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Islamic writer did not mean to condone Rushdie death threat

In an earlier letter I explained why Muslims are offended by Salman Rushdie's novel The Satanic Verses ["Satanic Verses is libel against Islam," Feb. 28]. I did not condone the use or threat of violence nor did I ever imply it. I wrote strictly about the Islamic stance on the book's contents and about nothing else. I tried to show that, in the Muslim world, the book in and of itself has been and continues to be the central issue of the controversy.

It is disappointing that some people have called my sincere explanation of Muslim opinion about a misleading book "diatribe," and that others have said "who cares?" More disturbingly, I have also been harassed via the mail.

To those who have inferred otherwise from my statement about justice I say: please don't put words in my mouth. Before making baseless allegations about my intent, try to understand what I have written. Don't just reinforce your blatant prejudices by distorting my words. When Muslims pray to God they pray for whatever He may ordain in His Infinite Wisdom -- divine justice -- nothing more, nothing less. Indeed, it is a grave sin to "dictate" justice to God.

I hope that this will put the unfortunate matter at rest.

Semseddin T"urk"oz G->