I read with interest the emails published on your website. I was nauseated by the racist and abusive comments, which should be treated with the same contempt as the rantings of Bin Laden's henchmen. I apologise for any offense my fellow citizens may have caused you this way.
I am glad that the media are slowly getting to grips with the idea that Bin Laden and crew may be less Islamic than they claim, and hope the majority view wins. To portray all Muslims as terrorists after September 11 makes as much sense as saying all Christians are terrorists after the Omagh bombing.
I would love to be a pacifist, and will make peace with any one who will make peace with me. The difficulty appears when my enemy won't make peace. In the Christian faith, forgiveness of even the most appalling sins (and hence reconciliation with God) is available through the death and resurrection of Jesus, but it is not automatic: it is received by repentance. Similarly, I really want to be at peace with Bin Laden (he looks like a cuddly grandfather), and as soon as he turns away from his violence that reconciliation will be available. But while he is deliberately killing civilians, I have to protect myself and defend my neighbours proactively.
It would be nice to have a civilised court of law, with a defense lawyer and all the evidence open to view, but I am not naive enough to believe he will make use of those facilities. He does not wait for evidence before killing, and as he has lived so will his end most likely be.
In conclusion, I hope for the best, but expect the worst.
I wish you well in your endeavours to represent British Muslims.
PS, can you use your influence, together with your experience of living as a minority, to bring about greater freedom for Christians in Muslim countries? Notwithstanding your moderate stance, many Christians in those countries suffer daily persecution, forced conversions, and martyrdom. Can you encourage your friends to grant us the same freedoms there that you enjoy here?