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To the editor: In his commentary “It’s Not Just al-Qaida” (Sept. 17, Page 68), Stuart Taylor Jr.’s reference to the Islamic Republic of Iran as a “lunatic” regime was very much appreciated. It was quite refreshing, given the number of articles that are written daily by the appeasers and apologists of that theocratic dictatorship. However, I disagree with his thought that all rogue regimes would actually follow our leadership in abolition of nuclear weapons. Our most serious foreign threat today is Islamofascism. Islamofascists or militant Islamists are not interested in cooperation and understanding. They are not interested in bribes and threats. Rather, they are interested in one thing — religious victory. Radical Islamists believe non-Muslims are infidels. They believe they have a duty to conquer the infidels. As much as I admired the late President Ronald Reagan, he was not dealing with Islamofascists. The 1979 Iranian hostage crisis did not even begin to give people a clue as to what would come 20-some years later. And Bill Clinton was, of course, clueless despite numerous attacks on American interests by militant Islamists during his watch. So the suggestion that Islamofascist governments such as the regime in Tehran could be grouped with and treated like nontheocratic dictatorships is erroneous. History has shown that militant Islamists will form alliances with other groups based on mutual hatred of secular democracies. After the political/cultural “revolution,” however, the Islamofascists will slaughter their nonreligious allies — the leftists, communists, socialists, and the like. Their alliances with these groups are temporary and based on their belief that it is not immoral to be deceitful to further their religious goals. The 1979 Islamic revolution in Iran is the perfect example: After the shah was toppled, the militant Islamists slaughtered their communist and National Front allies. Islamofascists are a different type of enemy than the United States and its allies have encountered in the past. They are ready to die for their fanatical beliefs and to destroy countries in the process because they believe in martyrdom, not nationalism. It is imperative that we understand the nature of the threat we are facing before we choose a strategy for its defeat. Sheda Vasseghi Azadegan Foundation Washington, D.C.

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