Regarding your April 10 article "Rise in hate crimes worries Arab-Americans": It's important to remember that not all New York Arabs are Muslim, and most Muslims in the US are not Arab. We have seen this tendency in many mainstream newspaper articles - one sentence speaks about Arab concerns, another about the effect on Pakistanis in the US.
Muslims are a very diverse community with common concerns - we are all targets of hate crimes and suspicion. But we are targeted mainly on the basis of perceptions about our religious identity, though we see how racial and ethnic stereotyping make life harder for some among us.
Now widespread, scapegoating is a shameful practice whether committed by confused individuals or sustained by paranoid and hastily implemented public policies like the Patriot Act. It is up to all of us to build a safer world based on trust, mutual respect, and truth.
Islamic Circle of North America Relief
Regarding your April 3 article "In Congress, sharp debate on foreign aid": GOP Rep. Randy Cunningham seems unaware of the irony in his statement about Turkey costing American lives. Was it Turkey who chose war and ordered American troops into Iraq? Sole blame for the loss of American lives, indeed all lives, in the current conflict lies with George Bush and his hawkish clique of ideologues in Washington.
As to the coalition of the unwilling, from Canada to Germany and back, they are America's true friends. They tried to tell President Bush not to get behind the wheel of his war machine, but he chose to drive anyway. Saddam Hussein needs to go, but war was not the only way to achieve his departure.
Regarding your April 8 editorial "Rise up, Iraqis": The last time the US encouraged Iraqis to rise up they abandoned them and many were killed. As Maj. Toney Coleman observes in the article of the same day: "In vanguard of 'peaceful occupation,'" Iraqis are understandably skeptical that it will be any different this time around.
Regarding "US takes on Syria in war of stern words" (April 11): Undersecretary of State John Bolton is quoted as saying, "This is a wonderful opportunity for Syria to forswear the pursuit of weapons of mass destruction and, as with other governments of the region, see if there are not new possibilities in the Middle East peace process." Is the American public being softened up for a new campaign of scare tactics? Whoever said Syria had weapons of mass destruction? And what about giving their neighbor Israel the same "wonderful opportunity"?
Miriam M. Reik
Regarding the April 11 review " 'Anger' " is all the rage": Film critic David Sterritt is overdoing it. If he looks at today's movies and finds too much violence, I heartily agree. But the difference between "then" and "now" is not in the amount of violence but rather in the type. Today's flicks need graphic violence, which has a lot to do with lousy scripts and bad acting and directing. But to say today's movies show more anger, well, I guess Mr. Sterritt never watched a John Wayne or Humphrey Bogart film. They had the obligatory fistfights. Want to see some real slapping around? Turn on an old Three Stooges fest.
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