Readers React

A Muslim on the bench: Judge Dhanidina's constitutional clarity

To the editor: What an inspiration to have Halim Dhanidina serving as a Los Angeles County Superior Court judge. He sets a fine example to all who have strong religious beliefs and want to serve in public office. ("Faith informs work of state's first Muslim judge," Feb. 2)

Dhanidina disdains use of religion as a "bludgeon" and counts Jews and atheists as some of his close friends. He avows "faith in God and secular government," so as to honor the Constitution's wall between church and state.

Would that all U.S. jurists demonstrate unequivocal support for freedom of religion, irrespective of their own faiths. We who don't share Dhanidina's religious faith should nonetheless welcome his service on the bench.

Betty Turner, Sherman Oaks

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To the editor: Our favored state should take great pride in having achieved a unique dual distinction: Only California has sent an open atheist to Congress and placed an Islamic judge on the bench.

To have abided an atheist and a Muslim to hold high public offices demonstrates that our state gives more than mere lip service to true freedom of religion.

It'll be a proverbial cold day in hell before that happens in, say, one of our Bible Belt states.

Gene Martinez, Orcutt, Calif.

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To the editor: The secret to America's success is assimilation of the population no matter where you came from. France can learn a lesson from California.

This is still a work in progress, but come to America, become the best you can be, and you will truly be part of the American dream.

Ed Sinderman, Laguna Woods

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