Fire suspect deserves a fair trial


After seeing reader comments on The Blade’s Web site in response to charges filed against apartment building owner Ray Abou-Arab in the deaths of two Toledo firefighters, I was left with a desire to be called for the jury if this case goes to trial (“Test of character,” editorial, Feb. 4).

My motivation is different from most of those who commented that they were certain of his guilt and desired punishment ranging from deportation to execution.

I agree with the minority of comments that remind the cyber-vigilantes of the “innocent unless proven guilty” adage. I pray that Mr. Abou-Arab gets the fair trial that everyone charged in American courts deserves.

The hatred expressed by readers is just as sinful as the crimes he is accused of in God’s eyes.


On arson suspect, let law prevail
I hope Toledoans will use the tragic loss of two city firefighters as an opportunity to grow and learn — especially to learn how to keep workers safer on the job — and not as a reason to release feelings of anger, frustration, and prejudice (“Suspect faces death penalty in arson case; Owner of apartments indicted on 13 counts,” Feb. 8).

In this nation, all people are considered innocent until proven guilty. We need to let reason prevail over emotion and let the justice system do its work.

As an opponent of the death penalty, I’m concerned about its use. But in the Abou-Arab case, I’m even more worried. Did he set this fire with the intention of murdering firefighters? That will need to be proven in court.

All human life has value. As difficult as it is for grieving Toledoans to accept, the Christian belief is that this principle applies to Mr. Abou-Arab as well.

I am not defending arson, but only the necessity for calm rationality and the rule of law to prevail.

Springfield Township


Unions do not stifle freedom
The writer of the Jan. 19 Readers’ Forum letter “Right-to-work law would help Ohio” says the legislation is about “freedom to join or not join a union.” But union representation is not forced on workers.

Union representation is gained by acquiring a required number of signatures that are certified by the National Labor Relations Board. Then an election is held among the employees that requires 50 percent of the vote plus one to form a union.

If an employee does not wish to work at a place that has union representation, he or she can apply to nonunion places such as Walmart, where pay, benefits, and working conditions are less than those their union counterparts receive. Now that’s freedom.



‘Holey Toledo’ notes potholes
While there have been many catchy Toledo slogans, one of my favorites captures the current situation: “Holey Toledo, a city you will do better in, but your tires and alignment may not.”

Gilbert Road