Singapore: Act with Caution
The Straits Times
(independent), Singapore, Sept. 14, 2001.
terrorists who carried out the heinous attacks on New York and Washington
on Tuesday made a colossal error in judgment. Far from being cowed,
the United States will respond vigorously to the attacks. That is
how the country has responded in the past; that is how it will respond
now. Democracies are uncanny in that respect: They can be riven
by political dissensions one moment, and yet gel together in the
twinkling of an eye when faced with a threat.
this case, the United States will have the support of the civilized
world as it ferrets out the criminals who planned the dastardly
acts and brings them to justice. The attacks on the World Trade
Center and the Pentagon were not just attacks on the financial and
military symbols of American power; they were attacks on the very
idea of civilization itself. Civilization will and must retaliate;
terrorism will and must be fought globally.
George W. Bushs statement that the United States will not
distinguish between the terrorists and those who harbor them has
this newspapers full concurrence. The United States, however,
must determine the identity of the culprits before acting, and its
response must be not only military but also political and diplomatic.
indeed it transpires that [Osama] bin Ladens group, or some
other Middle Eastern group, is responsible, the world should not
regard them as Muslims, whatever they may call themselves. The Quran,
like the Bible and other religious texts, expressly forbids suicide
or random murder, especially of the old, women, and children. Just
as terrorists in Ireland cannot be considered model Christians,
the perpetrators of this act of violence cannot be regarded as representatives
of Islam. Nobody, not least citizens in multiracial, multireligious
societies, should stereotype any race or religion because of the
heinous acts of a few evil individuals.