- The Washington Times - Tuesday, October 24, 2000

A sea of letters protesting article's treatment of Islam

Had R. Emmett Tyrrell Jr.'s column only included the words "greedy" and "hook-nosed," I would have guessed it to be one of the Nazi articles that preceded Kristallnacht ("In a sea of hatred," Oct. 20)
At a time when Muslims make up the vast majority of refugees and victims of violence and ethnic cleansing around the world, I find it disturbing to read such bigotry coming out of one of America's most established newspapers. It seems that Mr. Tyrrell is not satisfied with all that suffering and wants to extend it to the Muslim community in this country.
As we Muslims learned after the Oklahoma City bombing, it only takes suspicion and some hateful articles to lead to flagrant violence against innocent Muslim communities in America. I know that your publication does not condone religious bigotry and is not in the business of inciting hate and racism. That's why I urge you not to print again such racist articles to poison minds. I also encourage you to apologize to the Muslim community for this defamation.
Please remember that the only help Nazi writers needed to cause Kristallnacht was access to mainstream media.
Houston, Texas

I once believed that if any paper in the country could avoid succumbing to ignorance and racism, it was The Washington Times. I was dead wrong.
On behalf of the Spring Hill Muslim Organization, I would like to express my disgust with the column "In a sea of hatred" by R. Emmett Tyrrell Jr. (Commentary, Oct. 20).
If Mr. Tyrrell had made such comments about blacks or Jews, his career would be ruined, and your paper would be issuing apologies for weeks on end. Why should Muslims be different?
Your paper is a good one, and I think as such, you should issue an apology, retract the article, and refrain from running articles by such flagrant racists. This man not only is historically incorrect, he is way out of bounds claiming that the Palestinians and Muslims are peoples who are "warlike by nature." Obviously, Mr. Tyrrell forgets that his country dropped an atomic bomb in 1945, killing upwards of 100,000 civilians. This is not warlike?
If I do not see an apology from your paper soon, count me, my organization and a lot of Muslims as lost readers. Thank you for your time.
Spring Hill, Fla.

I was quite appalled, to say the least, by a recent column by R. Emmett Tyrrell Jr. of the American Spectator in the Washington Times. His column, "In a sea of hatred," goes beyond the bounds of decency and morality. I am a Muslim and am deeply offended by the distorted view put forth by Mr. Tyrrell. I have read the history of Islam and have studied it throughout my life, and not once have I seen any mention of Mr. Tyrrell's sickening story about the "bug pit." I am quite offended that you would publish such mischaracterizations and misinformation.
I truly think that I, along with the other 10 million Muslims in America, deserve an apology. It is difficult to fathom that here, in the year 2000, we still have such deep-seated hatred and anger toward other people. The very same hatred and anger Mr. Tyrrell condemns is exemplified and amplified by him.
Toledo, Ohio

I strongly deplore the racist and bigoted nature of the views expressed in "In a sea of hatred" by R. Emmett Tyrrell Jr. (Commentary, Oct. 20).
One only has to do a body count over the past 1,400 years to find out who has killed more the "civilized" Westerners or the "warlike" Muslims.
Most of the Islamic potentates today are clients of the West and are kept in power against the will of the ruled.
Israel already has gunned down more than 110 Palestinians, including 12- and 13-year-old children. Instead of condemning Israeli brutality, Mr. Tyrrell has chosen to condemn the victims and defame their faith in the process. Such bigotry is deplorable.
I ask The Washington Times to publish an immediate apology to Muslims. You also should apologize to your readers for printing such misleading information.
North Andover, Mass.

I am convinced that your editorial staff, as principled, intelligent people, must have been embarrassed by R. Emmett Tyrrell Jr.'s recent Commentary column on the Middle East, the "cruel nature" of Muslim potentates and the "bellicosity" of Islam as a religion ("In a sea of hatred," Oct. 20). Undoubtedly you printed his thoughts if I may so describe them only in the interest of respecting Mr. Tyrrell's First Amendment rights rights codified by slaveholders who slaughtered American Indians and drove the survivors from their lands and did so in the name of a Judeo-Christian God who was, Himself, no amateur at holy war. (See Joshua 11:14-15, "The Israelites plundered all these cities and kept for themselves the cattle and any other spoil they took; but they put every living soul to the sword until they had destroyed every one; they did not leave alive any one that drew breath. The Lord laid his commands on his servant Moses, and Moses laid these same commands on Joshua, and Joshua carried them out. Not one of the commands laid on Moses by the Lord did he leave unfulfilled.")
You, I'm sure, would never sink to crass essentialism and assume that the cruelty and bellicosity of Western potentates such as Napoleon or Hitler have any implications for the inner and true nature of Western civilization, nor would you assume that the cruelty and bellicosity of Israeli Likud leader Ariel Sharon is any reflection on the Jewish people. You also, I'm sure, were puzzled by Mr. Tyrrell's statement that people in the West would be unable to appreciate seas of ethnic hatred, because you, knowledgeable people, are fully aware that such seas actually have been known to wash up on European and American shores, incredibly enough once or twice even within the past decade.
In short, your publication of Mr. Tyrrell's piece was an admirable exercise in toleration of all opinions, no matter how aberrant, uninformed or bizarre. You undoubtedly are to be congratulated.
New Paltz, N.Y.

R. Emmett Tyrrell Jr.'s Oct. 20 Commentary column, "In a sea of hatred," goes too far by referring to a medieval torture device, the bug pit, as one of Islam's "cultural treasures." Would he label the rack as one of the great cultural treasures of Christianity? Crimes of individual potentates should not be used to tar the historical cultural heritage of a billion people, many of whom are your readers.
Davidson, N.C.

I am infuriated by the remarks of R. Emmett Tyrrell Jr. ("In a sea of hatred," Oct. 20). How dare he decide that because someone way back when decided to act like a barbarian, all Muslims act in this way? While I am offended by his comments, I am more offended that a newspaper would think including this type of hateful material is proper.
The religion of Islam calls for an end to the type of violence Mr. Tyrrell describes. Certainly, Jesus himself called for an end to violence, but how many Christians break that rule on a daily basis? Certainly, Moses told the Jews not be violent; however, just look how Israel blows up the houses of families of people the government considers its enemies without giving them a trial. Israeli soldiers fired live bullets into a crowd of people, mostly young children, who had been throwing stones. They shelled villages with rockets fired by helicopters. But I suppose it is better for your paper to report that only the Muslim populations of the world allow the type of brutality described in Mr. Tyrrell's article. Next time, don't be so biased and be a little more cautious.

"In a sea of hatred," by R. Emmett Tyrrell Jr. (Oct. 20), was more than just a partisan commentary. It was full of racist hatred toward Arabs and Muslims. Mr. Tyrrell describes Islam as "warlike by nature" and "a religion that encourages bellicosity." Among the most offensive comments were "one of my favorites is the Emir Nasrullah Khan of Bukhara, keeper of one of Islam's cultural treasures, the bug pit" and, "The cruelty of Islamic potentates has benefited no one, yet it remains . . . ."
How is this different from Louis Farrakhan calling Judaism a "gutter religion"? Neither statement is accurate.
While it is acceptable to write extremely partisan articles, racism is always unacceptable. Mr. Tyrrell's bigoted tirade does not belong in a publication such as yours. You should apologize to Muslims for this insensitivity.
Scarborough, Ontario

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