I was chilled to the bone reading about the vicious, racist attack on Asma Jama at a Coon Rapids Applebee’s (“After attack in Coon Rapids, Muslims wonder: Am I next?”, Nov. 30). What is happening in America when somebody thinks it’s OK to smash a glass across the face of another for speaking a different language?

Sadly, this is symptomatic of the rabid Islamophobia coursing through politics today — abetted by presidential candidates and hard-right hatemongers seeking to intimidate and incite. Unfortunately, it’s nothing new: This past May, Minneapolis residents Majida and Adly Abumayaleh were terrorized at gunpoint for being Muslim-American.

I’m hopeful that fair-minded Minnesotans will fight this poisonous bigotry by standing with Muslim-American neighbors and speaking out against such destructive hate.

Chris Gegax, Minneapolis

• • •

As horrendous and hateful as the attack on Asma Jama was, I would caution the Somali community from playing the race/religion card and jumping on the race/religion wagon. These heinous crimes are not solely perpetrated on minority communities, nor are the perpetrators always white.

You need look no further than the campus of the University of Minnesota, where multiple assaults, beatings and muggings have taken place over the past few years. Many of those assaulted were white, and I am sure that those young people live in fear of that happening again to themselves or anyone else. It is devastating, and leaves a person feeling vulnerable and afraid. Sadly, these crimes can happen to any of us.

The black community does not want to be grouped together and labeled as thugs and criminals. The Somali community does not want to be grouped together as Muslim terrorists. So why is that I, as a white woman, have to be grouped together with racists and bigots? I am none of the above. There are many white racists, but don’t believe for a minute that racism isn’t alive and well in minority communities, too.

Asma Jama received a lot of support after she was so violently attacked and it left the community sickened. I would suggest that instead of further dividing the communities, why don’t we have a zero-tolerance policy against hate, racism, violence and discrimination by all groups of people, and start talking instead of blaming and finger pointing. And please, let’s stop grouping all people together. It only serves to further divide us.

Mary McIntosh Linnihan, Minneapolis

 

QUESTIONS ABOUT DEMOCRATS

What’s this about terrorism? And just who is flunking what?

Everyone, not just Democrats, should be cautious about seeming to connect all adherents of a religion as terrorists for acts committed by a tiny fraction of their “faithful” (“Why can’t Dems say ‘Islamic terrorism’?, Nov. 28) We’d think twice about using the term “Christian terrorists” for people who think God is on their side as they bomb abortion clinics and threaten their doctors with death, or for those “Christians” whose perverse reading of their own faith’s precepts leads them to disrupt the funerals of our military men and women who have perished on the battlefield.

There are Jewish settlers who claim that God’s having given them the land of Israel justifies any mayhem they wreak upon indigenous Palestinians, but I doubt that labeling them “Jewish terrorists” would find traction in either political party.

No, Democrats can’t say “Islamic terrorism,” and, unlike GOP presidential hopefuls Carson and Trump, they can also be judged guilty for thinking that a Muslim has as much right to be president as anyone else and that shutting down mosques would be an unconstitutional interference in freedom of religion.

Bob Norberg, Lake City, Minn.

• • •

Ramesh Ponnuru correctly observes that the leadership of today’s Democratic Party is reluctant to acknowledge that the current wave of terrorism sweeping through Europe, Africa and the Middle East has firm and identifiable theological underpinnings. This reluctance is best exemplified by John Kerry’s comment that ISIL’s serial enormities have “nothing to do with Islam.” The leader of ISIL (Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, who holds a Ph.D in Islamic Studies) would no doubt disagree with John Kerry and Hillary Clinton, who stated that “Muslims … have nothing whatsoever to do with terrorism.”

Peter D. Abarbanel, Apple Valley

• • •

To the letter writer who suggested that the Star Tribune headline an article “Most Democratic candidates flunk economics,” I would point out this century’s Republican history at the state and national levels (“If you flunk GOP on climate, flunk Democrats on …,” Readers Write, Nov. 30).

In Minnesota, the Republicans made permanent tax cuts in the early 2000s, resulting in significant problems for many local governments as the economy turned down. They handed incoming Gov. Mark Dayton what they called a “balanced budget,” which didn’t count unpaid aid to school districts exceeding $2 billion. They also were served an eviction notice on their state party headquarters for failure to pay their rent for several months.

At the national level, George W. Bush inherited a budget with a surplus from Bill Clinton. Through tax cuts and deficit spending, he ran up large deficits before leaving office. In his second term, his administration saw the worst economic meltdown since the Great Depression, which also caused the loss of millions of jobs for Americans, as well as many people’s life savings and homes. President Obama inherited this situation, and today’s American economy is back on track, with investment indexes near all-time highs.

What was the question about Democrats flunking economics?

David Miller, Mendota Heights

 

PLANNED PARENTHOOD ATTACK

Colo. attack another example of homegrown terrorism

Friday’s chilling terrorist attack in Colorado was more evidence of what is becoming indisputable: While the rest of the world’s biggest terror risk comes from organized outside sources, our biggest risk continues to be homegrown lone wolves (“Three killed in rampage at Planned Parenthood,” Nov. 28, and “Suspect in Colo. shootings called a ‘weird’ loner,” Nov. 29). Yes, we need to continue to be vigilant to reduce the chances of another outside attack like we experienced on Sept. 11, 2001, but let’s focus most of our attention on where our greatest terror risk lies. We need to a find a way to stop brutal attacks like this one.

Philip Ahern, Minneapolis

• • •

I’m pro-life. I’m just as sympathetic and angered about what happened at Colorado Springs as are pro-choice people. I know absolutely that my feelings reflect those of every truly pro-life person out there.

Jim Bartos, Brooklyn Park

 

DOWNTOWN MINNEAPOLIS

Its’s another Holidazzle dud

Well, Minneapolis, you’ve done it again: another Holidazzle failure (“A sparkling first night for Holidazzle lights,” Nov. 28). After bringing our grandchildren to a “family” event on opening night, we did not spend a lot of time there. There was nothing for children at all (except for a Santa). With the food stands concentrated into an area half the size of a city block, we were herded like cattle and unable to purchase, or eat, any food. We spent less than an hour there, because after finding nothing to do, we left. Talking to other guests, we heard the same complaints.

Who plans these things? Open the area up so we can access the food stands.

The Holidazzle parade was something the children loved. Now the event is for adults and businesses that want more money over the holidays.

Plus, we had better fireworks at the cabin this summer.

Gary Stromquist, Onamia, Minn.