Wednesday's Letters: Nothing to fear from Islam except those who are ready to kill

I WOULD like to respond to some of the comments made by Farooq Aftab in his letter "A ban on the veil goes against Western values" (Yorkshire Post, February 6).

He twice makes the point that we need to "better understand Islam and its philosophy" and while I agree, let us be clear on one point. If those of the Muslim faith come to live here in the UK, or any other Western nation, they should accept that it is they who need to understand the customs, heritage, and history of that nation. May I also make the point that we in the UK are a Christian nation.

If someone goes to another country to live, then they should be prepared to live by the customs and culture of their adopted country while enjoying the freedom to practise whatever religious faith they subscribe to.

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However, I feel that the wearing of the burka and veil does not help integration. How would an Islamic nation look upon a Scotsman in his kilt or Welshman in the robes of a Druid if they appeared on

the streets?

While I accept that most Islamic countries treat women as equals, Mr Aftab needs to look at what is happening in Afghanistan, Iraq and Iran where women, who wish to become a professional in whatever role, face prejudice and discrimination at times.

He makes the point that there is nothing to fear from Islam and I agree that the doctrines of this faith support this. He also says that we in the West are guilty of pandering to the Right-wing extremists, but he should remember that there are a great many who are prepared to kill others and themselves in the name of Islam.

From: Tim Brett, Kings Way, Welton, near Lincoln.

From: Mrs BJ Cussons, Curly Hill, Ilkley.

IT was refreshing to read the letter of Farooq Aftab who appreciates the value of living in Britain with its democratic culture.

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Unfortunately, resentment is building up in this country which hosts so many immigrants who obviously feel it offers them more than their home country does.

Why? Because contrary to his statement, the good values he agrees are important in life are too often being destroyed by radicals. Just as other countries have their own culture so Britain has a right to its own.

Like it or not, the evidence is that too much of Muslim culture is producing fear and fighting. This mostly arises out of the tribes and/or sects and corrupt religious leaders who want to hang on to power.

The huge amount of our money being wasted over the exact cause of the Iraq war ignores the fact that the cruel treatment of Sunnis to

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Shiites, the subsequent retaliation of the Shiites to the Sunnis, and the treatment of the Kurds, has caused many more deaths than Western attempts to give the people some form of democracy.

Many of us have Muslim – and Jewish – friends and acquaintances whom we respect and admire but we do not like the outward trappings of their religion. But the extremes of those radical Muslims who take and enjoy the benefits of our lifestyle now impinge on our life almost daily and people feel enough is enough.

Drugs, money laundering and murder were never very prevalent in British life until huge numbers of immigrants arrived.

Now peace-loving Britons are treated like cattle at airports when they try to enjoy a hard-earned holiday because of the need to combat terrorism. Every commercial transaction is subject to an inquisition about money laundering, and we seek help in vain from moderate Muslims.

Woods – a suitable case for treatment

From: Mrs Maureen Hunt, Woolley, Near Wakefield.

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THE letter from JG Riseley (Yorkshire Post, February 3) was extraordinary. I had to read it several times to understand it and to ascertain if he could possibly be serious about what he wrote.

According to JG Riseley, Tiger Woods has only made one mistake, which was to get married. Had he not done so, he could have indulged his sexual appetite to the full and, as he is a multi-millionaire, fathered numerous offspring. To sire only two children was "laughable and derisory".

What sort of society is the writer advocating? Does he really not know that money cannot buy love or emotional security, both of which are essential ingredients in the nurture of children? Or doesn't he care? Could he possibly not realise that every baby has the basic human right of having a mother and a father? This may not always be possible but it is certainly the ideal.

"Sex addiction" may not be an illness but, like compulsive dependency on alcohol, drugs or gambling, it can break up families and destroy lives.

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It is commendable that Tiger Woods appeared to be genuinely upset and ashamed that he had let down the family, and himself, and that he recognises his need to change and has sought help. Let us hope that if Tiger put the same dedication, determination and hard work into his therapy which he applied to his golf, he will succeed in becoming the man he would like to be.

From: Max Nottingham, St Faith's Street, Lincoln.

FURTHER to John Terry and his ilk, if you pay young men 7m a year and give them oceans of free time, then bad behaviour is almost inevitable.

What on earth has happened to working-class football? It seems to have been plucked from its cradle and manipulated by financiers.

Party most ordinary

From: Dr Kerry Knight, Mag Lane, Cheshire.

COLIN McNamee (Yorkshire Post, February 2) is perfectly correct that Labour, Conservative and Liberal Democrat parties do not merit our votes and should not be given them – but for much broader reasons than he states.

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They have undermined democracy, they have inflicted political correctness upon us and they have insisted that they are the masters and we must think as they do. They no longer believe that "politicians are the servants of the people".

They have failed to listen to the people on countless issues and then arrogantly expect us, sheep-like, to join their electoral fold.

I would put the Greens in the same category as the above by using precisely the same logic.

That leaves UKIP and the BNP. Well, I shall only vote for the latter if the world is guaranteed to end on the following day.

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Funny, I was talking to a UKIP candidate recently who said to me: "Our party is not great – in fact, it is pretty ordinary. But today 'ordinary' would be a massive upgrade!"

She may well have been right.

Planet Earth will live on

From: DM Loxley, Hartoft, Pickering.

LAST year, apparently, many people were uncertain about the cause and reality of global warming and climate change. Now, it seems, they are even less sure.

Global warming is a natural phenomenon and evidence shows that that it has been around for at least 400,000 years. Each warming cycle has a period of about 100,000 years. Similarly climate change but with cycle times of 10 to 200 years. Global warming influences climate change. Climate change does not influence global warming.

Human beings create pollution; plastic bags and bottles in the seas and on the land; gaseous waste, particularly carbon dioxide, in the atmosphere and chemical wastes in the land, sea and air.

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Human activity started to affect our climate about 8,000 years ago. This accelerated rapidly after about 1780. We now waste more energy and raw materials and at a faster rate than ever before. The pollution we are creating is having an amplifying effect on climate change.

Changes in natural conditions do not happen smoothly. They crash from one extreme to another, on a geological timescale.

Compare the winter of 1947 and the summer of 1976 with others. Global warming is not merely a measure of the average temperature of the atmosphere but of its total energy content. This is why the extremes of our weather are becoming more severe.

Our efforts to combat climate change inevitably produce more of the pollution which exacerbates the problem.

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The good news is that planet Earth will live on; the human race will survive, with changes. but not in your lifetime.

Hunting Bill was badly thought out and unworkable

From: John Grice, The Close, Durkar, Wakefield.

I READ the letter from Steve Taylor, the spokesman for the League Against Cruel Sports (Yorkshire Post, February 3) on the report by the "Better Government Initiative" criticising these "retired mandarins" (by which he means older people who are not "with it").

What they did was include the Hunting Bill among a group of Bills, which, in their opinion, were badly thought out, unworkable, and wasted a great deal of Parliamentary time – 700 hours in the case of the Hunting Bill.

The writer goes on to ask how anybody can criticise a Bill passed by democratically-elected MPs.

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Cast your mind back to the night of the vote. What was used to push the Bill through? The use of the Parliament Act normally used for national emergencies.

Democracy at work! The writer then falls back on to opinion polls to make his case which in my opinion is just a get-out.

Regarding the Shadow Environment Secretary Nick Herbert, Mr Taylor says he is not surprised by his comments as he used to go hunting.

I construe from that Mr Herbert knows what he is talking about, which is more than I can say for the LACS's spokesman.

From: CI Jackson, Adel, Leeds.

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I SEE that the League Against Cruel Sports is still writing its claptrap. They would like the public to think that a fox is one of Beatrix Potter's cuddly animals when it is really a vicious killer.

My wife has had to go round with a wheelbarrow collecting the dead hens when the fox had got into the hen run. On another occasion, 10 pullets were locked out, by morning all had gone, leaving a trail of feathers behind.

Hunting is more popular since the Act, and only a handful of court

cases have been brought.

The police and courts have enough to do without prosecuting hunters. A friend liked to ride but thought she would not like hunting. She gave it a try and saw a fox killed, one bite at the back of its head and it was dead. "I don't mind now," she said. "It was so quick."

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I suggest that before people make their mind up about hunting, they should go to the local hunt and see for themselves. Better still, take a horse. There is nothing better than riding across country on a horse in God's fresh air.

We need the truth, Mr Brown

From: Terry Duncan, Greame Road, Bridlington, East Yorkshire.

WHY can Gordon Brown not answer a question? Week after week, I watch Prime Minister's Questions.

When he has a go at the leader of the Opposition, David Cameron, Mr Brown demands an answer to what Tory policy may be on an issue.

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But when the tables are turned, the PM goes off on a tangent – shouting about decisions taken in the days of Margaret Thatcher's premiership.

Surely we, the electorate, should be told what this Labour Government plans for our future or, like everything else, is it to remain a secret?

Pot luck

From: M Simpson, Danbydale, Deighton, Northallerton.

AFTER years of neglect to the roads, it is hardly surprising that this bad winter has caused such deterioration. Having had a period of good winters, it is poor "house keeping" that created a deficit for the winter maintenance. Now it is proposed that an increase in council tax is needed to repair roads. What have we paid road fund tax on motor vehicles for?

No benefit

From: G Ellison, Hawthorne Avenue, Dronfield.

WHAT'S the point of the Channel 4 Tower Block of Commons, where politicians up sticks from their luxury surroundings and live with the occupants in rented accommodation, all on benefits?

When the programme ends, the politicians will award themselves a high pay rise, carry on with their expenses and support sanctions against claimants on meagre benefits.