While I would like to compliment Staff Sgt. Azhar Sher on his dedication to duty, several statements in "Muslim soldier’s fears lead to off-post housing request" (article, Dec. 12) are troubling.

In spite of deploying six times since 2002, I have always been convinced that this fight is not against Islam and that terrorists are not representative of Muslims in general. In my experience, Muslims want what we all want: to live in peace and provide a better opportunity for their children than they had.

But Sher asks, "Do you want to live with someone whose religion you’ve been fighting?" Later, he adds, "Sir, the other cultures you’re talking about, we’re not at war with."

I thought I was fighting terrorists, not against his religion or his culture. But Sher, as a representative of his religion, is the only one who can tell me which one of us is right.

In "U.S. Muslims worry about image after shootings at Fort Hood" (article, Dec. 12) Salaheddin Mustafa (president of the American Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee of New Jersey) adds, "It’s a necessary evil," when speaking about [his group] responding to the Fort Hood, Texas, shootings.

Necessary evil? Doesn’t that mean he supports the shootings, and that speaking out against them is an evil that is forced on him?

The words that come out of some people’s mouths aren’t very reassuring. Abortion clinic bombers and those who murder abortion doctors are not "Christian terrorists." They are just dirt bags using Christianity to justify their destructive and psychotic tendencies. Why isn’t that true of "Muslim terrorists" as well?

Islam is being hijacked by a tiny but vocal minority of similar dirt bags. They bring far more scorn upon Islam than a cartoon in a Danish newspaper. Until Muslims start speaking to that, Sher will have to accept being viewed with suspicion.

Sgt. Maj. Thomas Brooks (retired)Jalalabad, Afghanistan

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