Letters for Thursday, September 25, 2014

• Be proud of who you are and be respectful to others • Why the beheadings?

Be proud of who you are and be respectful to others

We hosted four college students from Ohio last week. We were proud to share this beautiful island with them. The amazing hiking, beaches, mountains and people of Kauai.

One local boy was so proud to take them on a hike along Na Pali and show them how he survived on the trails without bringing water or food. The visiting boys were so impressed at the athleticism and knowledge this boy had and felt so honored that he took a day with them to show them his lifestyle.

I would like to say that I wish the young people who grow up here could all have the same pride in themselves and their island as this young man has. He was able to show four young people a far different way of life how cool it is to grow up on Kauai.

On our last day, we spent the entire day snorkeling at Tunnels. The day couldn’t have been more beautiful and the water was so clear we were able to see thousands of fish and a dozen turtles, something these young visitors had never seen in their natural habitat.

As we were loading up the van to leave, we walked by four local young people who could not have been more rude. They made fun of how one of the girls was walking and called me “grandma” and gave everyone stink-eye. Luckily I was the only one who noticed. I was embarrassed for them — not mad, just embarrassed for the young, local people.

They were about the same age as the young people we were hosting and it made me sad that they felt they had to act that way. Somehow, I think, they thought it made them look better but it didn’t, it just made them look like losers and haters.

Young people of Kauai be “proud” of who you are and your wonderful lifestyle here on Kauai. You are all attractive, I haven’t seen one out-of-shape young person since I moved here. You are knowledgeable about the land and the sea. You are fit, you know how to live from the land, you know how to surf bigger waves that most people can imagine. You are amazing, smart, beautiful young people! Be proud of who you are and show that to everyone! If you want respect then give respect first, just like the young man who took our visitors on a hike and shared everything he knew about the land and the sea.

Giving people stink-eye, calling them names and making fun of their looks only makes you look bad! Give aloha and be proud of who you are because I think you are amazing young people and you should be sharing that with the world.

Please share this with every young person you know.

Judith Sweet, Princeville

Why the beheadings?

Why are the ISIS leaders beheading Americans and Brits? I think these guys are not stupid, yet I see no tactical advantage to these beheadings. It might scare the next village, but they are not going to intimidate the USA. 

They are just making us mad. I think I found some clues in the Quran: 

 8:12- “I will instill terror into the hearts of the unbelievers: smite ye above their necks … “

47:4- “Therefore, when ye meet the Unbelievers (in fight), strike off their heads … “

It seems that they are boldly declaring their (perceived) obedience to the Quran. They are hoping that videos will resonate with other Muslims who have read the Quran. 

The majority view of the Islamic community is against these beheadings. However, with over 1 billion Muslims, there may be thousands or millions of them who think differently and are inspired by these beheadings to help take up arms against the infidels.

Mohammed spread his religion by force, including killing his opponents. Jesus and Buddha did not. Islam has spread over vast areas of the world primarily by conquest. With Christianity and Buddhism, spreading by conquest has been the exception, not the rule. 

Before we respond to these beheadings, we should try to understand what they mean. Most Muslims are nice people. But these beheadings are reminders that Islam has very aggressive tendencies that have been there since the beginning and are even enshrined in their Quran. 

Mark Beeksma, Koloa

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