Readers React

Obama should have been in Paris

To the editor: On the world stage Sunday as more than 1 million people marched in Paris, the only American voice was that of George Clooney at the Golden Globes in solidarity with marchers and mourners. In accepting the Cecil B. De Mille award, he repeated the now familiar, "Je suis Charlie." ("3 million across France march in solidarity against terrorism," Jan. 11)

That no top U.S. leader represented this country, marching in solidarity with other world leaders, is indefensible.

As Americans, we take pride in our 1st Amendment rights to free speech and a free press; this was an opportunity to demonstrate to the world that we will not be held hostage to fear. It is a cliche, but proved again by our absence, that "actions speak louder than words."

Rhetoric and carefully crafted images will not fill the gap created by world leaders with linked arms, marching in solidarity, absent an American presence.

Lenore Navarro Dowling, Los Angeles


To the editor: It was heartwarming to see more than 1 million people march in unity against the scourge of terrorism.

Religious and tribal warfare has been around seemingly forever. But now, with modern technology, advanced weaponry and great mobility, the horrors of religious and political fanaticism are with us at all times and at almost any place in the world.

If only the whole world could come together in peace and understanding. As the modern world grows smaller and more accessible to all, "je suis Charlie" becomes a cry for all humanity.

Bette Mason, Corona del Mar


To the editor: The response by the French people presents us with a stunning comparison to our own reaction to 9/11. Sure, the attacks in France have been much smaller, but they did go on for days in multiple locations.

The French responded with great sadness but almost simultaneously took to the streets with an almost ebullient defiance of the terrorists. In the U.S., by contrast, terrorism seems to have left our national psyche permanently gripped by fear.

The positive reaction in France will no doubt be challenged in the future. But our forefathers would be astounded to see their nation valuing personal safety so much more than freedom.

Carolyn Dingus, Oceanside


To the editor: People are always asking where the moderate Muslims are and why they're not speaking out. I am a Muslim, and I wholeheartedly, unmistakably and categorically condemn the actions of these miserable wretches. They are not Muslim.

My religion, like pure Christianity, Judaism and others, is one of peace. We are the religion of Adam, of Abraham, of Moses, of Jesus.

We Muslims tend to isolate ourselves in our enclaves. We need to do a better job of communication and intermingling. But we bring peace and seek harmony.

Get to know us. Some of us are good, some bad — just like any group.

Badrul Ula, Riverside

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