I am writing in response to a letter that your newspaper published in the 12/4/2015 edition, authored by Miriam Klaiman, titled “Let’s not welcome Middle Eastern immigrants with open arms.”
What rationale could you possibly use to print this letter, particularly in an issue published during Chanukah? American Muslims include people who are fighting and dying in defense of our country — Americans who serve as police, firefighters, teachers, caregivers to our elderly and our children. The author is arguing to justify hatred towards others based on religious belief. The author labels all devout Muslims as not capable of being a loyal citizen, not capable of valuing due process, not capable of valuing free speech; the author argues that by knowing a person’s religious beliefs one can then judge whether or not that person is capable of living in a democratic society.
Can anything be more quintessentially un-American than this line of reasoning? The author goes on to present an argument that only leads to the conclusion that all devout Muslims must be considered violent. If we were to judge the propensity for acts of violence here in the United States based on the religious beliefs of those who commit violent acts, it would not be Muslims that the author would have us hate. The letter does not present opinions that could result in any kind of beneficial, more enlightened understanding of anything. I for one am appalled that you would print this nonsense … I beg of you, never again.
— Michel Lahti