Response to ‘Small talk’

Ashish P. Vartak

I write in response to the March 9 letter to the editor âÄúSmall talk a bridge over big divides.âÄù The author brings forth an issue pertinent not only to the internal political climate in the United States, but also has repercussions in the so-called âÄúanti-MuslimâÄù movement in several of the European Union states. I have two questions to ask the author as well as other persons who may think like him. First, why do you not acknowledge that the root causes of these prejudices are both the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, as well as the documented inability of orthodox Muslim countries to let other religions co-exist in peace? This is the question that the so-called âÄúsilent majorityâÄù would like to ask you. Second, you certainly are doing a good job by educating people in the U.S. about the moderate faction of Muslims who do not subscribe to terror. Are these efforts also supplemented by efforts to fight against Muslim terrorist organizations? Can you or your organizations openly and publicly initiate efforts to antagonize terrorist organizations like al-Qaida? Until and unless such questions are answered, the âÄúsilent majorityâÄù of the U.S., as well as the European Union, will remain unconvinced about the moderate nature of Islam. Ashish P. Vartak University faculty