Readers Write: (May 13): Boko Haram, incarceration, corporate boards, corporate taxes, oil shipping, Barbara Walters

  • Updated: May 12, 2014 - 6:20 PM

Islamic groups should have long ago reacted to the activities of Boko Haram.

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BOKO HARAM

Long worthy of scrutiny, only now getting it

As a Muslim-born woman, I am not sure where to direct my anger. The fanatical Muslim terrorist group Boko Haram has kidnapped 276 Nigerian schoolgirls for the sin of earning an education.

This is my religion, my people?

Since many of the schoolgirls are Muslim, the Muslim world is now reacting. In Chicago, the Council of Islamic Organizations held a news conference decrying the horror. But where has the CIO been the past 10 years when Boko Haram was mostly killing scores of Christians in Nigeria? Are innocent Christians not newsworthy? Only now that Muslim children are threatened do my fellow Muslims forcefully react.

I am saddened by the rampant hypocrisy of my fellow Muslims, which is why I left the faith long ago. We must clean our own house.

Badiah Ali, Minneapolis

 

INCARCERATION

Here’s the key fact: It costs us a bundle

Neither Charles Lane’s May 9 commentary on mass incarceration (“The truth behind prison bars”) nor the story on the Justice Department’s rethinking of mandatory minimum sentencing (“Judges to get more leeway in drug cases,” May 11) were sufficiently clear about an important fact: Incarceration is really expensive. According to a Vera Institute of Justice survey, the average cost per prisoner per year among 40 states surveyed in 2010 was $31,307.

Then there are the opportunity costs; this is money that could not be spent on education, therapy, rehabilitation, training, health care or anything else. However, it’s likely that many of the “tough on crime” contingent would recoil in horror at the idea of spending $30,000 on a poor black kid for anything other than prison.

John Sherman, Moorhead, Minn.

 

CORPORATE BOARDS

Gosh, they pay well! For what contribution?

Please let the Imation Corp. know that I’m available to sit on its board of directors (“Imation board’s pay is unhinged from results,” Lee Schafer column, May 10). I’m a highly qualified retired photojournalist and nonprofit executive director and have been a businesswoman most of my life. It would certainly boost my Social Security check (for which I’m now “paying” for the 20 years I lived in Europe and thus didn’t pay into the system).

On second thought, my integrity won’t allow me to accept the “average board compensation of $288,883.” I’d rather continue serving my community by volunteering. My compensation for the numerous meetings and time devoted to the arts in Edina is the gift of making a difference in a community about which I care enormously.

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