Letters to the Editor

Learn about the real Islam

As much as many of us would like to see the United States withdraw all its troops from Iraq, the activities there indicate that this is highly unlikely. We are building five permanent military bases in Iraq and also one of the largest U.S. embassies in the world is under construction in Baghdad. All signs point to a long-term presence in this war-torn country. Given this probability, one positive thing that we in the “West” can do is to learn about the people’s way of life and the basic teachings of Islam. Education and information are vital if we are to ever come to a peaceful relationship with the inhabitants of the Middle East.

Much of the news through the popular media would have us believe that we already know all that is necessary about the faith of Muhammad by looking at the actions of a few radical fanatics, and that our relationship with this worldwide religious community should be one of confrontation and war. To view Islam through the eyes of these extreme fundamentalists is akin to viewing Christianity through the eyes of members of the Ku Klux Klan; clearly not an accurate presentation. I think we could all use a clearer picture and a wider perspective.

In an effort to help in this educational process and give a more truthful and positive view of Islam; their will be a forum on “Islam & Middle Eastern Issues,” on Sunday, May 27, 1 to 3 p.m. at the Oak Harbor Library Conference Room.

The speaker will be Mike Marks, who is a Special Agent with the NCIS attached to the FBI Puget Sound Joint Task Force. Prior to this billet, he served in Bahrain in the Arabian Gulf for nine years. Mike has traveled throughout the region. He has participated in numerous investigations, including the USS Cole and Khobar Towers.

His talk will be a “nutshell” description of Islam from its beginnings to the present day. It covers the basics of Islam and how it relates to today’s problems. Hope to see you there.

Jack Tingstad


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