Gods rule by terror

The word "racism" means treating people unfavourably for genetically inherited characteristics such as skin colour. Racism is vile because no one is responsible for their genes. Religious and political affiliations, by contrast, can be changed at will. So Mike Cushman's condemnation (Letters, 20 November) of the "conflation of Muslim with terrorist" as "racism" is pernicious nonsense.

The faiths that Cushman mentions - Catholicism, Judaism (when Zionist) and Islam, as well as some other monotheist religions - have long been associated with terrorists such as the crusaders, the Spanish inquisitors, the IRA, the Israeli army, Islamic Jihad and so on. We have every right to rub monotheist noses in that fact.

Connaire Kensit
London SW15

This article first appeared in the 04 December 2000 issue of the New Statesman, Goodbye to the dirty mac image