Letters to the Editor

Letters to the editor: Dec. 20

I’m your Muslim neighbor

I’m your Muslim neighbor. Just wanted to let you know the Quran teaches me to be kind to all my neighbors, regardless to their religion. I know, you probably only heard the verse about the infidels.

During the War of Independence, I’m certain a U.S. military leader told his troops: “Wherever you find the British, kill them.” Did he mean the man in England today or the soldier fighting back then? So is the case with these quoted verses from the Quran; they have their own context.

In Muslim countries, 2,000-year-old churches and temples still stand. Why didn’t earlier Muslims kill all non-Muslims and destroy their worshiping places? Islam teaches that we could not force anybody to pray five times a day or to fast, much less kill people just because they are not Muslims.

When I first came to the United States from Egypt, I wondered why white Christians would kill people of color. After I took the time to understand, I realized the Klan does not represent Christians nor Christianity.

This is the case with ISIS, al-Qaida or any other extremist group or person. Certainly you have noticed that ISIS has claimed bombings in Muslim countries. Who are they killing in a fish market, a school or a mosque?

Our imams in Lexington are doing a good job advising the congregation against these groups and preaching about living in peace. Please stop listening to what “somebody” says; let us start talking, like good neighbors

Ashraf Fahmy

Islamic Center of Lexington

Do unto others

I. Am. French. This is not a rallying cry. My Huguenot ancestors fled France during deadly religious persecutions by the Catholic Church in 1665. Via England, they later sailed to the colonies, landing in Virginia in 1699. Both sides, by the way, were Christian.

Throughout history, being a refugee has been as complicated as it is chaotic; as terrifying as it is tragic. While nations and religions are often involved, it is more likely due to battles between violent extremism or protectionism and enlightened and rational civility.

The United States is great because we reach within our diversity to unite, offering life and liberty to all victims fleeing violence, hatred and inhumane conditions. Or so we profess. Recent responses to the tragic events in Paris are showing the shallowness of interpreting that segment of our Constitution’s preamble through isolationist or xenophobic lenses.

We can be free enough to do unto others (as every major religion instructs), and brave enough to provide shelter, care and refuge. It is never easy to calm uncertainties of the unknown. Yet, united in claims of human mercy and decency, surely we offer refuge to those in the midst of strife. After all: We. Are. Americans

The Rev. Merry P. Jones


Recruiting Christian jihadists

Some thoughts on the shootings at the Colorado Springs Planned Parenthood clinic:

When one shouts “fire” in a crowded theater, the results are fairly predictable. There will almost always be a stampede with people getting hurt or killed.

The person who shouted “fire” gets charged with a crime.

Likewise when someone incites a riot, the results are also fairly predictable.

There will be property damage and injuries — sometimes deaths. The person inciting the riot gets charged with a crime.

When one accuses a group of being “murderers” and “killing babies,” the results are likewise fairly predictable.

Some of those who are both loosely hinged and easily influenced and who see themselves as avenging angels will commit acts of violence — arson, bombings, shootings, executions.

For those like presidential candidates Carly Fiorina and Ted Cruz whose anti-abortion rhetoric encourages such violence to say that they have no responsibility for the resulting violence is a blatant lie.

They also should face criminal charges.

Allowing people to hide behind the Bible (or any religious text) to shield themselves from the consequences of their actions is destructive to our society.

Recruiting Christian jihadists is no different than recruiting Muslim jihadists or jihadists of any other religion.

Jim Porter


Supreme ignorance

The chief justice of the United States, John Roberts, asked in oral arguments over the case involving affirmative action at the University of Texas, “What unique perspective does a minority student bring to a physics class?”

Geez, maybe we should ask the African-American graduate of that same University of Texas: astronomer Neil deGrasse Tyson.

Such sanctimonious ignorance.

Ivonne Rovira


Worshiping at NRA altar

I watched a panel of three journalists on CBS This Morning interview Speaker of the House Paul Ryan about what should be done to stop the gun violence.

Ryan kept referring to the Second Amendment and his concern about depriving people, “without due process,” of the right to buy guns.

In the California massacre, 14 innocent people were deprived of their lives “without due process.” Twenty-one others were hospitalized, some with life-threatening injuries.

What is wrong with politicians who are more concerned about depriving a murderer due process to buy a battlefield weapon than about depriving murder victims of their very lives?

Do we not have the right to be safe from assault weapon-wielding murderers while attending a dinner celebration?

Should we not expect our government to protect us from being murdered while we are shopping at the mall, attending church or doing any of the other activities we do in our daily lives?

None of the journalists asked Ryan about due process for victims.

There is something rotten at the core of a supposedly civilized nation when its political leaders are willing to worship at the altar of the National Rifle Association rather than protect its citizens.

Lawrence Durr


Blame Obama for guns

It seems like we just can’t resist passing one gun-control law after another in an attempt to control our at-large citizenry, as opposed to our dangerous citizenry.

I just finished reviewing the numbers regarding the sale and manufacturing of firearms, including pistols, rifles, shotguns, published by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms and determined the single-biggest cause of increased weaponry on our streets is: Barack Obama.

At no other time in our nation’s history, in any other administration, have we had an increase in the raw gross sales numbers nor in the manufacturing numbers, excluding military sales, than during the past seven years of this administration.

In 2007 the raw numbers were slightly less than 4 million, but by 2014 the numbers were approximately 8 million.

I am a military veteran who has not even fired a weapon, much less owned one, in the 50 years since my discharge.

But, I'm buying both an automatic rifle and a handgun soon.

So, maybe we don’t need any new laws, we just need a new president. One who will not exhibit such a pacifist attitude and disregard for our nation’s, as well as our people’s security and well-being.

Joe Mercer