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Jihadists don't speak for vast majority of Muslims

In response to R Healy's claim (Write Back, July 2) that the West will be forced to "annihilate" Islam to prevent the actions of extremists and jihadists, I would like to relay a story from Egypt in 2010, after an attack that left 21 Christians dead.

When Christians arrived at church for their Christmas Eve services a few days later they were greeted by thousands of local Muslims who were there not to attack them, but to stand in solidarity with them and offer themselves as human shields for the entirety of the service. The message was clear - in the words of one brave local: "We either live together, or we die together."

This is not the only example of Christians and Muslims standing together to fight for what is good and just. In Liberia, after nearly two decades of civil war and rule by tyrannical warlords, a woman named Leymah Roberta Gbowee started convincing other women - Muslims and Christians - to stand up and demand an end to the war. As one voice, these brave women stood up to these bloodthirsty criminals and demanded that they negotiate a truce.

In 2003 they succeeded. Liberia held its first democratic elections just two years later. There are countless other examples throughout history which show that, contrary to what many believe, Muslims are not incompatible with today's modern world.

The ones who are in need of condemnation are the brutal and savage jihadists, not the ordinary men and women who want nothing to do with their atrocities.

Treating the jihadists and warlords as if they speak for all of Islam serves no purpose other than to perpetuate ignorance and fear - two things that the West can very much do without.


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