Anti-Muslim sentiment harms community

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Too often in our nation's history, some people have allowed their concerns or fears to cloud their judgments concerning people of other faith traditions, ethnicities, languages or national origins.

We remember how Puritans in the Massachusetts Bay Colony hanged Mary Dyer and three other Quakers in the mid-1600s; how the Know-Nothings persecuted and reviled Catholics for decades; how American citizens of Japanese ancestry were imprisoned during World War II; and how Henry Ford published the anti-Semitic Protocols of the Elders of Zion long after that work had been exposed as a fraud.

While we fully support legitimate attempts to enhance the security of the United States, we are concerned that the hearing in Congress on the "radicalization of Islam" may be another example of unfairly stereotyping people of a particular faith. This stereotyping can have the effect of stigmatizing all Muslims, painting all followers of Islam as dangerous or anti-American.

Beyond that, such congressional attention may well further unfounded anti-Islamic violence of the kind we witnessed after the 9-11 attacks against our homeland.

We know and have worked with Muslims in this area and in other parts of the United States, and find them to be as concerned about the well-being of our communities as any members of other religions. Our hope is that these hearing will pass without further inflaming anti-Muslim sentiments in any part of our country, and that we will learn again the painful lessons that when we act on our unfounded fear of those who differ from us, we often act in ways that are, ultimately, harmful to the peace and security of our community.

The Rev. Mark Deaton, the Rev. Greg DeLoach, Sister Ellen Francis, Mrs. Faiza Hasnain, the Rev. Michael Kavanaugh, Rabbi Robert Klensin and Dr. Andy Reese

Augusta

(The writers are area spiritual leaders who represent the Interfaith Fellowship of Augusta.)

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howcanweknow
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howcanweknow 03/25/11 - 09:36 am
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Unfounded fears? I think it's

Unfounded fears? I think it's pretty well-founded that Islamic terrorists killed a lot of people on 9-11, and that the vast majority (if not nearly ALL) terrorist attacks and foiled terrorist attacks on American soil since then have also been the plans of Islamic terrorists.

No one faith should ever be persecuted. But, neither should people simply ignore the facts that by far the majority of terrorist activity in recent memory has been perpetrated by those claiming to worship Allah.

No sentiments should be inflamed. But radical Islam should indeed be investigated. Even the Obama Admin. has stated that domestic terrorist via Muslim radicals is the gravest threat to our national security.

You can't play the ostrich and bury your head in political correctness. The facts are what they are. I'd be more concerned about stopping another 9-11-type event than ruffling a few feathers. This is not a witch hunt. We know who seeks to destroy us. Let all peace-loving Americans and American-Muslims unite to fight our common enemy of terrorism.

scgator
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scgator 03/25/11 - 12:36 am
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Spiritual Leaders ????

Spiritual Leaders ???? Doesn't the Bible call these types of nay-sayers heretics, having the spirit of antichrist..................Jesus did not come to spread "unity and harmony".............the Bible says that "He came not to save the world, but that through HIM, the world might be saved." When you have religions that promote persecuting Christians, or that it is "one's duty" to eliminate the infidels.....I think you have already chosen your side, and it is not God's side.

usapatriot
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usapatriot 03/25/11 - 01:20 am
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Peace is a nice thing, but

Peace is a nice thing, but unfortunately, others have chosen to be unpeaceful.

I asked earlier this week, if calling this enemy of ours by their religion is offensive, just what do you propose we call them?

Ethnicity does not apply, for it encompasses numerous nationalities and ethnicities.

Our enemy does have 1 thing in common. Religion. The "Religion of Peace".

Enablers continually tell us we have nothing to fear. Yet, since 9/11 in the US we have had

- an unsuccessful Muslim shoe bomber on a civilian airliner
- an unsuccessful Muslim underwear bomber on a civilian airliner
- un unsuccesful plan to attack soldiers at Ft Dix, NJ, by Muslims with AK-47's who would dress as pizza delivery
- an American Muslim convert who shot 2 recruits at an Arkansas Army recruiting station , killing 1
- a car bomb found in Times Square, planted by a Muslim
- 2 bombs found in 2 planes bound from Yemen to USA
- a Muslim US Army Major killed 13 and wounded 32
- 2007, Muslim in Utah kills 5 and himself in mall
- From NPR:
Somali-American Pleads Guilty In Terrorism Case
August 12, 2009 Kamal Said Hassan pleaded guilty in a Minneapolis court Wednesday to lying to the FBI in connection with a broader case looking into the disappearance of more than two dozen young Somali-Americans from Minnesota over the past two years. It's the third indictment in the case so far.

those Somali-Americans went to terrorist training camps overseas.

http://www.npr.org/series/102787287/the-somali-minneapolis-terrorist-axis

http://sanford.duke.edu/centers/tcths/about/documents/Kurzman_Muslim-Ame...

What we have is a clear connection of Muslims who are plotting to kill Americans. I don't doubt many more plots have been thwarted and details are still classified.

If you can come up with another term to define these people so we may discuss the problem in terms acceptable to you, please let me know what that term is.

Riverman1
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Riverman1 03/25/11 - 05:24 am
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So this little group gets

So this little group gets together and decides to write a letter as if they were the United Nations. They would be better off sticking to the issues. I'm an equal opportunity hater. I hate Muslims, Jews, Christians and atheists if they act in stupid and violent ways. Feel better now, committee?

JesusIsComing
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JesusIsComing 03/25/11 - 05:49 am
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What "unfounded anti-Islamic

What "unfounded anti-Islamic violence of the kind we witnessed after the 9-11 attacks against our homeland." There were almost none - in fact, there have been more anti-Christian and anti-Semite attacks than anything else. Why are these letter writers not complaining about the rockets being fired into civilian neighborhoods in Israel?! Bigots!

copperhead
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copperhead 03/25/11 - 06:00 am
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WHY aren't the "peaceful"

WHY aren't the "peaceful" muslims condemning the acts of the "radical" muslims? Could it be because they are in favor of these acts and are just giving lip service? Could it be they know they face the same fate as the infidel if they do?

copperhead
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copperhead 03/25/11 - 06:10 am
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The community is not "anti

The community is not "anti muslim" it is "anti muslim terrorist". Just like people are not "anti immigration" they are "anti illegal immigration".

americafirst
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americafirst 03/25/11 - 07:20 am
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Hasn't anti-american

Hasn't anti-american sentiment among muslims harmed the community much more. I also remember. 9/11, Daniel Pearl, the army major, shoe bomber, the videos of beheadings, etc, etc. But I fail to remember any anti-muslim violence these writers refer to in their letter. It amazes me that whenever there is another muslim terrorist attack, the focus always seems to be on protecting muslims from americans.

terminusmundi
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terminusmundi 03/25/11 - 07:29 am
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A wonderful letter with a

A wonderful letter with a wonderful message. The Interfaith Fellowship is most certainly accomplishing God's work. Fun fact: Jews, Christians, and Muslims all worship the same God. Jews call him Elohim. Christians call him God. Muslims call him Allah. (Another fun fact: Elohim and Allah are directly linguistically related. "el" or "al" is "the", and "oh" or "ah" is "deity".)

terminusmundi
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terminusmundi 03/25/11 - 07:30 am
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And some people call him

And some people call him "capital H-I-M". :3

specialist
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specialist 03/25/11 - 08:17 am
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Methinks the letter writers

Methinks the letter writers have drank too much of the Muslim Kool-Aid....

scorehouse
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scorehouse 03/25/11 - 08:49 am
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why don't we ask the reporter
Unpublished

why don't we ask the reporter who was ganged raped in Egypt by the peaceful muslims rioting. or the Christians in Ethiopia who just had their churches and houses burned? perhaps ask a few local holocaust survivors who now fear for the same fate for their sons and daughters in Israel? copperhead is right on. i don't see any sign anywhere in the world where all these "peaceful" muslims are demanding an end to this nonsense? this is an ideological war based on islam taking over the world. you can choose to ignore it just like the world chose to ignore Hitler. it's quite comforting knowing that our "ostrich with it's head in the sand" foreign policy will protect us.

howcanweknow
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howcanweknow 03/25/11 - 09:37 am
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Terminus, you are SO WRONG.

Terminus, you are SO WRONG. Muslims and Christians do not worship the same God at all. See the discussion regarding the letter on Muslims a couple days ago. Christians worship Jesus Christ as God incarnate. Tell a Muslim that, and you have committed the ultimate blasphemy (and you can be killed in some countries for saying that). Please do your research on the doctrines of these faiths before you state "facts" that have no basis in truth.

Jackson
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Jackson 03/25/11 - 09:17 am
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Anyone have any answers?

Anyone have any answers?

Beck Tears
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Beck Tears 03/25/11 - 09:40 am
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The letter is about not

The letter is about not lumping all Muslims into the same scary category as the violent radicals- and there seems to be push to prevent that.

I always find it amusing that people think America is just this pure and innocent victim, as if we are a country that doesn't drop bombs which kill civilians, or have troops in countries that don't commit crimes. Can anyone imagine what the papers of some Muslim countries headlines are for this month alone? "American murders a couple of Pakistanis, paid off by US Government." "Drone drops bombs, kills dozen of children." "American troops murder Afghans for fun." "More bombs dropped which killed more civilians." "American's funnel in money and weapons into our country." "US kidnaps person from country, taken to prison without trial." "US tortures". The list can go on and on and on.

The letter is to remind people that not everyone is violent- that the second largest religion on the planet is for the most part a peaceful one, just that crazies are getting the publicity and attention.

terminusmundi
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terminusmundi 03/25/11 - 09:52 am
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"Terminus, you are SO WRONG.

"Terminus, you are SO WRONG. Muslims and Christians do not worship the same God at all. See the discussion regarding the letter on Muslims a couple days ago. Christians worship Jesus Christ as God incarnate. Tell a Muslim that, and you have committed the ultimate blasphemy (and you can be killed in some countries for saying that). Please do your research on the doctrines of these faiths before you state "facts" that have no basis in truth."

Christians and Muslims differ on whether or not Christ is God, but they agree on which God he would be if he was God. You can also be stoned to death by a Christian in some countries for being homosexual. You know what backwards, third-world country recently had an incident of a person being stoned to death by a Christian for being homosexual? The United States of America.

Nobody is denying that there are Muslim terrorists. The writers of this letter are arguing that any ideology or religion can be twisted and corrupted for evil, and that assuming a Muslim is a terrorist is ignorant and dangerous.

"perhaps ask a few local holocaust survivors who now fear for the same fate for their sons and daughters in Israel?"

The Isrealis and Palestinians are equally guilty of atrocities in the Holy Land.

" you can choose to ignore it just like the world chose to ignore Hitler."

Oh, wow, Godwin's Law on the first page of comments. That was quick.

terminusmundi
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terminusmundi 03/25/11 - 09:55 am
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What's so funny is that I

What's so funny is that I sincerely doubt any of the commentors on here have ever attempted to have a serious discussion or conversation with a Muslim-American in their entire life. Why not go to a CAIR meeting or an IFA meeting? At the very least, you're probably going to get free refreshments. Even terrorists like free refreshments.

Chillen
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Chillen 03/25/11 - 10:04 am
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"Anti-Muslim sentiment harms

"Anti-Muslim sentiment harms community".

Yes, but burying your head in the sand and ignoring the threat many muslims pose harms the country and our citizens (think 9-11, think Ft. Hood).

Think about this family - they and their kids were stabbed to death - including a 4 month old BABY!!

http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20110312/wl_afp/israelpalestiniansconflictse...

Jane18
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Jane18 03/25/11 - 10:05 am
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I believe the most biblically

I believe the most biblically illiterate person has finally signed into the comment section..................yep, it is you terminusmundi! Please, for your own sake, speak not of things you know not. As far as the group that wrote the opinion piece, you need to be digging deeper into true understanding. Be careful my brothers and sisters in Christianity, many will come saying many things.................be alert, be a real Watchman!!

Crime Reports and Rewards TV
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Crime Reports and Rewards TV 03/25/11 - 10:15 am
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"Dr. Andy Reese, Mrs. Faiza

"Dr. Andy Reese, Mrs. Faiza Hasnain, Rabbi Robert Klensin, Sister Ellen Francis, the Rev. Greg DeLoach, The Rev. Mark Deaton and the Rev. Michael Kavanaugh"

Instead of decrying the Evolution religion that HAS destroyed an entire generation these are supporting the Muslim religion which like it or not has been the source of every Islamic terrorist.

Every Muslim might not be a terrorist be all the Terrorist were Muslim.

Because none of these have condemned Muslim Terrorist they send the silent winking to the terrorist they they are supporting them through their refusal to condemn them.

I led a young lady to the lord just months before she passed on to Glory and I’m not even a preacher...
Who have these led to the lord lately?
You shall KNOW them by their fruits.
.

terminusmundi
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terminusmundi 03/25/11 - 10:29 am
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"I believe the most

"I believe the most biblically illiterate person has finally signed into the comment section..................yep, it is you terminusmundi! Please, for your own sake, speak not of things you know not. As far as the group that wrote the opinion piece, you need to be digging deeper into true understanding. Be careful my brothers and sisters in Christianity, many will come saying many things.................be alert, be a real Watchman!!"

I can't be a real Watchman, they were dissolved by the Vigilante Act of 1974.

howcanweknow
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howcanweknow 03/25/11 - 10:50 am
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Terminus: "Christians and

Terminus: "Christians and Muslims differ on whether or not Christ is God."

Thanks for agreeing with me that Christianity and Islam are different and do not worship the same God. That's all I was trying to say. Of course, this revised statement contradicts what you wrote earlier about God being the same in both faiths.

The letter has nothing to do with homosexuality or attending an Islamic support group. It's about terrorism.

No one is saying that ALL Muslims are evil. That's obviously not true. Neither are all Christians good. Even Jesus said that. The point is that we must openly admit that the vast majority of terrorist acts in the U.S. today are planned and executed by Muslim fanatics (not your average Muslim, admittedly). But, you also have to admit that the track record of Islam's claim to be a religion of peace and tolerance is not all that convincing.

When you focus on the causes of terrorism, there's nothing wrong with starting first with the most frequent perpetrator, and that's radical Islam. Just fact. If that fact offends peace-loving Muslims, then it would be good for them to try and do more to police their own. I think that's what has people so upset. When people claiming to be "Christians" do crazy things, we stop them and punish them. Seems like Islamic terrorists are not punished, but are even exalted as martyrs by the worldwide Muslim community. That's what's difficult for peace-loving people, of any faith, to understand. I still remember the pictures of mass celebrations in the Middle East when the Twin Towers fell. Images like that are difficult to forget...

terminusmundi
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terminusmundi 03/25/11 - 11:16 am
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"Thanks for agreeing with me

"Thanks for agreeing with me that Christianity and Islam are different and do not worship the same God. That's all I was trying to say. Of course, this revised statement contradicts what you wrote earlier about God being the same in both faiths. "

Let me once again try to explain this to you. Christianity and Islam worship the same God. Any Christian or Muslim theologian will tell you this. The Koran contains accounts of Adam and Eve, Noah, Moses, Abraham, Issac, David, and Jesus, just like the Bible. Muslims believe that all of the prophets of Christianity are prophets of Islam. They differ from Christianity in that they do not revere Jesus Christ as God or as part of a Trinity. But the God Christians revere him as is the same God Muslims do not revere him as. How hard is this to understand? It is the same God, with different names and different incarnations. The contradiction between Christianity and Islam is the divinity of Christ, not the divinity himself.

Not all terrorists are Muslims, and not all Muslims are terrorists. Get over it. Fight terrorism, not Islam.

PCnomo
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PCnomo 03/25/11 - 11:24 am
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In response to Jacksons

In response to Jacksons question :- " Does anyone have any answers?"

As religion has caused more problems than it has solved, fostered more hatred than love and done more evil than good, it would seem the answer is rather simple.

Outlaw religion, tear down all churches, mosques and synagogues and abolish all clergy. Remove the toxic influence of religion from the world.

Seek a personal relationship with God, using whichever sacred text you prefer. Apply the teaching derived from that text to your own life and leave others to apply their understanding to their lives. Do your own thinking instead of allowing self-serving organizations to think for you. Strive for personal spiritual growth by avoiding the myopic, gang mentality of christians, muslims and jews.

iLove
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iLove 03/25/11 - 11:28 am
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If Christians worship Jesus
Unpublished

If Christians worship Jesus and not God, then isn't that considered idol worship? Isn't God the head?

I see that many people are confused by who is actually in charge.

I wonder if "Christianity" has anything to do with this?

terminusmundi
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terminusmundi 03/25/11 - 11:48 am
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"If Christians worship Jesus

"If Christians worship Jesus and not God, then isn't that considered idol worship? Isn't God the head?"

No. Christians believe in a triune Godhead consisting of the Father (God), the Son (Jesus Christ), and the Holy Spirit (who I guess doesn't have a name). They are all God, but they are not each other.

...don't ask me, I didn't make it up.

howcanweknow
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howcanweknow 03/25/11 - 11:54 am
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There is no confusion, except

There is no confusion, except among those playing with semantics to try and prove some agenda. "But the God Christians revere him as is the same God Muslims do not revere him as. How hard is this to understand?" To answer, it is very difficult to understand these confusing words.

If the Christian prophets are honored by Islam, then it's odd that Isaiah says that God will be born as a person (Immanuel). That's very contradictory to Islam. Christ also claimed to be God (and suffered because of that claim). Hmm, sounds like Isaiah and Christ were false prophets, according to the Quran. Isaiah and the Gospels all say that the Messiah would suffer a terrible death. The Quran, of course, says there was no crucifixion, despite the fact that Roman, Greek, and Jewish historians all confirm this historical fact, which is reported in the Bible as well.

Christians worship Christ as God, the Son -- a Person of the Trinity, as is God the Father. Islam rejects that as blasphemy, and says that ONLY Allah is God, and Christ is not. Therefore, Islam and Christianity DO NOT worship the same God. How hard is that to understand?

There are far more fundamental, irrevocable differences between Christianity and Islam than any similarities. You cannot mix the two, despite attempts to do so. It is illogical and will not wash.

Beck Tears
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Beck Tears 03/25/11 - 11:58 am
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"When people claiming to be

"When people claiming to be "Christians" do crazy things, we stop them and punish them."

How's that Westboro Baptist Church doing?

howcanweknow
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howcanweknow 03/25/11 - 12:02 pm
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Beck, ask the Supreme Court.

Beck, ask the Supreme Court. They are the ones that just approved of the Westboro Nuts actions. If you disagree, you'll have to take it up with this highest court. Don't blame Christians. Blame Obama's friend Sotomayor et al.

howcanweknow
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howcanweknow 03/25/11 - 12:15 pm
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Fresh from today's headlines:

Fresh from today's headlines: Thousands of Christians Displaced in Ethiopia After Muslim Extremists Torch Churches, Homes

Would the group authoring the LTE care to comment on this news event?

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