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We can't ignore the root causes of terror

More explanations of Islam and terrorism. Some gentle persuasion among all the accusations is welcome. Unfortunately, laudable as the intent of these letters appears, on closer inspection both flatter to deceive.

Dr Munjed Farid Al Quotob claims (Write Back, December 23) that terrorism besmirches Islam. Not the case. In fact violence and terror are the reasons for the spread of Islam for centuries.

Far from a latter-day departure from the underlying Islamic ethic, the pattern was set by the Prophet Mohammad himself in AD 630 when he gave the Byzantines the choice of death, conversion or paying protection money to survive. As lately as 1683 the Islamic Ottoman Empire was still besieging Vienna.

The explicitly and repeatedly stated aim of Isis is carrying on the armed struggle to achieve a worldwide Islamic Caliphate.

"Whatabouters" point out - accurately - that neither was Christianity innocent.

Fortunately, for quite a while now Christianity has given up proselytising by violence and slaughter. A significant part of Islam, demonstrably, has not.

You have to wonder if Dr Kevin McCarthy (Write Back, December 26) really wants to support Dr Qutob, or just to have a wee dig at the Brits.

Of course, the National Front's 'Paddy' theory (dictating that every Irish person was either a covert IRA operative or a sympathiser) is rubbish. What he ignores is that, because violence and killings continue, even if not all Irish, or in this case Muslims, are terrorists, surely some clearly must be?

Now with jihadis possibly hidden among the influx of Muslim immigrants the problem grows.

If things are not to get worse we do need to be tolerant of each other. Willing to understand, to compromise, to integrate. All of us.

The hard part of this is that we have to confront our own prejudice. We cannot achieve this if we wilfully ignore or naively give unsustainable excuses for the real root causes of terrorism.

DISSENTER

Carrickfergus, Co Antrim

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