How hard is life for Muslim Americans, really?

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.
Richard Hayes
Franklin Lakes, N.J.

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.
Stephen Coffman
Magnolia, Texas

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.
Rochelle Funderburg
Champaign, Ill.

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
Birmingham, UK

When I grow up I'll be a soldier ... or not

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.

Jennifer Martin
Lampasas, Texas

The Monitor welcomes your letters and opinion articles. Because of the volume of mail we receive, we can neither acknowledge nor return unpublished submissions. All submissions are subject to editing. Letters must be signed and include your mailing address and telephone number.

Any letter accepted will appear in print and on www.csmonitor.com .

Mail letters to 'Readers Write,' and opinion articles to Opinion Page, One Norway St., Boston, MA 02115, or fax to 617-450-2317, or e-mail to Letters.

You've read  of  free articles. Subscribe to continue.