I would like to express my regret of the way Islam has been characterized by the letters that appear on the pages of this newspaper.

Few valley residents have met a Muslim and few have any familiarity with Islam beyond what is shown on the news or heard on talk radio. One recent letter claimed that “Islam wants us to forcibly submit to them or die.”

It speaks to the professional ability of the editor that such an unsupported religious attack is allowed to be published. To make such broad, vitriolic claims from a position of ignorance is profoundly unhelpful to any kind of public discourse.

Our complacency in allowing the world to be divided into two warring ideological factions is what fuels extremism of all kinds. I cringe when I imagine what it must be like to read this forum as a member of the Muslim community in the valley.

Those who are responsible for writing and publishing letters expressing anti-Islamic ignorance should share a meal with a Muslim before they offer their next public critique of a religion and culture they know little about.

Danny Yoder


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