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Walter Harbert's Response to Sida

Reader comment on item: [Freedom House report on] Saudi Venom in U.S. Mosques

Submitted by Walter Harbert (United Kingdom), Feb 5, 2005 at 01:05

Dear Sida,

Thank you for your response ! I would like to expand my original comments in reply to your response. First, I think that it is important that our country realize that the most recent attack (9 - 11) might have been avoided had there been better security at our airports and also by having better background screening of who enters our country and their subsequent activities thereafter. All that is water under the bridge and hopefully we can do better in preventing these things from happening again. So far we have. I would suggest that we further secure our borders and points of entry into America, strengthen our intelligence capabilities, build up our military defenses and be constantly vigilant in protecting our country. These are tangible things that can be done and are the joint responsibility of our government and ourselves. Hopefully, we will not have our (U.S. citizens)' civil liberties and freedoms taken away from us by our own government in the process. On the other hand, you cannot kill an idea or an ideology. People will think what they like and those who want or let themselves to be led will be led. Regarding Saudi Arabia's exporting of hatred to America by infiltrating mosques and disseminating publications, our best defense is to insure our population is well educated to think for themselves and to hopefully choose the right path for their lives. In addition, attendees of mosques may need to be under observation for subversive activities. One of the dangerous things about any religion or ideology is that its believers can be manipulated into doing almost anything by so called "spokespersons". clerics etc. This can happen anywhere.

Saudi Arabia is a trading partner with America. It is in both countries' interests to maintain this relationship. Saudi Arabia does not present a miIitary threat to America. They may present an "ideological threat" but I don't think that it warrants that we should try to change the government or society of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. It is their country, let them live as they like as long as they don't attack us or our allies. It is our responsibility to defend our country and to yes take pro-active actions to prevent attacks. However, as I have said earlier you cannot kill an idea or an ideology. Our country must stand strong and set a good example for the rest of the world to see.

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