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Boko Haram
Competing fantasies in the Middle East

To the editor: Every day The Times gives testament to what vile, brutal, irrational animals we are. Lately, this has been exemplified by Islamic State and Boko Haram. The president and others say the problem is extremism. Walter Reich and others say it's violent Islamism. ("Obama must be clear: War on extremism is a war on violent Islamism," op-ed, Feb. 20) History says it's human nature. Groups do the worst things for the best reasons. The tribe of Joshua is said to have committed genocide for Jehovah, and Islamic State kills the ungodly for Allah. Most Americans support discrimination out of respect for religion. Perhaps the president is correct and it is more a...

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