Who would be best qualified to interpret the word 'extremism? The politicians, bureaucrats, intellectuals or historians? And, then, what about this 'Islamic extremism? Should Pakistans Council of Islamic Research be asked to define it or let the cabinet do the job? What would bring a change in behaviour and outlook of extremists, war or education? When the US accuses us of being extremists, it pre-supposes its own moderation, in fact gives a clean chit to itself and demands from us to forget about the death and destruction it has unleashed on Iraq and Afghanistan. Isnt that like putting the cart before the horse? Why are war ethics no part of the debate on extremism? I mean, the US used 2000 tons of cancer-causing depleted uranium in Iraq in 2003. And dont forget it had bombarded Iraq in 1989 also, having made millions of aerial sorties in that war too. Over 1.7 million Vietnamese were killed by the US but you might say that is old history. The Israeli soldiers prowl about in the Palestinian lands, killing Palestinian boys and girls in their schools, patients in hospitals and housewives standing in their verandas. For decades now, Israel has been stealing 90% of all the water available in the Holy Land. It has almost prohibited the digging of wells there. The West has never spoken against it as if it is just another normal thing. How can the US define extremism? Count the calamities that have been hurlednay hailedat Muslim Ummah by the US and you would know why we have people in our midst that are branded fundamentalists, extremists, religious zealots, radicals, enemy combatants, insurgents and 'not-moderate by Washington. -Z.A. KAZMI, Karachi, June 30.