Mailbag: 'Phobia' of Muslims not dominant

December 21, 2011

I enjoyed reading Mona Shadia's article "Tangled in the layers of a hijab" (Unveiled: A Muslim Girl in O.C., Dec. 8), but I am afraid that the term "Islamophobia," used in the editorial note for that article, may mislead readers into wrongly believing that most Americans have a fear of all Muslims.

There is fear of Israel and Jews in many Islamic nations in the Middle East, but Jews don't call it Judeophobia. There is fear and killing of Coptic Christians by some Muslims in Egypt and Iraq, but they don't call it Christophobia. Some Americans fear and hate blacks, Mexicans, foreigners, Mormons, Catholics, etc. but they don't think all Americans share that fear and they don't call it a phobia.

It is true that there have been incidents of hate crimes against some Muslims, but these are done by a relatively few unstable and ignorant people, whereas most Americans respect the right to freedom of religion guaranteed in our Constitution.


What we need to do to prevent hate crimes is to educate the public about all different religions through interfaith dialogue, such as the Thanksgiving event held last month by the Greater Huntington Beach Interfaith Council at the California Zoroastrian Center in Westminster, where representatives from many faith groups, including Catholics, Jews, Protestants, Muslims, Sikhs, Bahais and Zoroastrians, recited prayers of thanks to God and country and learned about each other's beliefs.

Maneck Bhujwala

Huntington Beach

Editor's note: The writer is a member of the Greater Huntington Beach Interfaith Council.


Does writer truly support seniors?

I am quite confused by Tim Geddes' latest comments regarding the "proposed" senior center and funding. I must say he is consistent in his vitriol against it, which is quite clear, and he is consistent with his diatribes over the last few years on that issue.

Based on some of his other op-eds, though, he fits into the realm of the ultimate flip-flopper in the likes of some Republicans and Democrats. He is so much the self-proclaimed/anointed advocate for seniors and their rights with trailer parks — which I have no problem with; seeing as I am a senior advocate and a productive volunteer and member of a senior nonprofit in Huntington Beach, I applaud him for that — yet he wants to constantly stifle the efforts to provide seniors an adequate and high-quality facility the likes of which exist in Costa Mesa and Newport Beach.

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