April Letters- page 2 | People & Places | Smithsonian
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April Letters

Readers respond to the February Issue

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David Von Drehle (“A Lesson in Hate”) hauls out the cliché “Why do they hate us?” and says jihad theorist Sayyid Qutb and his disciples were “insane.” This is hardly helpful in broadening our understanding of the crisis. The real answer can be found earlier in the article: “Western powers were creating, with absolute colonial confidence, new maps and governments for the Middle East. For a proud man like Sayyid Qutb, the humiliation of his country at the hands of secular leaders and Western puppets was galling.” Yet Von Drehle emphasizes that Qutb, and thus many citizens of the region today, “hate us” because of our haircuts.
Rob Riley
Chicago, Illinois

My grandfather Henry “Hank” Croissant owned a barbershop in Greeley, Colorado, from the ’40s until his death in the mid ’60s, and he surely must have cut Sayyid Qutb’s hair. Hank loved his country, his family, his life and everything about Greeley. My grandfather was everything Qutb wasn’t.
Chris Pedersen
Bedford, New Hampshire

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