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Tom Smiley's article in Sunday's Viewpoint section provides a poignant example of the varying intolerance of various religions toward the beliefs of other differing religions.
While I agree with and exceed Mr. Smiley's condemnation of Islam as being willing to kill those who do not accept Muhammad's religion — to the extent of recommending banning Muslims from this country as a prevention of further terrorism — I find it strange for the religion of one country or geographic region to think that theirs is the only path to eternal life, or whatever it is they are striving for when the beginnings of all religions are identical.
Since ancient civilizations were completely ignorant as to the origins of the universe and life on earth, they conceived myths and deities to explain our origins, destinies, etc. Widely separated geographical regions developed their own religions, with at first many gods.
Later, the idea of one deity who is an all-powerful creator became the norm but still differed in most religions, such as the images of Jehovah and Allah.
Islam is not the only religion to practice persecution and killing of nonbelievers. The Roman Catholic Church, a Christian religion, has been guilty of equally drastic intolerance over the course of its existence. The conduct of many of its ministers does not bode well for it.
I have been under the impression that science was being taught beginning in elementary school and culminating in college curricula. But if so, apparently people have slept through these classes or simply choose to accept religious dogma, which is more acceptable to them than scientific facts.