It is harassment and an insult to people's sacred beliefs to generalize condemnation and pass a final judgment, especially in talking about religion. So my request to the Nov. 7 letter writer who condemned Islam for an individual's evil is: Do not judge so you will not be judged.
No one can grant these so-called Muslims legitimacy in their wrongdoings. Evil is evil. Just as in other religions, some who practice Islam have incorporated historical traditions, culture, and personal likes and dislikes into their faith that are not part of the teachings of Islam.
If some Muslims, Christians, or Jews do evil, it is because they failed to follow the merciful way of God. The same is true with every religion. Religion is a perfection of absolute mercy but man is not.
It is so easy to sit and look for any mistake from any member of any religion anywhere in the world and write a letter of condemnation, but is this an honest and civilized way?
Islam is the religion of peace. It preaches love, mercy, and mutual respect, and emphasizes human value and dignity. Muslims are followers of Islam. Thus, the difference between Muslims and Islam is the same as between Christians and Christianity or the student and the teacher. Islam can never be wrong but Muslims can be if they don't follow it. With between one billion to 1.3 billion Muslims worldwide, Islam is the second largest religion in the world.
I request people and the media not to use religious affiliation in a wrong connotation. If they do, they do nothing but spread hate and express their ignorance.
Imam Farooq Aboelzahab
In response to the many erroneous statements made by a Nov. 25 contributor to the Readers' Forum, we must set the record straight.
First, the city of Toledo' minority business enterprise participation goals of 15 percent for construction projects and 10 percent for goods, services, and materials are not quotas. Secondly, the lowest and best bid received continues to be the standard for selecting a vendor or contractor in the city of Toledo.
Mayor Carty Finkbeiner and the city of Toledo rightfully earned the award given by the Northern Ohio Minority Business Council. Mayor Finkbeiner advocates opening doors for all qualified vendors or contractors.
When a leader holds his team accountable for goals and objectives that provide for full participation, interestingly, racial minorities are able to become involved.
Calvin W. Brown
Affirmative Action/Contract Compliance
Another Christmas season is here. I read with shock the story about the store employee who was trampled to death by a bunch of lunatic shoppers.
I have worked since I was 16 years old and my first job was in the cosmetics department at Lasalle's during Christmas, 1960. It was so much fun and everyone was smiling, even while rushing about. The stores were all decorated, inside and out. The Salvation Army had a booth that played Christmas carols; everyone was excited about the season, and it was a time everyone looked forward to.
Over the years, Christmas has become a battleground for shoppers. Who will get to the sale products first? Out of my way; I must buy this really-cheap whatever that the gift recipient probably could live without and never notice. I will shove and run and do whatever necessary to buy this thingamajig first. Yea! I got one!
Whatever happened to Christmas? Where is the love and the humanity? My heart goes out to this man's family. I can only hope those people who rushed the doors, shattering them and trampling this man, and also everyone who has read or heard of this sad story, takes a moment to rethink the need for greed. Christmas should be about love and family, not objects.
Bless us all; we really need it.
The 2008 Toledo Holiday Parade was proof-positive that not even the worst financial crisis of our time can hinder the true spirit of our community. I have to admit I was initially reluctant to attend, but getting out of my financially induced humbug state of mind and to this free parade might have been one of the smartest decisions I have made in quite some time.
There were giant festive balloons floating four stories above the street, amazing live holiday music courtesy of local marching bands, and fantastic dancers dressed as elves. There were colorful clowns handing out balloons, classic cars purring, decorative floats floating, and flying candy everywhere. There were horses, sirens, flags, and a festive mayor and other local personalities all waving and rooting on an enthusiastic crowd.
Most of all, there were excited, screaming-with-joy children everywhere who will surely remember this holiday season with bliss, despite what their parents may be enduring. And isn't that the point?
Thanks to Taylor Cadillac, Joseph Zerbey, and The Blade for having the vision to save this Toledo tradition. Thanks to event organizers Julie Champa, Beth Frisinger and all their volunteers, city liaison Paulette Huber, and the City of Toledo for keeping the gears greased and working. Thanks to all the many sponsors and their people for supporting such a quality, fun, and festive holiday parade when their bottomlines are hurting like the rest of ours.
But thanks also to all the great people of our community who simply came out to have some fun. If you were like me and had the humbug flushed out of your system without spending a dime, then you know what I mean. If, unlike me, you never made if off your couch, well, there's always next year.
Robert William Russ
North Summit Street
In response to the recent editorial, "Pass the diabetes bill," I would like to separate facts from misconceptions. The National Federation of Independent Business/Ohio has been monitoring this issue, as our 25,000 small business members have consistently opposed it.
Misconception: The "Diabetes Cost Reduction Act" would help about 100,000 Ohioans who do not have insurance coverage for diabetes testing expenses.
Fact: Any legislation passed by the Ohio General Assembly could only affect state-regulated health plans. This excludes Medicare, large self-insured corporations, and union-negotiated benefits. Health plans that are regulated by the state already provide diabetes coverage. A government mandate would only increase administrative costs to enforce something the market has already dictated.
Misconception: Passing a diabetes coverage mandate would result in lower costs.
Fact: Mandating coverage would weaken competition for diabetes supplies and equipment. With little leeway to negotiate costs with manufacturers, health plans are forced to pass the cost on to consumers.
Misconception: A diabetes coverage mandate would reduce spending on diabetes by reducing emergency room visits, hospitalization, amputations, etc.
Fact: Government mandated benefits like this one drive up the cost of coverage, meaning fewer employers are able to offer it. As fewer employers offer coverage, the number of uninsured rises, ultimately increasing the health-care price tag. The uninsured can't afford treatment or preventative maintenance. Rather, they end up in high-cost emergency rooms.
The burden of this bill will fall solely on small group plans purchased by small businesses and individual plans. Small businesses oppose any mandate that could ultimately drive them to cancel their health insurance altogether.
Roger R. Geiger
Vice President/Executive Director
of Independent Business/Ohio
Since the taxpayers are being asked by the Big Three automakers for a loan in their hour of need, why not ask them for a swap? How about swapping the loan for a commitment from them to manufacture all American cars and parts in
Linden Green Drive