From: Dr Satish Desai OBE, Mitchley Avenue, South Croydon.
IT is most heartening to read Dr Abdul Bary Malik’s generous acknowledgement (The Yorkshire Post, June 16) that those living in the UK are fortunate to have freedom of worship and that they can freely practice their faith.
It should follow, however, that such freedom must be accompanied by responsible actions, whereby all UK citizens should practise their faith with due regard to modern values and respect for people of other religions.
People in influential positions, such as Dr Malik, should strongly promote the image of Islam, true to its meaning as “the religion of peace”, illustrated by the excellent verses in the Koran that enable human beings to lead virtuous and disciplined life.
It will require courage of convictions to recognise that some other verses in the Koran are only the records of events and practices prevalent in the seventh century, and not all-time commands of Allah.
It is unfortunate, to say the least, that the misinterpretations of Koran verses are used by terrorists, which are used to justify violence against innocent people and injustice against women in many parts of the world.
It is not enough for Muslims to say that the perpetrators of such crimes are “not real Muslims”.
Well-meaning Muslim scholars and leaders must try to remove the possibility of misinterpretation of the Holy Koran verses with their appropriate and authoritative interpretations.
Threat from trade deal
From: Peter Claydon, Beckett Road, Batley Carr, West Yorkshire.
GIVEN The Yorkshire Post’s reputation as a strong campaigning newspaper, it is disappointing to see that it has given so little coverage to consumer concerns over the likely impact of the proposed EU-US trade deal, the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP).
Last Wednesday the European Parliament was scheduled to debate a raft of suggested deal amendments. At the last minute the authorities postponed the debate because, commentators are claiming, there were fears that MEPs might vote down some of the worst parts of the proposed deal.
Amongst other things, MEPs are worried that regulatory harmonisation between the two trading blocs will compromise hard-won EU food safety and environmental protection standards. Generally, regulatory standards are higher in the EU than they are in the US. For instance, use of growth promoting hormones in cattle, which is standard practice in the US, is banned in the EU. And, according to the European Parliament’s Environment Committee, 82 pesticides used in the US are banned in the EU.
If we want to maintain high standards in Yorkshire and elsewhere in the EU we should be pressing our MEPs to do what they can to improve the terms of the trade deal or to stop it from being implemented.
Not ready for the vote
From: Jack Brown, Lamb Lane, Monk Bretton, Barnsley.
HILARY Benn (The Yorkshire Post, June 10) used an anti-suffragette comment to urge votes for children in his Referendum Bill speech: “Women do not have the experience to vote; substitute 16 to 17-year-olds for women.....”
There was a time when the Labour Party at least paid lip-service to dialectical materialism (policies rooted in science and reason), such as Harold Wilson’s “white heat of technology”.
There is abundant and growing scientific evidence that rational thought is not fully developed at the age of 18 in most young males.
Perhaps Benn does know this but also knows that one of the symptoms of immature brains is idealistic response to emotion rather than reason.
Crucially, millions of uneducated or poorly educated voters are also illiterates whose brains won’t mature without remedial education. Eurosceptics need to employ the services of rhetoricians like Boris Johnson to persuade them.
Come to think of it, give the vote to 16 and 17-year-olds!
Resistance in the Lords
From: R Webb, Wakefield.
FOR the first time in history the Conservatives are in power in the Commons, but lack a majority in the Lords. The so called Salisbury Convention dictates that an opposition steps aside to allow manifesto pledges a clear passage through the Lords. Items not specified, where there is still detail to be worked out, such as the £12bn of welfare cuts, will meet stiff resistance.
We even have the Lib Dems threatening to disregard this convention completely.
Hay’s the last straw...
From: James Robson, Kirbymoorside, North Yorkshire.
THIS is my last word on the (slightly) vexed question of modern enunciation. The word I intend to be my parting shot in this losing battle is the humble “here” which in the mouths of many TV talking heads has become “hay”.
For example: “As I stand hay in the studio brimming over with my own magnificence.”
How they get away with it, especially on Countryfile has become the final straw for me.