I am sickened to my stomach and outraged over the senseless deaths of the United Nations employees in Afghanistan by a lynch mob that was demonstrating the burning of the Quran by a small fringe church in the United States.

Was the pastor’s action wrong? Of course it was, but this is the land of the free because of the brave and, as reprehensible as his action was to burn the Quran, he is entitled to free speech. Let’s not place blame on Pastor Terry Jones. The blame is fully on those so-called radical political imams or mullahs who have incited these people.

These deaths are unacceptable and these lynch mobs need to be brought to justice. There is no justification of this or violence in the name of religion. And as a Muslim I can tell you that this has nothing to do with Islam; rather it is a fringe radical element that has taken advantage of a volatile situation to spread its ideological dogmatic agenda.

The element’s actions are criminal at best and I hope the Afghan government will bring these perpetrators to justice, so as to send a clear message that in the future any mullah or some radical imam who provokes a situation like this will be dealt with to the full extent of the law.

Sgt. Mohamud Abdi

Fort Bragg, N.C.

View is a victory for terrorists

Regarding the April 7 letter “Pastor should be charged”: The writer has bought into the terrorists’ propaganda.

As Americans, we value the First Amendment to the Constitution, which includes freedom of expression. To that end, Pastor Terry Jones chose to exercise that right. Was it in poor taste? Perhaps yes, perhaps no.

I say propaganda because if we become afraid to exercise our own noninfringing rights for the sake of not offending someone else, we diminish and devalue our rights — the rights that we, the U.S. military, defend.

As for the pastor being sent to jail (for treason?), what crime has he committed within U.S. law that would warrant it? Is the letter writer referring to the murders committed by Islamists? Do we hold Colt Defense in any way responsible for the wounds or deaths caused by our M-4s? Is there anything anyone could say to you that would cause you to go out and commit murder?

So no, in this case it is not treason. Also, recall that there were violent riots last fall even though Jones chose to cancel his “trial” the first time around.

I understand the letter writer’s concern for his fellow soldiers. I am on my second tour of Iraq, I have a brother on a combat outpost on the Afghanistan-Pakistan border and another in Army ROTC, so this is very near to my heart. But this is no reason to roll over and cave in to self-censorship. And murder is never a rational outcome.

Sgt. Joseph Lach

Victory Base Complex, Iraq

Sign Up for Daily Headlines

Sign up to receive a daily email of today's top military news stories from Stars and Stripes and top news outlets from around the world.

Sign Up Now