Mailbag: Column on Islam refutes stereotypes

I don't think I've ever written a letter to the editor before, but Sunday's Daily Pilot has motivated me now.

I have thoroughly enjoyed reading Mona Shadia's columns and learning more about the real face of Islam, not the stereotypes that we too often see in American media.

For this reason, I was saddened to read Jeff Hubbard's rather incomplete depiction of what the Koran teaches ("Weekly columns about Islam are too much," Mailbag, Feb. 12). It's a little like taking a passage from Leviticus where God tells His people how to treat their slaves and their wives and telling us that this is what the Bible teaches.

Raised in a very white, Anglo-Saxon Protestant community, I knew little of Islam and I made my first visit to Egypt, Israel and Palestine with a distinctly anti-Arab sentiment. I returned from my travels better informed and truly appreciative of Muslim culture.

In the movie "Not Without My Daughter" about an American woman trying to escape from her husband's repressive family in Iran, a shopkeeper explains to her that "This is not Islam; this is tribalism."

Too often, the two are confused. Islamic law, as Hubbard describes it, is no more what the prophet Mohammed preached than the Inquisition, the Christian Crusades to free the Holy Land or the Salem witch trials were what Jesus taught.

All religions seem to have groups who distort the principals of their founders.

I appreciate reading stories of Islamic culture as regularly as I read Saturday's On Faith essays by Christian and Jewish writers. I hope you will continue to print Shadia's well-written column.

Maureen Buffington

Newport Beach


Weekly column distorts the point

Mona Shadia makes a good point about the government deciding what is Islam and a matter of faith or what is not and the practice thereof.

What makes this a good point I'm not sure Shadia understands. From the very beginning of Islam, there has been little to no difference between the believer, the soldier, the politician or the government. In every part of the Muslim world, they are all one in the same with few exceptions for the "religion of the sword."

Shadia tries to explain the public hanging of a teenage girl in Iran to a great extent as actions of the Islamic state. But she falls short of explaining the recent murder of three teenage Muslim girls in Canada or the recent Muslim father killing his teenage daughter in the U.S.

The question is, why? Is it the position of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, or CAIR, to create politically correct propaganda? Is it the position of the media to hire journalists that tell stories based on their Muslim faith so that we all understand Islam in the context of politically correct propaganda?

August Lightfoot

Newport Beach

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