Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

Letters

Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

Letters

Article excerpt

Muslims' Negative Image in US Media

On the News in Brief page (April 17) appears the very discouraging statistic that acts of violence, discrimination, and harassment against Muslims in the United States have increased threefold.

My discouragement is not with the American public, but with the press and politicians in the US, who are the main factors behind resentment against Muslims. They have systematically painted Muslims as terrorists, uncivilized rogues, and anti-American. Press and television companies in the US, with rare exceptions, almost always report only evil about Muslims. I am a Muslim-American physician who has worked in the US for more than 15 years. I and other Muslims probably will face increasing discrimination in gaining admission to medical schools, post-graduate training, and leading positions at universities and other institutions. On Nov. 26 a Muslim-American from Palo Alto, Calif., wrote a letter to the Monitor titled "Religion, not Country, as a Home." Since then, I have been ambivalent about being a Muslim or an American first. Many a time I have asked myself why US Muslims should consider religion, not country, a home. The silver lining is the Council on American-Islamic Relations and the all-too-rare release of its reports in the press. Perhaps future reports can get greater coverage. Ifat A. Shah Phoenix Burma's pro-democracy forces I would like to clarify some points about the pro-democracy struggle as described in the article "Democracy's Front Line Looks Thinner in Burma" (April 16). The interview was conducted while we were preparing a defense against an imminent attack by several battalions of Burma Army soldiers. Because of difficulties in gaining refuge in Thailand, many civilian refugees at our camp sought protection from the Army until they could find safety elsewhere. Providing temporary security to these refugees was a tactical necessity and should not be confused with our strategic Political Defiance effort, which is strictly nonviolent in nature. The All-Burma Students' Democratic Front (ABSDF) has been in the forefront of nonviolent struggle. …

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