Archive for Thursday, May 29, 2003

Religious slant

May 29, 2003


To the editor:

The Journal-World runs diverse columnists, all the way from moderate center-left to far hard right. The latter category includes Cal Thomas, an open religious bigot. His venomous campaign against Muslims is getting embarrassing. Do conservative opinion leaders accept this as part of legitimate discourse? If so, shouldn't they add a Nazi columnist for balance?

Thomas' May 21 column says American Muslims (no exceptions suggested) are "our enemies" who "hate us" and constitute a threat because "by their own admission" they seek to "register voters ... present themselves as benign, and ... change U.S. policy in the Middle East." In other words, exercising ordinary democratic citizenship is malignant if you happen to be Muslim.

Thomas' evidence for malignancy of all Muslims consists in just two claims about the previously obscure Council on American-Islamic Relations:

1. CAIR wants Americans to refer to "Judeo-Christian-Islamic values" rather than "Judeo-Christian values." The horror!

2. The leader of CAIR hopes Islam will become the only accepted religion on earth. Not my cup of tea, but hardly different from Thomas' hopes for fundamentalist Christianity.

Let me emphasize I don't object to exposing hate messages to public view, where they can be rebutted. I do wonder, however, why American media can't accommodate a few columnists advocating for, let us say, universal health care or government as employer of last resort or standing United Nations peacekeeping forces (all supported by majorities of Americans in some polls), let alone unilateral nuclear disarmament or taxing net wealth or breaking up media oligopolies.

David Burress,


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