Muslims are part of America


Two recent Readers' Forum letters expressed misgivings about Muslims and the religion of Islam (“Tolerance, Islam an oxymoron” and “Fairness must come before trust,” Oct. 2).

Such sentiments are understandable in light of controversies such as the New York City Islamic center project and the aborted Qur'an burning by a Florida pastor. But one quote caught my attention: “It is fiction to believe that Islam can peacefully co-exist indefinitely with American values.”

Islam is just as American a religion as Christianity. Its followers have contributed greatly to the uniqueness of American values and culture. Activist Malcolm X, boxer Muhammad Ali, architect Fazlur Rahman Khan, basketball player Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, and Robert Crane, former deputy director of planning for the National Security Council, are just some examples.

Muslims also are teachers, mayors, political and social leaders, engineers, and doctors. We are your neighbors, friends, and colleagues. We are humans, just like you, with the good and the bad among us.

Let's hope knowledge and understanding prevail over fear.

Shamsuddin Waheed


Toledo Masjid al-Islam Islamic Center

As evidence electric cars are just a concept, a recent letter writer stated that the Chevrolet Volt “goes only 30 miles between charges” (“GM's Volt is not the answer,” Readers' Forum, Sept. 13).

The 1996 General Motors EV1 went 60 miles between charges on lead acid batteries and nearly doubled that after upgrades. With lithium-ion batteries, estimates were 200-300 miles.

The writer also says that “every known method of generating electricity affects the environment.” How do solar panels and wind turbines affect it? Are they eyesores? Bowling Green's four large wind turbines are quiet, have no emissions, and are nearly unnoticed.

Electric utility studies estimate that 20 million to 30 million electric cars could be charged at night when electric consumption is low, without new power plants or grid changes.

Greg Black

Weston, Ohio

What is wrong with our schools today? Gone are the days when mothers stayed home and cared for their kids, when fathers were the heads of their homes, and families ate dinner together and thanked God for providing the food.

A child needs to be taught what is a right and a wrong way to behave. But public schools have removed the Ten Commandments and prayer from the classroom. If there are no guidelines to follow, there is no right or wrong behavior.

Schools teach evolution, which is the belief that all things were created by chance. If God didn't create the universe, then there is no one people have to answer to for their behavior.

Sex education should not include passing out condoms. That says: If you are going to have sex, make sure it is safe. The only safe sex is to wait until marriage.

Shirley Konoff


Funding for the University of Toledo's Nitschke Technology Commercialization Complex was not a congressionally-directed project as suggested by a recent Readers' Forum letter (“Gravy train will bankrupt nation,” Sept. 30). Rather, it was an award to the university through a competitive-proposal process.

This project had the strong support of many community leaders and organizations, as well as financial contributions from the State of Ohio and a private citizen.

Chuck Lehnert

Vice President Facilities and Construction

University of Toledo

I attended the “One Nation Working Together” rally in Washington on Oct. 2 (“Tens of thousands rally for job creation, tolerance” Oct. 3). Your headline should have read “close to 200,000.”

Glenn Beck said that his supporters paid their own way to his Aug. 28 rally, while unions chartered buses for the Oct. 2 gathering.

That makes for a nice sound bite, but many who attended the Oct. 2 event weren't wealthy beneficiaries of the last Republican decade.

Average working people who spent two days without sleep and more than 20 hours on buses made no less a personal commitment than people who used a credit card to pay their way.

Paul Wohlfarth

Ottawa Lake

In his Sept. 29 op-ed column, “To Netanyahu, ‘peace' means surrender,” Gwynne Dyer erroneously suggests that Israel will be to blame when the Palestinians abandon the peace talks.

The Palestinians must walk, he says, because Israel refused to reinstate a building moratorium in Jewish communities that may become part of a future Palestinian state. To do otherwise, he implied, would be surrendering to Israel.

The final disposition of Jewish communities in the disputed territories is one of many issues to be hammered out in any comprehensive agreement. The parties might agree that some of the existing communities will become part of the new country of Palestine.

An exchange of territories is more likely. In either case, current settlement expansion will have no bearing on the final outcome of the peace talks.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and other Israelis are saying simply this: Only after the Palestinians surrender their dream of no Israel will there be peace.

Scott Rothstein

Thornbrough Drive

It was disturbing to read such a negative opinion on a subject many consider sacred (“It's foolish to rely on prayer,” Readers' Forum, Sept. 17).

In addition to personal reports of answered prayer, scientific studies have documented the positive effects of prayer.

I have had many prayers answered. Never once did I consider the answer to be a coincidence.

Karen McConnaughy


S. Amjad Hussain's Oct. 4 op-ed column, “Simple pleasures offer a reprieve from world events” was wonderful.

My husband frequently says that if he knew being a grandparent was so much fun, he would have become one first.

Dr. Hussain keeps his faithful readers in touch with his family. Children are our common ground.

Ann Baker


There has been much debate about the 3C passenger rail proposal in Ohio (“Kasich: No to train plan,” Aug. 5).

One criticism is that the trains will not go fast enough. It is true that high-speed rail will take time to get up and running, but we have to start somewhere. The trains that connect Detroit and Chicago run at a higher speed than they did when they began.

Another criticism is that the plan does not create jobs right away. The plan will create jobs in the future. Do we want to forfeit federal dollars and future jobs to other states?

If we do not act now, Ohio will continue to fall behind other states. The nation's population continues to grow and highway congestion continues to increase.

It is time for Ohio to be ready for the future instead of playing catch-up.

Ken Staib