James J. Smith’s opinion editorial June 6 titled, “Will we become the United States of Islam?” strives to instill an irrational fear of Muslims throughout the United States.
He begins with denying the weight of Franklin Graham’s slurs against Islam by reinforcing Graham’s right to free speech, but the Pentagon’s refusal to support Graham’s offensive speech did not encroach upon his rights.
Graham must face the consequences of wrongfully offending an entire religious population in this country. The military’s gesture involving the National Day of Prayer expresses an equally powerful statement that discrimination against any religion, whether it’s a minority or majority, is not tolerated.
Smith sarcastically criticizes government officials for “punking out” on Franklin Graham in an attempt to reduce the outrage of Muslims around the world. He inadvertently implies that the existing resentment of Muslims toward the United States is somehow “OK,” and so an act to further their resentment is inconsequential rather than acknowledging the ideal of eliminating any and all bad feelings.
Instead, Smith calls them radical Muslims as if the adjective belongs alongside Muslim. I have no intention to imply radical Muslims do not exist, just as I assume there are radical Jews and Christians, for from a religion usually springs some radical followers. Still, most Muslims have had the misfortune of being directly linked with its radical followers as if to assume that all 1.5 billion Muslims share the same ideology and could not possibly disagree. (More)