Readers Write (June 21): Sign-language interpreters, Iraq, Scott Walker

  • Updated: June 20, 2014 - 11:30 PM

Deaf couple who want swimming lessons shouldn’t be suing the YMCA.



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Let me see if I have this straight. A deaf couple decide to get married, knowing full well that neither can hear. I would assume they do so knowing that this will present challenges to them as a couple (“Lawsuit over interpreter asks: What’s ‘reasonable’ for the Y?’,” June 20).

Then they have a baby, and I assume they must also realize that this will present more challenges.

Now they would like others to help them with their challenges by providing sign-language interpreters at the YMCA to help them with teaching their daughter to swim. The Y is not a government entity with unlimited funds like our Congress is.

How about asking the Y to provide a swimsuit, too? And shampoo, and maybe flip-flops.

If the couple want an interpreter, they should be the ones providing it. Drop the lawsuit!

Craig Anderson, Brainerd, Minn.


U.S. is finding itself in a very tough spot

What seemingly started off as an attempt to curtail Iranian influence in the Middle East has taken a strange twist and would seem to be making strange bedfellows of the United States and Iran.

This complex situation originated in Syria, where the uprising began in July 2011 with the aim of democratizing the regime of Bashar Assad. Soon after, the Syrian army started defecting and formed the FSA (Free Syrian Army), but this time with a different aim in mind: to actually topple the Assad regime.

As the situation worsened in Syria, the opposition to Assad became dominated by the Sunnis, a sect opposed to the Alawite government (Assad is a member of Alawite Islam, a Shiite offshoot). Hezbollah, in Lebanon, joined the fight defending the Assad regime. Out of the chaos that resulted from these opposing forces, splinters of extremist groups and an enraged Sunni sect from both Iraq and Syria arose. This Syrian imbroglio is now spreading fast, and it poses a real threat to the United States and the region.

U.S. political maneuvering in the region is now a debacle, and the United States is caught in a very difficult position. Whatever action is taken now will result either in Iran becoming dominant in the region or in a complete assumption of power by the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL).

Furthermore, Nouri al-Maliki, who leads the pro-Iranian government of Iraq, has long relied on a Shiite majority with the support of Iran, further marginalizing the Sunni sect of Iraq’s population. As a result, groups like ISIL and others become a magnet for a global Muslim recruiting campaign — including recruiting Somalis from Minneapolis.

Having met and talked to parents whose sons have either gone missing or who have been subject to the grand jury process is worrisome, and the situation calls for caution and careful of application of the law without alienating the community. It is obvious that the front line of the war on terror is getting blurrier than ever.

Omar Jamal, Minneapolis


The writer is a Somali community activist in Minneapolis.

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