the chance, this friend of
medieval barbarism might have justified killing every man, woman and child
in the Western world with a song in his heart. He belongs at the bottom
of the ocean and the junk heap of history.

THE JOHN BROWN EFFECT
President Obama was wise to keep the death photos under wraps so they
can’t be used to either gloat or inspire. Consider the case of radical
abolitionist John Brown.
Brown was a home-grown terrorist who came out of “Bloody Kansas” in the
1850s, where he had massacred a number of people in the cause of freeing
the slaves.
In 1859 he and 21 men raided the arsenal at Harper’s Ferry on the Potomac
River with the goal of seizing 100,000 rifles and muskets to arm the
slaves and stage an uprising across the South. Although he was captured
and hung, he came to be known as a martyr and hero in the North, and
thousands Civil War troopers went into battle singing a marching song in
his honor: “John Brown’s body is a mouldering in the grave... his soul’s
marching on.”
That conflict -- recently celebrated for its 150th anniversary -- killed
620,000 people, or 2% of the American population.
Somewhere in the Islamic world, someone is crafting the same John
Brown-style legend for Osama bin Laden and writing their own version of
“Glory, glory hallelujah!” We don’t need to give them any more
inspiration to fuel that fire.

 
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