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Letters to the editor — Wednesday (10-1-14)

Women key to fight against terrorism
Good for her. Maj. Mariam al-Mansouri, a 35-year-old female fighter pilot for the United Arab Emirates, lead air strikes against the Islamic State last week.
I have been convinced for some time that only a fundamental change in Muslim culture will prevent the torture and slaughter of thousands of innocents. It must be clear to any student of human nature that while the power of the likes of ISIS can be limited by military action, individual jihadists will only be hardened in their resolve toward martyrdom and murder.
The war on terror should be fought on two fronts, the military battlefield and the liberation of women. We in the West have seen the progress that can be made with dedication to tolerance and individual rights. We’ve had our own struggles over the past 400 years with theocracy and religious fundamentalism — whether during the Inquisition, Calvin’s Geneva or New England’s Puritans. We know that tolerance and freedom work.
I do not know what it will take to foment a women’s revolution in Islam. But it must be done. Women must be made free to free the world from terrorism and the coming clash of civilizations.
I am surprised that our women’s organizations have not taken up the cause. Michelle Obama and Laura Bush may have opened the conversation at the recent First Ladies Summit in Africa.
Let us hope that Maj. al-Mansouri will become more than a fighter pilot and become an avatar.
— Dr. Dennis L. Hill
Salisbury

Israel alive & well
My wife and I just returned from a 10-day tour of Israel, and I must say that everything there is still alive and well in that wonderful country. Our group traveled as far south as Masada (next to the Dead Sea) and as far north as the Golan Heights. We were never threatened or felt unsafe whatsoever.
As we toured through this beautiful country, we met some wonderful Jews and Arabs and even ate several meals in Arab restaurants. The media and selected elected officials cast a negative report on Israel as a nation, but I must say that we were treated kindly, toured freely and experienced many delightful things in this Bible country.
We, of course, stayed away from questionable areas as we would in any large city such as Detroit or Chicago or Los Angeles. For safety reasons we stayed in large groups, and stayed in populated areas.
If you plan on traveling to Israel have a great time and return with many stories to share. You leave as a tourist but return as a pilgrim.
— Sid Stewart
Trinity
Positive change
A vote for Raymond Coltrain is a vote for positive change in Rowan County. During Raymond’s previous term as a county commissioner, he proved that his only agenda is doing what is right and best for the citizens of Rowan County. Raymond listens to both sides of the story before he makes a decision. He is realistic and approachable.
Rowan County needs a change, and Raymond Coltrain will help bring about change that will benefit business as well as citizens.
— Karen C Lilly-Bowyer
Salisbury

God’s beauty
The picture of the “Luminous Lantana” in the September 29 edition is so typical of God’s majestic beauty that surrounds us.
Thank you, Jon C. Lakey, for sharing this wonderful reminder of how blessed we are. It surely brightened my day!!
— Patti Allman
Salisbury

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