Don't allow suspicions over Muslims to get the best of you

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I agree with The Augusta Chronicle's conclusion that NPR commentator Juan Williams should not have been dismissed for expressing his discomfort over seeing people wearing "Muslim garb" on airplanes. Instead of the controversy generating a productive discussion about the state of Muslims in America, the topic has veered to whether or not NPR made a fair decision.

Rather than concentrating on the propriety of Williams' dismissal, I would like to continue on the point that he raises. Islam and Muslims are clearly the taboo du jour . Muslims are viewed today as many groups -- African-Americans, Jews or Japanese -- were in the past. Just a short time ago, and even today for some, expressing the view that "blacks make me uncomfortable" was not uncommon, especially in the South.

While everyone is entitled to their own opinion, when such sentiments translate into inequitable treatment for jobs, education or housing, then we have a problem. For Muslims, with numerous controversies arising recently, that is the direction public opinion seems to be heading.

The way to alleviate this discomfort is by dealing with it. When you see a person in Muslim garb at the airport or on your plane, why not try to strike up a conversation and make a brief acquaintance with someone whose culture you may be unfamiliar with? You may be surprised at how much you have in common. Why not visit a local mosque -- Augusta has two that routinely have "open houses" -- or have a discussion with that guy at work you know is a Muslim.

Sure, there are some crazy Muslims out there, as there are portions of every religious and ethnic group. I have always believed that 95 percent of all people are good; for the 5 percent of crazies, we mustn't let our fears get the best of us.

Sajid Lakhany

Evans

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So crates
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So crates 10/26/10 - 10:15 pm
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I have always believed that

I have always believed that 95 percent of all religious people are crazy, and only 5 percent actually "get it", whatever their faith. This letter is a sweet sentiment, but, just as a reminder, people still hate jews, still "feel uncomfortable" around black (or white) people, and still fear immigrants. Muslims have added their chip into this folly: now Americans will hate muslims for the next few generations, when, had no dumbdamentalists ever erupted, America would have just thought muslims were crazy pagans. Welcome to America!

soldout
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soldout 10/26/10 - 10:56 pm
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If you don't have concern

If you don't have concern over a group of people who believe a book that says you either convert people to your religion or you kill them; then there isn't too much that would concern you. Whatever group we are in, we create our own group reputation whether good or bad. For example; menonites have a great reputation in the construction industry. Did they create that or did the rest of us make that up? If you think the world has the wrong view of your people group then maybe you need to change instead of the world needing to change. Groups do change as people in the United States do not have the same view of the Japanese today that they had in 1942. The people in the United States didn't change but the Japanese did. To be PC today you have to un-plug your brain and for sure not have common sense. Each one of us can overcome the perception of our people group but the overall group has to change for the reputation to change.

SCEgikatid
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SCEgikatid 10/27/10 - 01:04 am
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Very good letter. Solout are

Very good letter.
Solout are you serious? The Quran doesn't say convert them or kill them. Where do you get your information? Seseme Street?

Asitisinaug
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Asitisinaug 10/27/10 - 03:19 am
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Most muslisms obviously don't

Most muslisms obviously don't condone terrorism nor participate in it. That being said, most, along with Muslim leaders are failing to do anything to stop it, verbally condem it and take an active stance against the muslim terrorists.

Unfortunatley, the same often goes with young black males who commit more violent crimes than all other races combined. Black leaders fail to ever address the problem and instead look to place blame elsewhere such as on the government, schools, police, etc. When an incident does occur negatively involving the police, the black leaders and preachers completely ignore the numerous previous negative interactions with law enforcement, the many chances the individual was given and instead look to place the blame on law enforcement.

If Muslims would simply step up to the plate and be heard, make it known that they condem these actions and will take action to report suspects, etc. then it would clearly improve their immage. Until then, it will leave many people to simply guess or wunder what they really think.

southernguy08
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southernguy08 10/27/10 - 04:30 am
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Sajid, I'm sure what you say
Unpublished

Sajid, I'm sure what you say is true, but many Americans see acts of violence and brutality from people claiming it as Muslims, and NO Muslim leaders denouncing it. This gives the impression that they endorse this. Sorry, but that's the impression, and I'm not the only one who feels this way.

55 F-100
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55 F-100 10/27/10 - 06:31 am
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The tenets of Islam are to

The tenets of Islam are to "convert the infidels, imprison the infidels, or kill the infidels".........wise up America.

InChristLove
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InChristLove 10/27/10 - 06:41 am
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SCEgikatid posted "Solout are

SCEgikatid posted "Solout are you serious? The Quran doesn't say convert them or kill them. Where do you get your information? Seseme Street?"

Yes, Soldout is serious. This is quoted from the Quran (2:191-2) "Slay them wherever ye find them." Kill disbelievers wherever you find them. If they attack you, then kill them. Such is the reward of disbelievers. (But if they desist in their unbelief, then don't kill them.)

Now do you believe? This isn't Sesame Street my dear.

Techfan
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Techfan 10/27/10 - 07:29 am
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1If there arise among you a

1If there arise among you a prophet, or a dreamer of dreams, and giveth thee a sign or a wonder,
2And the sign or the wonder come to pass, whereof he spake unto thee, saying, Let us go after other gods, which thou hast not known, and let us serve them;
3Thou shalt not hearken unto the words of that prophet, or that dreamer of dreams: for the LORD your God proveth you, to know whether ye love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul.
4Ye shall walk after the LORD your God, and fear him, and keep his commandments, and obey his voice, and ye shall serve him, and cleave unto him.
5And that prophet, or that dreamer of dreams, shall be put to death; because he hath spoken to turn you away from the LORD your God, which brought you out of the land of Egypt, and redeemed you out of the house of bondage, to thrust thee out of the way which the LORD thy God commanded thee to walk in. So shalt thou put the evil away from the midst of thee.
6If thy brother, the son of thy mother, or thy son, or thy daughter, or the wife of thy bosom, or thy friend, which is as thine own soul, entice thee secretly, saying, Let us go and serve other gods, which thou hast not known, thou, nor thy fathers;
7Namely, of the gods of the people which are round about you, nigh unto thee, or far off from thee, from the one end of the earth even unto the other end of the earth;
8Thou shalt not consent unto him, nor hearken unto him; neither shall thine eye pity him, neither shalt thou spare, neither shalt thou conceal him:
9But thou shalt surely kill him; thine hand shall be first upon him to put him to death, and afterwards the hand of all the people.
10And thou shalt stone him with stones, that he die; because he hath sought to thrust thee away from the LORD thy God, which brought thee out of the land of Egypt, from the house of bondage.
11And all Israel shall hear, and fear, and shall do no more any such wickedness as this is among you.
12If thou shalt hear say in one of thy cities, which the LORD thy God hath given thee to dwell there, saying,
13Certain men, the children of Belial, are gone out from among you, and have withdrawn the inhabitants of their city, saying, Let us go and serve other gods, which ye have not known;
14Then shalt thou enquire, and make search, and ask diligently; and, behold, if it be truth, and the thing certain, that such abomination is wrought among you;
15Thou shalt surely smite the inhabitants of that city with the edge of the sword, destroying it utterly, and all that is therein, and the cattle thereof, with the edge of the sword.
16And thou shalt gather all the spoil of it into the midst of the street thereof, and shalt burn with fire the city, and all the spoil thereof every whit, for the LORD thy God: and it shall be an heap for ever; it shall not be built again.

Nope, not Sesame Street.

chasboy
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chasboy 10/27/10 - 07:53 am
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Techfan is that from the

Techfan is that from the Quran?
Wild stuff. Kind of reminds me of the Old Testament Egypt, bondage, Lord thy God, edge of the sword stuff.
Scary.

howcanweknow
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howcanweknow 10/27/10 - 07:59 am
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Jesus Christ: Love you

Jesus Christ: Love you enemies, and do good to those who persecute you.

Allah (through Muhammad): Kill the infidels.

Any questions?

InChristLove
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InChristLove 10/27/10 - 08:02 am
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TechFan, odd that you didn't

TechFan, odd that you didn't post the scripture where this is taken from and if you'd actually study the Bible you would understand why in the Old Testament this was so. How about quoting something from the New Testament since that is the covenant by which we (who are children of God) follow.

Just a note which probably will make no difference to you....God is God and we are not. He is the beginning and the end and whatever he chooses to do or has done in the past, is perfectly fine...since he is Almighty God.

InChristLove
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InChristLove 10/27/10 - 08:05 am
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Chasboy, it's not scary when

Chasboy, it's not scary when you study why things occurred in biblical times before Christ came to earth. God was preparing the way for His coming and also protecting His people. He is a loving and forgiving God but He is also a just God. You can either be for Him or against Him but I would say to anyone who pokes fun at God, be careful.

Dionysus
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Dionysus 10/27/10 - 08:06 am
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How can you know what the

How can you know what the Qu'ran actually says? Are you fluent in Arabic?

Techfan
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Techfan 10/27/10 - 08:13 am
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Good call Chas. So, are we

Good call Chas. So, are we supposed to cherry pick from the Old Testament passages (ten commandments, verses against homosexuals, etc) and say they still apply, but ignore those that might be offensive and say they no longer do?

chasboy
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chasboy 10/27/10 - 08:50 am
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ICL I'm all for God that's

ICL I'm all for God that's for sure. I'll be the first to admit the Old Testament has a lot of violence in it and that's what's scary.
Things like people chanting Saul slew his thousands while David slew his ten thousands.
Who exactly were they slaying and why. I don't like violence. It's just a part of my makeup. That's why it's scary to me.

chasboy
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chasboy 10/27/10 - 09:05 am
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What are we supposed to do?

What are we supposed to do? Look at every Muslim as a potential killer?
There are mosques in every city and state in the country. I havent heard of anyone being killed by an American Muslim (Except for the nut case at FT. Hood). I personally am not about to live in fear of what a particular sect "might" do to me. That's no way to live.

faithson
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faithson 10/27/10 - 09:16 am
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Since the FBI has found that

Since the FBI has found that there is no 'threat' from our Muslim community on the whole, I think I'll focus my attention on something I can do something about... making a living in this 'down' economy and being a Father to my children.

Jane18
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Jane18 10/27/10 - 09:17 am
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If you don't know what

If you don't know what something REALLY means in the Bible, then the best thing to not show your ignorance, is to keep your fingers off the keys of your computer. Some of you are reinforcing the fact that you have no clue about GOD's word.

justus4
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justus4 10/27/10 - 09:31 am
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Everyone ALWAYS attempt to
Unpublished

Everyone ALWAYS attempt to portray themselves as having the exact same plight as the African-American, who built the country with their free labor, served is ALL wars since the Revolutionary War, was born & raised & died as slaves, were bought & sold as property, and even bred like cattle during the 1700s and no US President, no US Congress, have even seen fit to apologize to the ancestors for slave atrocities. And now, Muslins are getting in on the deal just like the gays saying "We are being mistreated just like U treated the Blacks in the 50s & 60s." Ha! No group has suffered, been murdered in the numbers, been lynched in the numbers, and survived over two centuries of racial oppression like the African-American citizen. And NO, repeat NO person of color have EVER raised a finger to commit mass murder against Americans (And Shay's Rebellion (1800s) don't count because these were enslaved humans fighting a brutal colonial White supremacy democracy) So any comparisons with Muslins constitutes a legitimate stretch and should be avoided because it weaken - not strengthen your views.

Dionysus
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Dionysus 10/27/10 - 09:53 am
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Actually the "tenets" of

Actually the "tenets" of Islam are:
Pray 5 times per day
Fast during the month of Ramadan
Give to the poor
Acknowledge/testify that there is one God and Muhammed is His messenger.
Make the Haj to Mecca during your mortal life if able.

If any of you have read the Qu'ran in Arabic and disagree, I'd like to hear your perspective. There is no recognized official English translation version.

JesusIsComing
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JesusIsComing 10/27/10 - 10:04 am
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justus, I know this is

justus, I know this is pointless to respond, but . . . no apology for slavery? In 2008 the House of Representatives issued an apology for slavery. In 2009 the Senate issued an apology for slavery. From 1861-1865 the Federal government supported a war to end slavery and 618,000 men were killed in that endeavor. We won't get into the "War on Poverty" or "affirmative action" but those were also designed to correct the injustices of slavery and racism. When is enough, enough? When will you say, I don't need anything from you, government, just leave me alone. I can stand on my own two feet. I am a man!

seabeau
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seabeau 10/27/10 - 10:12 am
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justus4. Shays and Nat

justus4. Shays and Nat Turners rebellions don't count ? yea right! More blacks have killed their own kind in the US than any other group ever has. And thats happening right now , not 125 years ago!

howcanweknow
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howcanweknow 10/27/10 - 10:15 am
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Dionysus, I have only read

Dionysus, I have only read English translations of the Quran. But, I have read what scholars -- who do know Arabic -- have translated into English. And, as ICL states above, they are all in agreement regarding the validity of the statement of death to infidels.

If that's the best you can do to try and discredit the statements here, you'll have to be a bit more reasonable.

omnomnom
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omnomnom 10/27/10 - 11:01 am
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they don't scare me unless

they don't scare me unless they're running for office. but then, thats all politicians, Christian ones too

confederatelady319
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confederatelady319 10/27/10 - 11:30 am
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JESUSISCOMING-Please do some

JESUSISCOMING-Please do some research the civil war was NOT fought over slavery it was one of many issues.Lincoln had slaves in the white house,general grant had slaves even after the war.Dang you people drive me out of my mind with your knowledge of history.

imdstuf
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imdstuf 10/27/10 - 11:37 am
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The terrorists from 9/11 were

The terrorists from 9/11 were not wearing Muslim garb though were they? If there were new terrorists they too would likely wear normal clothes to blend in. That is what makes William's comments sound uneducated.

The Muslim leadership could do more to shun attacks, but some of them have done so. The media does not make this front page news though. How come the Catholic Church does not do a better job of shunning priests for touching little boys?

InChristLove
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InChristLove 10/27/10 - 11:39 am
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Techfan, we are not suppose

Techfan, we are not suppose to cherry pick but study the Bible as a whole. There is no need to try and explain it to you because you wouldn't believe any way.

Chasboy, yes the Old Testament has a lot of violence and like I said when God allow entire nations or groups of people to die it was in His plan to prepare His coming and to protect His children. There were a lot of unGodly people in that time and in order to keep his children in the right relationship with God and away from worshiping other gods, God protected his family.

Chasboy, you said you have not heard of anyone being killed by an American Muslim.....do some research. They just arrested an American born Muslim in Mexico who was attempting to join the service so he could get to Iraq to join the Taliban so he could kill some American soldiers. This was one of many attempts and they finally were able to arrest him. Just because you have not heard about any doesn't mean they don't exist.

Dionysus, I do believe that there have been intelligent scholars who have translated the Quran into English and don't you think that if it was not correct that someone from the Muslim religion would have pointed it out and corrected it by now?

Muslims should not scare us but it is human nature to be cautious. Do you not become aware of your surroundings when you get on a subway and a dirty, smelly, homeless person sits next to you. Do you not become aware of your surroundings when walking in a dark deserted parking garage. Muslims are ordinary people who happen to believe in Islam. Radical Muslims are the ones you should be scared of......but how do we tell the difference until it's too late?

soldout
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soldout 10/27/10 - 11:40 am
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This is a little off subject

This is a little off subject but has anyone noticed in being PC there is only one group of folks you can attack and not get a back lash? Why would that be; unless there is something special about this group and maybe that is where truth is located. Those with the weakess position always make the most noise.

ruudvonbaron
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ruudvonbaron 10/27/10 - 11:45 am
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I'm still amazed at the

I'm still amazed at the hypocrites who take a quote out of context from the Qur'an to make their "point" while ignoring the many, many quotes from the Bible that instruct the very same type of grotesque violence. Say it with me........H-Y-P-O-C-R-I-T-E-S.

confederatelady319
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confederatelady319 10/27/10 - 11:47 am
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Yea i remember the stories

Yea i remember the stories about the muslims that flew into our towers,they where such good neighboros and so freindly.You people keep your head in the sand,i'll keep my eye on all muslims.never will i put my trust there.

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