LeRoy Collins Commentary 52

Commentary #52
1 June 2007

ICRD Update from Doug Johnston

Ever since 9/11/01, I have tended to accept as FACT there are 100 million Islamic fundamentalists in the world who want to kill Americans to fulfill their religious zeal to rid the world of Americans and Jews,even if they lose their own lives in the process. I believe many DESIRE to lose their lives in order to qualify as "martyrs."

The attached newsletter from my friend and fellow former Naval Reserve Officer, Doug Johnston, who not only takes issue with my draconian conclusion, he is out there in the world exploring better solutions to the world's problems through the adroit application of religion and diplomacy.

Doug and I came out of a similar crucible, i.e. the U.S. Naval Academy, albeit he was later. We chose a similar line of work in nuclear submarines. We both chose to leave an active duty Naval career to do other things. I went into small business and Doug earned advanced degrees and worked National defense issues in prestigious think tanks in WASHDC during the Cold War. But we came together in the late 1980s while working submarine issues as Naval Reserve officers.

When I retired from the Naval Reserve in late 1990, we drifted apart, i.e. me in my business, and Doug with his Washington think tanks. Somewhere in that interim since, Doug saw there was a major opportunity for international understanding by working with common interests reflected from in our respective religions, rather than emphasizing our intractable differences. While such routes are typically precarious, Doug cited to me notable occasions in the recent past where refreshing acceptances by nations in conflict have provided the catalytic action to inspire unforeseen progress.

Doug's ICRD approach is needed now more than ever. I do not think we are going to deter 100 million Islamic fundamentalists, and I do not think they can neutralize 300 million Americans. Let Doug know what you think

/s/ LeRoy Collins

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International Center for Religion and Diplomacy

Center Update #55

June 1, 2007


More Limelight

Two Updates ago, we celebrated the accomplishments of two of our staff members. Since then, at the 25th anniversary celebration of the Washington Times, I had the honor of accepting the Times' inaugural Founding S pirit Award for Faith on behalf of the Center, its staff, and supporters. It was a memorable occasion, with 1500 guests in attendance, including many from the policy-making community, and former President George H.W. Bush providing the keynote speech. The award also inspired extensive coverage of ICRD on page 2 of the Washington Times. In short, there is growing recognition of the impact we are having (and that you have made possible).

Women's Rights in Pakistan

Several weeks ago, ICRD Program Assistant Rebecca Cataldi visited a number of female madrasas (religious schools) in Pakistan. Men have almost no contact with these madrasas, so the insights she captured in her trip report are quite remarkable and make for fascinating reading if you have the time. As a result of her assessment, we are now seeking funds to expand our reform initiative to include the female madrasas as well. To support this and other efforts, we hope to see you at our Faith in Action Award dinner on June 7th in Georgetown. If you haven't sent in your reservation, we should be able to fit you in if we hear from you no later than Monday, the 4th.

With best wishes,

Doug Johnston
President
International Center for Religion and Diplomacy
1156 15th St, NW (Suite 910)
Washington DC 20005

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/s/ LeRoy Collins, Jr.
www.leroycollins.org


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