Letters: May 11, 2014

News Sentinel, May 10, 2014 | Go to article overview

Letters: May 11, 2014


James M. Crain, Knoxville

Canceling event on Shariah law wrong

The vast majority of Muslims are kind, generous, peaceful, hard- working, honest people. They are good neighbors and good citizens. Those who condemn them, and who impede their exercise of their religion, act in defiance of our law from ignorance and/or a misplaced religious zeal.

But there is another face to Islam. Al-Qaida has murdered thousands of innocent people in what its followers proclaim is the defense of Islam. The Taliban murders and defaces young girls because they seek to become educated. The Egyptian Arab Brotherhood murders people for being Christian. Boko Haram kidnaps young girls to sell (or use themselves) as sexual slaves. Prominent Muslim leaders proclaim it the duty of Muslims to murder anyone who offends their religious beliefs. In several Islamic nations, conversion from Islam -- or attempting to convert someone from Islam -- is a capital offense. All of this is sanctioned by widely accepted interpretations of Shariah law.

I can understand why Muslims would not wish to have these aspects of their religion discussed, but their existence can't be denied. Furthermore, our law permits such discussion and protects the speakers. It has allowed Nazis to parade through Skokie, Ill., a place where some who survived -- and the relatives of many more who did not survive -- the Holocaust lived. As this paper has noted, the ACT! For America meeting on Shariah law at Farragut High School should not have been canceled.

Knox County Schools Superintendent Jim McIntyre says that he canceled the meeting to maintain a safe learning environment for the students, but he hasn't identified any threat to that environment the meeting would create. Did he fear that the school would be attacked if the meeting were held there? We need to know what danger he feared so much that he sacrificed our freedom to avoid it.

Chuck Flammang, Sevierville

How does Campfield remain in office?

Just when you think state Sen. Stacey Campfield could not act any more stupid, he opens his mouth on tape or posts something as stupid as comparing Obamacare sign-ups to Holocaust train ride sign-ups. Every bill he has been a proponent of has been self-serving for him to the detriment of others. Why is he still in office?

Paul J. Mattina, Knoxville

Nation now wouldn't support war effort

I had just turned 9 when World War II started. A letter published May 4 and titled "Greatest Generation unique in America" brought back memories of ration books, scrap iron drives and many others. It seems that all of America supported the war effort, those who fought and those at home who did all they could without complaint. But today I fear for our country because there doesn't seem to be the same spirit in America as there was 73 years ago. Perhaps it would be different if our country suffered the same disaster as occurred on Dec. 7, 1941. But since then our country has changed from an industrial nation to a service one. Seventy-three years ago auto plants converted overnight to manufacturing Jeeps and other military vehicles. Other factories produced planes and tanks by the hundreds. Textile mills produced the fabrics for tents, uniforms and parachutes, among other things. Where are these factories today? Could we support our military today as we did then? Could we manufacture the hardware necessary to support a conflict today as we did then? Maybe it's time to take stock of the direction our country is heading. My time is nearing its end, but my children and grandchildren will have to live in the future with the consequences of today's actions.

John Miller, Knoxville

Johnson pleasantly surprising lately

What is happening? The op-ed writer to whom Sam Venable has at times seemingly fondly (seriously, I mean fondly) referred as "His Greg-ness" and with whom I typically -- meaning 90 percent of the time -- disagree is more frequently than ever before writing pieces with which I agree. …

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