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Regarding "Tolerance and rational thought" (letter, Nov. 24), I find the headline of the letter highly ironic considering what the writer is advocating. To judge a large group of Americans (2.5 million, according to a Pew Research Center survey) based on the actions of one or a few members of that group flies in the face of rational thinking.

The letter writer seems to lay the blame for the Fort Hood, Texas, shooting on the fact that the U.S. military accepts recruits from various cultural, ethnic and religious backgrounds. This is one of our greatest strengths.

If a policy were to be enacted that immediately discharged all Muslims serving in the military, we would be without around 3,500 soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines, the majority of whom have served their native or adopted homeland honorably. This hypothetical policy would also deprive the Department of Defense of personnel who, because of their backgrounds, are native speakers of languages the DOD spends millions of dollars training non-native personnel to learn, such as Farsi and Arabic.

If it were rational to profile all Muslims based on the alleged actions of Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan, wouldn’t it also be rational to profile all Christians on the actions of Timothy McVeigh or the murderer of Dr. George Tiller (a physician who performed abortions)?

The Fort Hood shooting was a terrible tragedy. An even greater tragedy would be to allow the deaths of the victims to be used as an excuse to justify bigotry and hatred.

Staff Sgt. Casey LeavingsOsan Air Base, South Korea


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