Words alone won't help latest unrest
In 1797 under the administration of John Adams, the United States and Tripoli signed a treaty in which each pledged that “religion would not be allowed to become a cause of war.” This was in response to the activities of the Barbary pirates, who were seizing American ships, enslaving the crews and forcing conversion to Islam. James Madison, in 1815, sent in the U.S. Navy to stop the piracy. Those events signaled the first official response of America to Islam. Off and on ever since, there have been tense periods of unrest between America and Muslims.
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Fast forward to 2012. The president of Egypt, a member in good standing of the Muslim Brotherhood, tells our president he must arrest and prosecute the makers of an anti-Islam video. The president didn't make a public statement saying that Americans believe in freedom of speech. We don't imprison or do worse to those who make fun of another's religious beliefs or icons. We're a much stronger nation because of that — or at least we were.
President Obama doesn't seem to realize that words alone won't accomplish much, whereas words accompanied by quick and concrete action can accomplish a great deal. And we most certainly don't apologize when an American speaks his or her beliefs, no matter if the statement isn't politically correct.
I don't know if Mitt Romney would do any better as president, but it would be hard to do worse than the incumbent in the White House.
Lawrence M. Neumann, Edmond
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