Muslims and Mosques
The term Islamophobia in "Islam in America" [Aug. 30] is problematic. It's an effective accusation utilized to silence critics of Islam. A phobia is an irrational fear. One can be certain that there are many uninformed individuals who are simply prejudiced against any and all Muslims. But there are serious, legitimate and completely rational reasons to fear and criticize this religion.
TIME's editorial bias is revealed in the use of the term Islamophobia. A phobia is a mental illness, an irrational fear of something. In the aftermath of 9/11 and other Islamic terrorist acts in the U.S. and around the world, it is more irrational to not be very afraid.
Des Moines, Iowa, U.S.
At a time when politicians and the like spew venomous rhetoric at one another, Bobby Ghosh's cover story is very enlightening. It is amazing that people would trust their lives to a Muslim physician but not let him have a place to pray.
Gaithersburg, Md., U.S.
Not allowing the proposed Islamic center near Ground Zero will imply a sweeping condemnation of Islam and all those who follow it while severely marginalizing the great majority of Muslims who believe in peace and security for all, and all that for the actions of a handful of fanatics.
Iqbal Saleh Muhammad,
I see the gap between Muslims and others increasing, fueled, unfortunately, by both camps. Extremism is supported by a minority only, but a generalized prejudgment invokes adversity among a much wider population. Knowing that we all breathe the same air and receive the same sunlight, perhaps we should start by getting to know and respect each other before opining on each other's gods and the ways we worship them.
Ghosh incorrectly tries to link fringe bigotry toward peaceful American Muslims to the commonsense opposition shared by the majority of Americans to building a mosque near Ground Zero. By labeling those opposed to the plan prejudiced, he thinks he can effectively discredit and distract from a prudent argument. We are not racist; we simply want to keep the sanctity of Ground Zero intact.
Estero, Fla., U.S.
Having visited Ground Zero one can understand some of the feelings, however misguided, toward the establishment of a mosque nearby. But tolerance is what religions have preached for years, Islam included. Again we are ready to persecute the majority for the behavior of the few.
Hawera, New Zealand
I applaud TIME for publishing "Islam in America." However, the article failed to highlight the contrast between the attitudes prevalent in the U.S. and the tolerance enshrined within the Constitution and Bill of Rights. America needs to take a long hard look at itself in the mirror and ask if it's really the model democracy for the world. If developing nations promote more religious tolerance than America does, that's saying something.
What an amazing and clever graphic in Nancy Gibbs' "Sacred Spaces" Essay [Aug. 30]. Halfway through reading, I noticed there was not just a minaret in the center but also the Twin Towers. The image illustrates how with a second look, things may not be what they first seem.
A Difficult Diagnosis
The article "Rethinking Lou Gehrig's Disease" [Aug. 30] has been disconcerting to patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) because of the implication that they may have been misdiagnosed. In fact, ALS is diagnosed by identifying well-defined clinical criteria, and Gehrig definitively had ALS. It is a complete disservice to suggest otherwise. There are multiple causes of ALS, and studies on the role of trauma are certainly warranted. Equally warranted is sensitivity to the plight of patients and families currently confronting the ravages of ALS.
Dr. Valerie A. Cwik, Research and Medical Director, Muscular Dystrophy Association,
Tucson, Ariz., U.S.