Re "Flight from rage," March 30
In 1968-69, a group of young non-African travelers and I, the only American, drove from London to Johannesburg, South Africa. Many hair-raising events occurred during our five-month journey, not the least of which was breaking down in the bush about 60 miles outside of Bangui, Central African Republic.
We were frequently mistaken for a small mercenary army, with our group consisting of four fully loaded SUVs and 28 people. However, back then, the only terrifying thing to us was ravening lions, not humans.
Reporter Alexandra Zavis' and photographer Rick Loomis' account of the journey they made with Central African Republic Muslims fleeing deadly violence was excruciating to read since I so vividly recall the terrain, the heat and the fear of the unknown we all felt. The dangers we faced were nothing compared to what the refugees must have felt facing the savagery of their once civil neighbors.
Compounding the tragedy of the Muslim population in the Central African Republic fleeing in terror from the Christian population is the realization that the same article could be written about other countries where the Christian population is fleeing from atrocities inflicted by the Muslim majority.
Will it ever end?
Kudos to Zavis and Loomis. The photographs and accompanying words were heart-wrenching and poignant, and a very sad commentary on the horrors that we are willing to subject our fellow humans to in the name of religion.
Additional kudos to the editors for displaying this article on the front page and four inside pages, and for giving Loomis' sensitive photographs the space they deserve.
Finally, I must say that in these days of newspapers' decline, I love The Times for its willingness to document both local and international events.
I appreciate The Times' efforts to shine a light on the horrible circumstances in the Central African Republic, and hopefully this article will stimulate some action.
However, the shocking photos of a mutilated corpse and a severed cow's head should never be published in a national newspaper for my 8- and 10-year-old boys to see. You didn't need to include those to make your point.