There were two separate newspaper articles published on the Taleban recently: one in The Toronto Star, and the other in The Globe and Mail (a Toronto Newspaper, and a Canadian National newspaper) . Both articles were very large and decried the Taleban from the Western point of view and giving many examples. Neither article gave the Muslim point of view. So we wrote Letters to the Editor for both papers. The Toronto Star published our letter to them, but the Globe and Mail did not publish our letter to them. Here are both of our letters:

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To: The Toronto Star, Letter to the Editor
Re: Commander of the Faithful, April 29, 2001

Not once did you mention in your article that the Taleban are an incredible embarrassment to the Muslim world. Why is that?

The Taleban have clearly violated Islamic law by destroying those Buddhist statues in Afghanistan. They clearly violate Islamic law with their misogynistic treatment of women.  Just because the Taleban say they are Muslim doesn't mean that they follow the teachings of Islam, even if they say they do.

It is the same with the Aryan brotherhood. Just because they claim to be Christian, it doesn't mean that racial hatred and murder are Christian tenets, nor does it mean that they follow Christian doctrine because they say they do.

Yes, there are people who lie and mislead and do hideous things.

Just because a person or group makes a statement, it does not necessarily mean that they are also telling the truth, either knowingly or unknowingly. Nor does it necessarily mean that they also have a full grasp of the facts. Likewise, if a person or group that is Muslim, says that they are doing something in order to follow Islam, it does not necessarily follow from such a statement that they are actually telling the truth, or that they have a reliable understanding of the facts.

To be able to determine if they are telling the truth, or that they have a proper understanding of an issue, one has to know a little something about Islam, and then it will be abundantly clear.
 

Rabia Mills
The Canadian Society of Muslims

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To: The Globe and Mail, Letter to the Editor
Re: We've gone back to the Stone Age Sat. May 5, 2001

The Taleban are an immensely wayward group and are considered so throughout the world by Muslims. Their actions are extremely
reprehensible to Muslims. Most of the Taleban's actions as reported in your article go against the teachings of Islam despite their insistence that they are following the Qur'an.

Take for instance the Taleban's destruction of the Buddhist statues. The Qur'an emphasizes religious tolerance. It says,  "Revile not [i.e. do not insult] those whom they call upon besides God [e.g. Buddhists and their statues] lest they out of spite revile God in ignorance. Thus have We made alluring to each people its own beliefs ..." (Qur'an 6:108). The Qur'an then predicts that there will be consequences for those who do not abide by its injunctions - as we have seen already in India. A group of people there reacted to the Taliban's destruction of the Buddhist statues by burning the Holy Qur'an!
 

Rabia Mills
The Canadian Society of Muslims

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For information on the Muslim expression of hate please see  http://muslimcanada.org/sufi/loveandhate.htm#hate