x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 23 January 2018

Killer's sanity doesn't matter

Was Anders Behring Breivik sane, or not? Either way, a reader says, the Norwegian mass killer should be punished. Other letter topics today: citizenship, Salafism, taxis, Yemen, and Game of Thrones.

A reader says the psychological evaluation of Anders Breivik is, in a way, irrelevant. Daniel Sannum Lauten / AFP
A reader says the psychological evaluation of Anders Breivik is, in a way, irrelevant. Daniel Sannum Lauten / AFP

The Yemeni revolution has been in the news since January 2011, but there have been few signs that Yemen is on the path to democracy (21 killed in Islamist clashes in Yemen, April 11).

It is hard to understand why officers and tribesmen loyal to General Mohammed Saleh Al Ahmar (former president Ali Abdullah Saleh's half-brother) surrounded the airport a few days ago in the capital city and asked the defence minister and other senior officials to step down.

Mr Saleh's 33-year presidency ended following months of protests and civil unrest with an election regarded as a referendum for democratic transition.

But if Saleh loyalists can still influence Yemeni politics and challenge the new government via a one-day showdown at the airport, democracy will be the real loser.

These attacks highlight the challenges facing Yemen's new leader, President Abdrabu Mansour Hadi. Protests and civil unrest obviously paralysed the country. But they also crippled Yemen's orderly transition to democracy.

Gaye Caglayan, Dubai

'Thrones' blackout was avoidable

My friends in North America who have been watching Game of Thrones tell me that a lot of the content pushes the limits of television even in that wide-open society. So I am hardly surprised that Etisalat decided to chop off a broadcast (TV show taken off air due to nudity, April 11).

But it just seems unreasonable that the people in charge of these things made the decision right in the middle of an episode. Doesn't somebody at the company vet these programmes in advance?

If not, they should.

David Garroway, Dubai


Fewer taxis, but also better buses

If the goal of increasing taxi fares is to increase the utilisation of public transport, the first step should be to give better service in regard to the frequency of buses and coverage of routes (Taxi fares in Abu Dhabi to increase with minimum flagfall next month, April 5).

I travel daily between Mohammed Bin Zayed City and Khalifa City A. But to do this I must wait 30 minutes for the first bus, transfer and then wait another 50 minutes for the second one. It takes me nearly two hours to travel a distance of less than 20 kilometres.

Name withheld by request


Needed challenge to Salafis' appeal

I agree with the points raised in this essay (A religious basis for violence misreads original principles, April 9). The problem is that recognising these discrepancies you mention will hardly affect the Salafis' appeal.

Take the Mardin fatwa. The misprint was unearthed a couple of years ago but the Salafis ridiculed the moderates' finding as an attempt to undermine the Salafi doctrine. They argued that the moderates try to please the West and its agents in the Muslim world (corrupt rulers).

As such, the discovery actually helped the Salafis. Whether there was a misprint is no longer relevant to them.

The only way to counter the Salafis' appeal is to have more of these clerics pointing out the differences between fundamentalists and Islam's early generation.

I hope to see more such articles like this in the newspaper, and in the English language press in general. The issue is more relevant now that Salafists are becoming more and more active in public life, in politics and in social media.

Keep these articles coming.

Sameh Ibrahim, Dubai


'Naxalite' groups are a varied lot

In reference to your article Two kidnapped men still missing as exchange deadline with Indian Maoist rebels passes (April 11), it is important to remember the complexity of the movements that are involved.

Naxalite or Naksalvadi are generic terms used to refer to various militant communist groups operating in different parts of India under different organisational envelopes.

Part of the complexity is the number of woman that are involved in the movement. The documentary Guns and Daughters talks about romantic ideas about a revolution that has attracted many women to the Naxalite movement.

Bhavana Pardeshi, India

Is Norway's killer crazy or not?

I am confused by the contradictory reports on the sanity of mass killer Anders Behring Breivik (Norway court psychiatrists say Breivik is not 'psychotic', April 11).

But either way, massacring teenagers at a summer camp deserves harsh punishment.

The Oslo court has a difficult decision before it.

Ali Sedat Budak, Abu Dhabi