Letters to the Editor

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ISLAM: Presidents must balance our values

Letter by Christopher Staeheli, Tacoma on Sep. 17, 2012 at 1:18 pm | 1 Comment »
September 17, 2012 3:02 pm

Baffling, isn’t it, this repeated pattern of ill-conceived acts that insult Islam and inflame some believers into violence. These insulting acts, in the guise of protected “free speech,” further endanger our troops and Americans serving abroad.

While some acts were not calculated to insult, bully and inflame, the purpose of this “film” is unquestionable. We can stubbornly deflect from the deliberate offensive nature of this act by simply standing behind the American value of “free speech.”

For a president, it is more complicated. There are competing values here. There is the American value of religious tolerance. Then there is the commander in chief’s obligation to our troops not to unnecessarily increase their risk of harm.

It’s baffling that someone seeking the presidency does not balance these competing values and concerns. How can anyone not recognize that, in this case, “free speech” that increases the risk to the lives of American soldiers and others serving abroad must be disavowed strongly and clearly? What explains the disconnect?

Perhaps those who do not have a son or daughter serving America abroad do not get it. Perhaps the disconnect is more ingrained in the nature of someone who at age 18 pins down a younger student and cuts off his hair because he is “different” and views it now as simply a “prank.”

There is no doubt that those with a son or daughter defending us “get it” and want the bullying and insulting acts toward Islam to stop.

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