In asking the question, "Is the West Blinded by Religion?" (editorial, May 1), The Times revealed its own religious blind spot. Calling the "U.N. rescue of Muslim Somalia from famine and anarchy" a refutation of the Muslim Public Affairs Council's claim that the "United Nations is effective only when it acts against Muslims" is specious. Unlike the Bosnians, the Somalians were not victims of Christian aggression.

After 15 years of research on the history of Christianity and racism, I have yet to find a case in which the West has effectively opposed a Christian nation's oppression of non-Christians. Western culture is driven by the Christian dogma that all other faiths are false and therefore all other cultures are inferior. That dogma was a justification for not only those famous European battles with Muslims, but, when reinforced by the Christian mandate to spread the word, for every Western intrusion into the polytheistic world where two-thirds of the Earth's people live.



Wood is the author of "The Arrogance of Faith: Christianity and Race in America from the Colonial Era to the Twentieth Century" (Knopf).

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