Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

Letters to the Editor

Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

Letters to the Editor

Article excerpt

Focus on improving education in Middle East

Regarding John Cooley's March 17 Opinion piece, "What the Middle East needs most": Recent kidnappings by terrorists have revealed that the kidnappers knew nothing of how Christianity is divided into many forms - the terrorists knew nothing of the Protestant and Roman Catholic differences - or even Christianity's moderate and fundamentalist factions.

Christians, too, should remember that there are many divisions within Islam, the main ones being between Shiite and Sunni.

Most religions are not monolithic, and that leaves much room for negotiation, tolerance, and mutual understanding.

When I served as chaplain in the world's second-largest (at that time) prison, I noticed that large numbers of young, ordinary - even moral and honest young people were there simply because they had not been educated enough. Education and ethical training are the keys to a better society.

Henry G. Rutledge Fair Oaks, Calif.

Regarding John Cooley's recent Opinion piece on education in the Middle East: The article addresses a sad reality of hundreds of millions of people in the Middle East who live below the poverty line. These people for one reason or another do not get to reap the benefits of the ridiculous oil prices. They don't have access to good education and they don't have access to good living standards. A good education system that is rooted in their cultural and historical preference is a pivotal starting point for development.

Many Egyptian children are educated in madrassah-like schools. This is the only available option for the vast majority of underprivileged people. The current educational system for the outcast is outdated and obsolete, and just adds to social inequality.

Sayed El Baz Frederick, Md.

Media should support the war effort

In response to your March 19 editorial, "Five years on: media's role in Iraq": I grew up during World War II when the media supported the war effort instead of undermining it as the press has done since Korea. …

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