Letters to the Editor
Readers write about young US Muslims, suburbia's fortress mentality, creative ways to use tip jars, and the global-warming potential of anesthetic gases.
Most young US Muslims have no sympathy for violenceSkip to next paragraph
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Regarding your May 31 editorial, "Young US Muslims: a threat?": Thanks for the nuanced commentary on the recent Pew Research Center's study, "Muslims in America." When I first skimmed the results, I cringed at several items that showed that 26 percent of young US Muslims believe suicide bombings can be justifiable to defend Islam. I cringed because, as a North American Muslim, it pains me to know that a significant portion of my community's youth believe in something I find repugnant, but I also cringed because I could practically hear the knee-jerk responses, and indeed, the right-wing media locked jaws on this 26 percent figure as another reason to view Muslim neighbors with suspicion.
And then your editorial nailed it: The number of young Muslims who in some degree support suicide bombing is cause for concern, and it highlights the need for American Muslims to get to work in finding an American-Muslim solution to the problem. The rest of the Pew study should show Americans that such a Muslim solution is an imminent possibility, one that all of us North Americans should nurture.
Director of public relations, Az-Zahraa Islamic Centre / Shia Muslim Community of British Columbia
Vancouver, British Columbia
Thank you for your balanced editorial about young US Muslims. I have known and associated with numerous Muslim families over the past 10 years. This includes high school students who have helped our family with yard chores, and their families and friends in educational interfaith settings. Some of them were born and raised in Egypt, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Afghanistan, and the Middle East.
None of them have expressed sympathy for violence. Contrariwise, they have expressed a desire for peace, tolerance, and freedom of worship. They love America for its democracy and capitalism. Many have become successful entrepreneurs.
Members of our Interfaith Council are working to support the building of the first New Hampshire mosque. Some of us recently attended a masjid fundraiser (masjid is Arabic for mosque) and heard New York City's Imam Siraj Wahhaj decry violence and express support for all places of worship – churches, synagogues, and mosques. The imam also expressed his sincere respect and appreciation for the Muslim women and families present.
In my 10 years of association with New Hampshire's Muslims, I have witnessed graceful and responsible individuals.
What fortress mentality means for kids
Melodee Martin Helms's June 1 Opinion piece, "Suburbia's fortress mentality," cut right to the dilemma I have about how and where to raise my 2-year-old. I grew up in the 1970s, too, and the freedom to roam that Ms. Helms discussed was a description of my childhood. Now I have to contend with the scary streets of San Francisco and wonder if my child will ever experience true unsupervised, unchaperoned freedom.