01 Mar 2011
Letters to the EditorTopics:
Violence and Islam
I am a 93-year-old HBS graduate who has read numerous articles about Muslim extremists who push hard for complete government by theocracy and want to reduce women (some 50 percent of the population) to inferior nobodies. Muslim terrorists believe that killing non-Muslims is their mission in life. Often they kill peaceful Muslims who get in their way.
In “Beacon of Liberty,” his My Two Cents column in the December Bulletin, Sharjeel Kashmir (PLDA 4, 2007) writes that Muslims “are all collectively paying for the sins of terrorists — a radical, crazy few who just happen to share the same religious background.” What is his definition of “few”? How many “few” have fought violently in Iraq, Afghanistan, and all over the world for many years now?Â How many “few” are there in Iran, Pakistan, Indonesia, and elsewhere?
I would like to ask Mr. Kashmir if he is personally doing anything about extremist Muslims, and if he is challenging nonviolent Muslim leaders to catch and imprison Muslims who kill.
David Walling (MBA ’40)
Two Rivers, WI
Sharjeel Kashmir responds:
Thank you for raising these important issues that are on the minds of many Americans. I would note that there are 1.57 billion Muslims in the world; a very small number have extreme views, and even fewer act on them.
In my own life, through speaking engagements, op-ed articles, and financial support, I focus on three areas that I think collectively will help us win the war against Muslim extremism: improving education in Muslim nations, to help people make objective decisions and have more opportunity; reducing poverty, which is a breeding ground for resentment, hopelessness, and extremist teachings; and empowering Muslim women, a critical step in reducing poverty and increasing education.
I also travel to Muslim regions around the world to offer my business and visual-media experience. At my Web site, www.sharjeelkashmir.com, you can view a documentary film that I made (now used by several organizations around the world) for a microfinance project in India focusing on Muslim demographics.
I know change won’t happen overnight, but I am committed to it. I believe it happens one person at a time; one day we will get there.
Class of PLDA 4
Class of MBA 1940