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LETTER: Islamophobia?

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By The Staff

This past weekend our country took time to remember one of the most horrific days in this country’s history.  On the morning of 9/11/2001 in a series of orchestrated suicide attacks committed by radical Muslims, 2,976 innocent lives perished.  Of the 2,976 who died, 236 were foreigners, which brings the total number of Americans who died to 2,740.  This year’s anniversary was largely overshadowed by two very charged international issues.

Issue 1: First we had a pastor in Florida that had incited the international community by threatening Quran burning.

American response:   Hotly debated.

Radical Muslims response:    Muslims around the world went into violent convulsions in which they burned the American flag, chanted “Death to Christians” and threatened the lives of Americans abroad.

President Obama’s response:    On Sept. 9, 2010, President Obama went on public television to implore the pastor in Florida to call off the Quran burning “If he’s listening, I hope he understands that what he’s proposing to do is completely contrary to our values as Americans,” Obama said. “That this country has been built on the notion of freedom and religious tolerance.”  It begs the question...what about this Pastor’s freedom? Doesn’t it?  Or, what American values are burning the Quran contrary to?  As late as Friday the 10th of September our President stated that the Quran burning demonstration could cause us profound damage around the world.  His implication was that this simple man with a morally offensive idea would cause American soldiers around the world to be in danger. I and maybe you too didn’t agree with what this man in Florida had planned to do, but his right to do it is protected by our Constitution. 

Forgive me, but I believe that this is precisely what our men and women in uniform signed up to do – PROTECT OUR RIGHTS.  As an Army veteran and a member of a family of veterans, I take great pride in having been part of the greatest military in the world and knowing that my and others’ service guaranteed and continues to guarantee every American the rights inherent in being a citizen of the greatest country in the world!

Issue 2.: An imam in New York that has planned to build a mosque only a stones throw from the site of the largest murder site in the history of the United States.  The murderers?  Crazed, lunatic, Muslims.

American response: 88% of Americans are against the mosque being built at ground zero.

Radical Muslims response: None

President Obama’s response: President Obama not only supports the construction but wants to make     sure they are not “talked out of building it”.  The imam behind the building of the mosque stated     he must build there despite angry protests in order to defend America and its citizens against a     “danger from the radicals in the Muslim world to our national security.”

Quiz:  Which controversial issue do you think our President is supporting when he said “I was commenting very specifically on the rights people have that dates back to our founding. That’s what our country is about. And I think it’s very important, as difficult as some of these issues are that we stay focused on who we are, as a people and what our values are all about.”

The following is the response to Obama’s statement from Nihad Awad, national executive director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, as he praised Obama’s remarks.  “We welcome President Obama’s strong statement of support for American muslim religious rights and hope his remarks will serve as encouragement to those who are challenging the rising level of Islamophobia in our society,” Awad said. “We urge other national political and religious leaders to speak out in defense of the freedom of religion and equality of all Americans enshrined in our Constitution.”

I ask you, which man was really guilty of “Islamophobia”? The pastor or the President?

Thank God and the United States Armed Forces for the Freedom to write this letter.

Richard Travelstead

Taylorsville