Fatina Abdrabboh's recent Opinion piece, "Truly Muslim, Truly American," was a telling testament of the virtues of democracy. What the young Muslim-American writer helped demonstrate through her sincere portrayal was that the beauty of living in America is our ability to engage in self-reflection or self-criticism. It is only through such internal reflection that we as a society can truly overcome the obstacles we face and ensure that minorities in our midst, such as Muslim Americans, can have their rights protected.
Franklin Lakes, N.J.
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Ms. Abdrabboh apparently feels that because of her religion and her appearance, she provokes anger from her fellow Americans. As a basis for her theory, she relates an incident where a woman (race, age, nationality, religion, etc., not given) rolled up her car window when Ms. Abdrabboh asked for directions.
I wish that my life, as a white middle-aged man, was as free of such incidents as her life. When I was a young draftee in 1972, I was called "baby killer" merely because I worn the uniform of the US Army. I was also taunted by my fellow soldiers (who were black) because of my skin color. I was in New York during the terrible incident of James Byrd Jr. being dragged to death by two men in a pickup in Jasper, Texas. When people learned that I was also from Texas, I was met with anger, too.
There have been too many such incidents in my life to list. If Abdrabboh's only complaint is that a woman refused to answer her request for directions, then she should be grateful that things are going so well for her.
I found it just a bit ironic that you choose to air the grievances of someone whose sensibilities are so tender - someone turning down her request for directions leads her to the conclusion that Americans are racist, - when at the same time, you are printing a piece on how jihadists view the world.
As another commentator noted, if Ms. Abdrabboh were living in Saudi Arabia, this would be a moot point since she wouldn't be allowed to drive.
I'm a born and bred Westerner (the Netherlands, US, Britain, Argentina), but ever since I converted to Islam as an educated, independent woman (I have two MA's and no man was involved in my conversion), I get treated completely different by many non-Muslims around me.
But what have I got to do with the brainwashed terrorrists who are so unIslamic?
How often do I have to say that it was precisely because Islam abhors such atrocities as 9/11 that I was attracted to the faith of peace, and that of course as a right-minded, educated woman I could never have become Muslim if it were true what the terrorists proclaim?
Rianne C. ten Veen
Regarding the July 22 article "TV series 'Over There' dramatizes Iraq war": I've been planning on going to the army since I was 12 (I'm 14 now), and then I heard about this TV series, "Over There," and I wanted to watch it to get me ready for what I was going to be dealing with but after watching just the first episode I was like, whoa - is this helping me to pursue my dream or is this scaring me away from death? This show honestly made me think a lot and I plan on watching every episode and hopefully by the last episode I will make my decision. Hopefully I will make it right.
Basically, I want to say thanks for helping me along the way.
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