To the editor:
The terrorist problem is not Muslim extremism; the problem is unreasoning fanaticism of all sorts. The two most destructive acts of terrorism in America took place, first, in Oklahoma City and, later, in New York City. The terrorists in both cases harbored a grudge against the United States that they expressed by causing the death of thousands of innocent people. They served causes we should think are opposites; one from the fanatical American right and the other from fanatical Muslims. All of them were willing to die for their respective causes.
The irrationality exhibited in both cases is no less obvious than the extremism. Those who were killed were not responsible for the hatred that possessed the souls of their killers, who were not dissuaded by innocence. Such motivation is sometimes called ideological but ideas do not motivate such action; hatred for perceived injustice does. The ideology is a rationalizing overlay.
The leaders who propagate such ideology do not seek death for themselves because of it, they are violent political people seeking power over others. Some of these ideologies are religious, some are not. It is not surprising that two such religious ideologies believe God approves the killing of innocents.