News From Terre Haute, Indiana

February 19, 2013

READERS’ FORUM: Feb. 19, 2013

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Islam contains harsh realities

The tragic curse of human history is the enormity of evil — quite commensurate with all the good — that religion has brought to our species. The future promises to be just as draconian, if not far worse as extremists acquire weapons of mass destruction that can cripple, contaminate or obliterate our major cities.

Along with global warming, intensified by overpopulation, and the pollution and despoiling of the land, sea and air of our precious planet, the radicals of only one religion pose the greatest and most imminent threat to mankind. And those radicals are fanatically driven by their faith in what they perceive as True Islam.

Given the apocalyptic danger — at least for our greatest cities — that the world faces, is it not imperative that we learn as much as possible about the dogma, the politics, the history, and the theology of Islam out of which jihad and the worst of Sharia have emerged?

Dr. Hasan, in his Feb. 10 letter, excoriates Dr. Abhyankar for “spreading hate” and “lies.”

In addition to offering commentary by Muslim and ex-Muslim scholars, Dr. Abhyankar has carefully confined his letters to material found in the three primary sources of Islamic literature: the Koran, the Hadith (the sayings and traditions of Muhammad) and the Sira (the life of Muhammad).

I dare say that Dr. Abhyankar has studied Islam far more than most Muslims, as well as the rest of us. Rather than be promiscuously slammed as a bigot, the professor should be thanked for his scholarly determination to awaken us to the historical realities of Islam that fuel the most egregious elements of that faith.

First and foremost, education — knowing your enemy — is imperative for Muslims no less than non-Muslims if there is to be any effective counter-offensive against the creep of a virulent and violent ideology that has grown into a global menace.

— Saul Rosenthal

Terre Haute

Look first in our own backyard

As I read the Tribune-Star on Feb. 7, I was pleased to see the  article about the SeaPerch program. The SeaPerch program is a wonderful program that affords students STEM activities and a chance to think out of the box designing ROV vehicles.

I was a bit dismayed to see that our local paper was covering a team from southern Indiana. As we always welcome new competition to the SeaPerch experience, one would hope that the local newspaper would look into its own backyard first for news on innovative STEM competitions.

Had the Tribune-Star inquired, it would have found that Honey Creek Middle School has fielded an award-winning team for the last two years in a row and competed at the Greencastle Regional at DePauw University.

For the last few months this dedicated all-girl team has come in early to school to work on its SeaPerch and practiced after school in the pool at Terre Haute South. While practicing, the team looked for ways to modify its designs to improve its performance.

This year team members are Hannah Gage, Megan Truelove, Harlee Vineyard, Dori Springer, Zoe Douglas, Lydia Brubaker, Taylor Brown, Harleen Kaur, Maria Martinez, Julie Lee, Rai Kirtley, Amy Essig, Cinnamon Roe and Saayeh Siahmakoun.

This year’s team is being sponsored by the Honey Creek Parents Booster Club and the Rose-Hulman Homework Hotline. As the coach of the team, I am very proud of our accomplishments.

— David R. Roads

Honey Creek Middle School

Working toward reconciliation

Whether you are a gay activist working for equal access to civil rights or an evangelical Christian who believes that homosexuality is a sin, it seems we all need to go through a process of forgiveness and reconciliation.

As the Dalai Lama has said, “All of us want to be happy. No one wants to suffer. If we act and behave with that in mind, then it will be a good start.”

— Thomas Mooney

Aspen, Colo.