to the Editor

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Monday, September 24, 2001

Remember 9-11-01

Racial profiling of Arabs must stop

In five incidents last week, U.S. airplane crews removed men of Arab ancestry from planes without any apparent cause. One man missed his brother's wedding because of this discrimination.

News reports say a flight crew "was uncomfortable" or did not "feel safe." That's exactly what the terrorists wanted. They want to divide America.

We should applaud airlines that have said, publicly and to their employees, that they will not accept racial profiling. They recognize that the place for increased security is at check-in, and that the tools for enhancing security should be legitimate, not brought on by paranoia.

As for flight crews who appoint themselves vigilantes, I'm "uncomfortable" flying with them. If they deny service to passengers for no good reason, I'll find another flight, too.

Mike Morton

Weakness invites more violence

Do the people protesting the war at the Federal Building and at college campuses realize that aggressive war has been and will be waged against us?

We are justified in the eyes of God and man to defend innocent lives. Vengeance is secondary; preventing further attacks and eliminating these evildoers is the unpleasant reality.

If we do nothing, we will appear weak and only invite more devastation. We are in a real war and we have to fight, if not, you or someone you know may be next.

Matt Will


"If they call you, I told him he should go."

John Lessar

Wounded Korean War veteran, who told his 21-year-old son that it was his time to serve after President Bush declared a war on terrorism last week.

"Yes, we've been hit. We've been bruised, but we're by no means down and out."

Terryl Vencl

Executive director of the Maui Hotel Association, on the sharp downturn in tourism since terrorists hijacked and crashed four planes Sept. 11, hitting the Pentagon and bringing down the World Trade Center.

Evangelists spewed hate in name of God

Because we are a free nation, and for the most part, a nation that allows each and every citizen a chance for personal fulfillment irrespective of race, religion or culture, we were targeted, attacked and horribly scarred for living the American lifestyle.

Sept. 11 was an attack on modern civilization and all that encompasses. Imagine my continued horror, when from the mouths of two national religious figures, Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson, I heard words spoken in the name of Christianity that laid blame for the attack on God's wrath against America because of those who seek civil-rights protection for all, who are gay or lesbian, or who are pro-choice. Can someone tell me where the dividing line is between those who directed their hate to America on religious grounds, and those who make such statements as those made by Robertson and Falwell?

When will demagogues the likes of whom I have mentioned stop using the names of God, Buddha, Allah and cease spewing hate, intolerance and divisiveness?

Vinnie Linares

Free vacations for heroes is a great idea

Reader Gene Lancette (Letters, Sept. 21) has a terrific idea about giving free Hawaiian vacations to the firefighters and police involved in rescue operations at the World Trade Center. It should be fairly simple to put together a week's package, especially with current vacancies and cancellations. And it might remind the rest of the country that Hawaii is still here, balmy and beautiful and accessible. Is anybody in Waikiki listening?

Anita Liptak

Invite your family and friends to visit

Governor Cayetano has called upon the people of Hawaii to respond with ideas about helping the state through the impending economic crisis.

I realized that I know a large number of people on the mainland. Why not invite everyone of them to visit Hawaii?

I will tell them that there will never be a better time to visit: Incredible rates on hotel rooms, airfares and tour packages; no lines at attractions, scenic overlook parking lots, or popular restaurants; beautiful beaches are not crowded; and rental cars are available at discounted rates.

It wouldn't hurt to remind them that Hawaii is possibly the safest resort in the country, perhaps the world.

Patricia J. Jutz

Seeing faces helps us understand

Standing in the chill of night at Punchbowl among thousands, I listened as he quoted from the Quran, "Whoever kills one single being is equal as if he kills the entire humanity. And whoever saves a single life, is equal as if he saves the entire humanity." Hakim Ouansafi of the Muslim Association of Hawaii told people at a vigil last week that the attack on America was a very "un-Islamic and inhuman act."

Having grown up in a Christian home, I was often told to behave in a Christian manner, and if I failed to do so, my actions were labeled as "un-Christian." So hearing the words of Ouansafi last night was refreshing, another word followed the "un" prefix for a change. That very moment, I felt a deeper connection to a people and belief I had known only in textbooks or news magazines. It was startling and beautiful. Ouansafi's presence and eloquently stated words put a human face on a set of ideas that many Americans may not understand. I left the vigil wanting to see more faces and hear more thoughts from a sector of our community that is so much a part of us.

Perhaps if we knew how to let others in, to see their faces and embrace the heart of who they are, we would not act so readily in fear.

Ruth Shiroma

Let a mosque rise in place of fallen towers

Discussion is taking place as to what should be constructed at the site of the Twin Towers. I recommend the various world-wide Islamic groups pay for a mosque at the site. Mosques usually have tall minarets and would add interest to the New York skyline. The Islamic clerics could explain to visitors that Islam is a peaceful religion. One of the five daily prayer sessions could be dedicated to the killed and wounded of Sept. 11 and their families.

Dorothy I. Cornell

Questions about flights go unanswered

Where should the finger of blame for the attack on Washington and New York point? How about our very own military and so-called intelligence services that millions of dollars are poured into year after year?

With several passengers dialing 911 and air-traffic controllers watching the four planes change their routes, why couldn't fighter planes force those planes to land elsewhere?

Wouldn't you have thought that some of the passengers could have overtaken these terrorists, especially when all they were using as weapons were small package knives? They out-numbered the terrorists.

Mickey Bieber

Social services need continued funding

Sen. Fred Hemmings' column in Friday's Star-Bulletin recommends, in this time of crisis, eliminating unnecessary purchases of services and grants-in-aid. Hawaii Youth Services Network, a coalition of 50 organizations providing services to children and youth, urges decision-makers to maintain purchases of services and grants-in-aid to health and human service agencies.

Each of these organizations plays a major role in the lives of our residents and should be considered an essential part of the economics of our communities. They have always been at the forefront in providing services in times of crisis and many are offering mental health counseling to children and families, child care, educational programs that will prevent violence, parental education to promote healthy children, and support of Hawaii's health and human service organizations.

Judith F. Clark
Executive Director
Hawaii Youth Services Network

Has history taught us nothing about racism?

Watching television in the aftermath of the Sept. 11 terrorist attack, commentators were talking to Islamic Americans, including children. They were scared to leave their homes for fear of being targeted because they're Muslim. I was enraged.

Haven't we learned not to make such generalizations? Can't we learn from the mistakes our nation has made -- slavery, internment camps and racism? How do we expect to get through this if we can't keep peace among ourselves?

Elizabeth Kataoka

Terrorism is symptom of problem, not root

God bless America! Five thousand of our fellow humans were killed by heartless monsters. Although this was an unprecedented act of violence in this country, it was not unexpected. There will be more attacks.

Unfortunately our government appears to be addressing the effect instead of the cause.

The United States is poised to wage war against the perpetrators and those who support them. But why did it happen?

Before advocating retribution, Americans should work to understand why some people despise us. While punishment is surely warranted, perhaps the United States should reconsider some of its foreign policies. Perhaps we should consider the impact of runaway corporate greed on less fortunate nations. Perhaps we need to look at ourselves and make some changes.

Why have we all but decided to wage war over 6,000 deaths, when 12 million children will starve to death this year alone? Where is the extra $40 billion to fight world poverty? Why don't we wage war on religious fundamentalism, which causes immeasurable violence and misery around the globe?

If only God would bless all humans equally, instead of just self-righteous and greedy Americans. Terrorism is not the root of the problem; it is only a symptom. If America wants to prevent future attacks, it must find a morally equitable and compassionate solution that benefits humans around the world.

Mitchell Kahle


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