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Respect America's Muslims

Saturday, January 1, 2005; Page A22

Regarding the Dec. 27 news story "Plan for Muslim Cemetery Met With Fear":

America is supposed to be the beacon of hope for the weak and defenseless. That any American would equate innocent Muslims with Islamic extremism is reprehensible. It is the same thing that happened to the Japanese in World War II: We were at war with Japan, so we locked up innocent Japanese Americans. Now, it would seem many Americans wish to do the same to innocent American Muslims.

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I am especially disgusted by John Wilson's statement that his opposition to the building of a mosque was because it would make the area a terrorist target. "You may think this is far-fetched," he said, "but that is what the Jewish people thought when the Nazis started taking a small foothold."

As an observant Jew, I see Mr. Wilson as the oppressor and the Muslims as the innocents being abused and discriminated against, not the other way around.

The Bible tells us not to abuse the stranger in our land, for we were strangers in the land of Egypt. Its message is that because Jews have suffered so much at the hands of others, we must be sure to be defenders and protectors when others become oppressed.

I hope that America can return to its roots as the defender and protector of the weak and defenseless. Until then, I will pray that America does not do to Muslims what others have done to the Jews, Japanese, Gypsies and countless others.

MICHAEL MAKOVI

Silver Spring


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