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High gasoline costs driving up all prices

To the editor:

Much is being said and written today about the price of gasoline, but not so much about the secondary effect of higher oil prices.

The price of most everything goes up when the price of energy goes up. We just had an evening meal for three. We bought lean burger for $4.49 a pound, a package of chips for $4.99, a half-dozen burger buns for $4.49, a dozen green onions for 94 cents, a couple of tomatoes at $1.79 a pound, and a few pickles from a 24-ounce jar that was $3.99. I don’t have price information on the ketchup, but it’s a safe bet that its price has gone up in recent months.

We aren’t just being squeezed at the pump — we’re being squeezed just as much on food and whatever else we buy.

Owen Nelson

Las Vegas

On Islam

To the editor:

Two disturbing articles were in Tuesday’s Review-Journal:

First, resident liberal columnist John L. Smith dismissed Steve Emerson of the Investigative Project On Terrorism as a “fearmonger” short on facts and long on wild accusations regarding radical Islamic threats to America. Mr. Smith is dangerously uninformed or in pathetic denial.

The factual alarm against extremist Muslims has been repeatedly sounded in the Review-Journal’s opinion pages by columnists Patrick Buchanan, Diana West, Oliver North and others. Ditto any number of best-selling books by former federal prosecutors, intelligence and military officers. There is no doubt that militant Islamists are a clear and present danger to the United States, even if Mr. Smith dislikes the bombastic nature of Mr. Emerson’s warnings.

Second, local Muslim Sadroo Lalani writes a letter to the editor reminding us “about the good in Islam.” Yes, in its earliest centuries, the religion of Muhammad was tolerant of other religions and cultures and showed an amazing diversity in its own religious practices even while using the “right of conquest” to subjugate much of the world. That ended in the late Middle Ages when the large number of diverse and widely geographically distributed Islamic schools of theology were consolidated to just three.

Since then, Islam has been progressively subverted by conservative reactionaries who reject all outside influences, insist on a perverted, narrow interpretation of the Quran and are hell-bent on jihad against the Christian West, if not outright global conquest.

Most preposterous of Mr. Lalani’s accusations is the tired allegation that the Crusades were an example of Christian war against Islam. What moral code allows the Muslims to conquer Christian nations without provocation and denies the Christian nations the right of re-conquest?

The Christian Byzantines of late antiquity waged a successful “crusade” to recapture their Near East provinces, Palestine included, when the Persian Empire invaded and sacked the holy places in Jerusalem.

The Byzantines exercised the same right of self-defense through re-conquest when the Muslims invaded the Middle East and spent centuries reclaiming much of the lost territory. Same with the Byzantine Greeks reclaiming parts of Anatolia conquered by the Muslim Turks, wars that continued into the 1920s. Same with Spain and Portugal reclaiming the Muslim-invaded Iberian Peninsula. Same with the Crusaders of Western Europe in partnership with Byzantium re-establishing Christian ownership of Palestine and the Levant.

In all cases, Islam was the invader and the Christian West had a moral right and duty to reclaim what was stolen.

Millions of Middle Eastern Christians are suffering persecution today by Muslims. Most surely, they wish the Crusaders had won a lasting victory.

ART RADER

Las Vegas

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