Stop the Muslim Bashing

Kathryn Jean Lopez’s outrageous column (“Women’s rights for Muslims,” Feb. 9) blames Islam for the worldwide abuse of women’s rights. Islam holds women in high regard and gave them rights 1,400 years ago that were not won by women in the West until the 19th century. Cultural and ethnic customs should not be confused with religion.

Rape is never condoned in Islam. Genital mutilation is cultural, not religious, and is practiced mainly in primitive and illiterate societies regardless of religion.

Tousson Toppozada, Sacramento

Neocons Still Try to Stifle Dissent

Re “Speech by self-proclaimed ex-terrorist protested at UCD,” Feb. 7: I want to thank The Bee for a savvy and level-headed article. I’m amused by the number of folks who fell for the Islamophobic message of Walid Shoebat that implicitly meant that if you convert from Islam, then terrorism ends. Real pluralistic there! How can a peace activist be pro-war? And how can dissent be equated to advocating terrorism? That is some serious spin.

Dissent is patriotic. Shoebat exercised his right to free (hate) speech, and the Council on American Islamic Relations and the UC Davis Muslim Student Association exercised their right to expose the bigot for what he was, a fraud. I guess if Osama bin Laden converts tomorrow, the neocons can invite him to go on the lecture circuit, too.

Hamza EL-Nakhal, Davis


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