Need to know

Letters: ‘ISIS, You’ve taken what was not yours to take.’

Maclean’s readers write in about the attacks on Paris, tax rates, and the governor-general’s property

The Eiffel Tower is seen at night in Paris, France, November 23, 2015. The capital will host the World Climate Change Conference 2015 (COP21) from November 30 to December 11. (Charles Platiau/Reuters)

The Eiffel Tower is seen at night in Paris, France, November 23, 2015. The capital will host the World Climate Change Conference 2015 (COP21) from November 30 to December 11. (Charles Platiau/Reuters)

After Paris

The events that took place in Paris were a great tragedy (“ ‘All of France is suffering,’ ” Paris, Nov. 30). And once again, Islamic teachings are viewed as the fuel that ignited the onslaughts. However, these terrorists do not have the slightest insight into true Islamic principles. If they ever opened a Quran, they would see that it clearly states that “Whosoever killed a person . . . it is as if he had killed all of mankind.” Any true Muslim would categorically condemn these attacks. My deepest condolences go out to the people of France, and the families of the innocent victims. You are in my thoughts and prayers.

— Osama Sobhi, Calgary

Open letter to ISIS: You’ve taken what was not yours to take. I can’t talk some sense into you because you’d sooner shoot me than even listen to me breathe. Because you know the truth. You can’t debate me on the Quran because you’ve never opened the Quran. You can’t talk to me about Islam because you’ve never lived Islam. So here I stand, unable to fight you, unable to reason with you, and unable to end you, as you try to burn down the Muslim world and everything and everyone else in and around it. I can only pray. I pray that the parents who have to attend their children’s funerals instead of their graduations and weddings find patience and comfort anywhere and anyhow they can. I pray that the people of Paris and the world are protected from your evil. I pray that the bonds of understanding and love take root to fight against your malicious plans.

— Mohammad Raza, Toronto

The perpetrators of these heinous crimes had no hearts, no values, no moral compass. They are the embodiment of human monsters, psychopaths at the extreme. They claim an Islamic state, even though their actions have clearly exited the realm of Islam. They torture, kill and abuse innocent men, women and children. Those who have managed to escape their tyranny survive in abject poverty in the refugee camps of Lebanon, Jordan, and Turkey. These people have been through war, starvation, torture, witnessed the loss of their loved ones. These are the Syrian refugees. Let not the monsters of the Paris attacks leave our hearts and minds convoluted about those who suffer and are in dire need of help.

— Ruba Moubarak, Markham, Ont.

Tax time for the rich

Higher tax rates for the highest incomes are long overdue in Canada (“The truth about tax cuts,” National, Nov. 16). Our so-called progressive tax rates are only progressive for low- and middle-income earners, with the top rate kicking in at a relatively modest income of $139,000. Someone making that amount pays twice the incremental rate of one earning $44,000 (29 per cent vs. 15 per cent federal) but exactly the same rate as one making twice or 20 times as much. That is neither logical nor fair. Even in the U.S., “one-per-centers” face three additional brackets above Canada’s highest, with rates topping out well above ours at 39.6 per cent.

— Ronald McCaig, Port Alberni, B.C.

Pack ’em in

Does Canada’s Governor General require a 175-room mansion as well as a 22-room “cottage,” all on the same site (“Nightmare at 24 Sussex,” National, Nov. 30)? Rather than spending more than $10 million renovating 24 Sussex, common sense would suggest that the property be left as it is or the decaying buildings be torn down, while relocating all future PMs into some of the many rooms in Rideau Hall. Perhaps Stornoway should be sold and all future official Opposition leaders also relocated to Rideau Hall. With these three families occupying the GG’s mansion, each would still have 58 rooms apiece. Rather than three chefs and duplication of other household staff, these services could be shared, at considerable saving to taxpayers. Rideau Cottage could be treated as a time share where each family in the big house might periodically escape their near neighbours and “rough it.”

— James Slyfield, Clarington, Ont.

Not-so-friendly fire

Readers criticized Maclean’s for including a picture of a smiling Omar Khadr on its cover (“The other side,” Letters, Nov. 23). They opined that they were “insulted, outraged, affronted and disgusted” with this image. It was suggested that there should be a story instead on the medic who was killed by Khadr. To be fair, the same story should also then be about the four Canadians who were killed by a U.S. pilot in Afghanistan in 2002. Eight solders were also wounded in that incident and should also be included in the story. Khadr spent years in prison for the actions he supposedly committed, but that pilot was merely reprimanded and discharged for his actions. The punishment meted out for one life as opposed to four seems unjust.

— Michael Clark, Ottawa

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