Love/Hate Mail 

Fear Wall Street, not Muslims

I applaud Mr. Mijares and his letter-writing campaign ("Red Ink," Sept. 29). And I applaud Mr. Meador for a well-written article.

I would like to shed some of my insight. I believe all of this hate and fear started with a bunch of books and articles after 9/11 by people who knew they could make money off of the fear and turned it into hate. Just follow the money trail.

It was totally blown out of proportion after a "black Muslim" was elected president. First off, he's as much white as he is black. And though he was exposed to Islam in Indonesia as a child, he was raised as a Christian by his white grandparents in Hawaii. He married a Christian and has attended Christian churches for over 20 years. But let's not get facts in the way of good ol' hatred and fear-mongering. Remember when the Russians were coming to get us?

The problem as I see it is that Republican white people want to live with only other white Republicans. They resent this forced melting pot, and so they lash out with unwarranted hate in order to try and accomplish this. ...

I would like to posit that poverty is more of an issue than ideology is. And I believe that if you are a good Christian, it is an obligation to educate the poor and to show them how to help themselves. ... Corporations are sitting on trillions of dollars in cash and aren't spending it or creating jobs. Are they just sitting on it until a white president comes to office?

Why all the hate? Why not see people for who they are and not their color or their religion? And yes, I do believe that the U.S. has encouraged this hatred to distract us from attempting to make our government rule for the people, not for the corporations or Wall Street. Our government is so corrupted by Wall Street, and has made Main Street so fearful and hateful that we have now lost our humanity, our Christianity and our greatness. We need to step back and pull our country out of the teeth of Wall Street.

Carmen Arif

Clearing the air on Sharia law

Regarding "Red Ink" (Sept. 29): Are you afraid of Sharia law? Do you feel a need to be protected from Sharia law? Then I am pleased to be able to relieve you of that worry.

You see Sharia law actually protects you from being subject to Sharia law, since as a non-Muslim you are not eligible. Sharia law can only be applied to Muslims, and in the 1,400 years of its existence it has never been applied to non-Muslims. Muslims hardly form a majority in the United States, being less than 2 percent of the population. But even in majority Muslim countries, non-Muslim minorities are not subject to Sharia law and are entitled to have their own Jewish Halakha law or Christian canon law with their own courts and judges.

Also, Sharia law stipulates that Muslims choosing to live in non-Muslim countries are obliged to obey the laws of the country they choose to live in. If they find any law conflicting with their religious beliefs, they can use legal means to seek a change, or failing that, leave the country. They are not permitted to use any violent means to change the law.

When Muslims ruled Spain for 700 years, initially by mutual agreement, they shared half of the cathedral in Cordoba for over 70 years. Then the Caliph offered the Christians the chance to buy the cathedral from them and offered a location for them to build a new cathedral before building the world-famous Cordoba Mosque on the site of the old cathedral.

In contrast, when the Christians conquered Cordoba along with the rest of Muslim Spain, they immediately converted the mosque to a church and drove out all the Muslims and Jews who would not convert to Christianity. Islam was tolerant to Jews and Christians for more than a thousand years. This is why you find considerable Christian Arab populations throughout most of the Middle East but not a Muslim left in Spain. When I visited Cordoba, had I tried to pray in the Cordoba mosque, I would have been forcibly prevented from doing so.

You tell me which is worse: ignorance or bigotry?

Yahya Merchant
Simi Valley, Calif.

Food orgy

In last week's review of Steve's Restaurant and Bar ("Rising to the Occasion," Sept. 29), Carrington Fox writes, "The lean pork clung to the bone with perky resilience, concealing a flirty tinge of pink beneath caramelized bark."

Flirty tinge? Perky resilience? Geez, ya gonna eat it or make love to it?

Phil Kaufman

Fair and balanced

Greetings of peace!

Just a few lines of appreciation for the informative article ("Red Ink," Sept. 29). I believe it is balanced and revealing. People in a position to do so must provide a sense of balance and perspective. Your article did that for me. 

Thank you.

S.T. Ibrahim

Representation without taxationGreat article on Amazon ("It's Not Me, It's You," Sept. 29). I resent that the company is bilking my state out of sales tax. That hurts every person and every business. Jeff Bezos, put on your man pants and become a pro-American citizen — pay your retail sales tax, like the rest of the retailers in Tennessee do.

Patricia Cash


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