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Re: Bin Laden

Greetings to the List and all Sinc's in name and heart;

I wanted to add what I thought could be a bit of a Sinclair perspective on
the current event of our time. I am sure that the terrorist attack was an
attack on our values and our freedoms. I read and seek to understand. One
has to recognize that hate and evil do have a source and when they
resurface, in the world as they have and will continue to do so,they take on
a direct sharing of misery and evil on many innocent individuals.

And the western mind is such that we assume all others are like us, that
they think like us. But this is naive and we in the western civilization
have short term and selective memories. We want justice and we want a
perfect world. But sadly there is a reality. There is a group of people that
really promote a jihad, that believe in it with a passion against all things
western and non Muslim. They are fundamentalists and we forget that the
soccer stadium donated by charities in the west for Kabul was used for
executions under a legal system that we in the west can only shudder at. We
forget about the enslavement and stoning of women.

We forget that these fundamentalists are responsible for blowing up tourist
buses in Egypt, crashing a civilian airliner into the Atlantic last year or
the year before, and that the World Trade Center Towers were one of a string
of such acts. We can fail to acknowledge that 8 million died in a war
between Iran and Iraq. And all Muslims are not alike, they have as differing
perspectives as does any other religion. And these attacks are not over,
there will be others, because of a belief system that fosters hate, racism
and intolerance. It was not for want of trying that the LA Airport was not
bombed, or Seattle did not have a terrorist attack on New Years Eve.
Terrorism is not going away with Bin Laden. Some individuals somewhere are
sitting down and plotting the next target that will grab world attention.
And do not under estimate the damage to innocents. We have a trillion dollar
damage done to the economy, an airline industry is shambles, unemployment,
and the costs are still mounting. In the middle east children that should be
smiling and playing are carrying guns and taught to hate Jews, Americans and
the infidels. So while we may want to play in a perfect world, it is not one
in which evil and ignorance choose to play on our terms and with our rules.
They continue to operate with different values and different perspectives.
Terror is a newer tactic because it undermines democracy, it attacks
governing institutions and breeds fear. There are rules that terrorists live
by and civilian casualties are not lives but symbols and of no value.
Terrorism is cheap and easy to implement by a very few and costs a great
deal to defend against. Terrorism is sadly very effective.

So what do I see as a solution? One is to recognize that that evil stems
from ignorance and intolerance. Knowledge and wisdom are what has overcome
most acts of evil over time. We value education, we value knowledge and some
of us even wisdom. We need the tools of communication and understanding that
were put into Roslyn. Tolerance comes from knowledge. We must seek to
understand first ourselves, then the hearts and minds of man and some men
that choose hate and fear. Mottos are not simple words; "Commit Thy Work to
God" is a calling.  Sharing understanding is one way but work implies doing.

I commend to your reading lists Kennedy's recent book "Battle for God" which
explains fundamentalism in the three western religions. I also commend
"Roslyn" by Tim Wallace Murphy which has a brilliant explanation of the
traditional southern "written" traditions of religions with the northern "
spiritual- natural" religious cultures.".  To understand what is happening
requires education and understanding. Man has religions, these beliefs can
lead to love or guns.

To know thy enemy is to see ignorance which is bred and fostered as "total
perfect knowledge" and instills hate for all other ways, ideas, and values.
Clarity is simply to see matters for what they really are.

Neil Sinclair

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