In response to your July 30 cover story on Samar Ali, you received a handwritten anonymous letter full of misspellings and angry, hateful words, including ethnic slurs and profanity that you rightly brought to daylight and published in The City Paper on August 13. However, I respectfully disagree with your analysis of the writer’s political perspective and basis for opinions expressed. Accordingly, I here present a more detailed analysis of that letter in view of relevant evidence anyone can check and confirm.
First, I am NOT a member of the Tea Party and do not support some of their policies. However, I strongly doubt that the author of that letter is one either, as you suggest. Whatever anyone may think of their views, Tea Partiers have proven over several years to be decent, law-abiding, better-than-average educated, and respectful of others enough not to engage in the kind of hate speech present in his letter. (It was the Occupiers that vented their ignorance, trashed every place they went to, and yelled or wrote profane ethnic and religious slurs. But this writer is too lucid to be an Occupier.)
The fact that he expresses anger at liberals does not make him a Tea Partier. While all members of the Tea Party certainly are conservative, not all non-liberals are Tea Partiers. The fact that he never learned the etiquette of public discourse would make him unwelcome at Tea Party gatherings. Also, because conservatives strongly believe in taking personal responsibility for their actions, if he were a Tea Partier he would have signed his letter — at least with a pseudonym, if worried about Muslim retaliation against him and his family (if any), which we all know is a very real threat.
While the writer’s spelling proves him to be a victim of decades of “dumbing down” of public education all across America, the man is NOT stupid. His letter has reasonable form; and his handwriting is more legible than most, especially now that the ubiquitous keyboard has prompted many schools to drop penmanship instruction entirely. The pen does not come with a spell-checker, but at least his phonetic attempts are close enough to convey which words he means. Also, a spell-checker does not catch real words that are incorrectly used, as where he says “their” instead of “they’re” — a very common error (including confusion with “there”) in typed text these days. Even his grammar and punctuation are fairly good, despite his obvious anger.
So let’s focus on the factuality of what he said, rather than on how crudely he expressed it. What is true is true no matter who says it or with what motivation. (“The sun rises in the east” would still be true even if uttered by an intentional liar who himself happened to believe it rose in the west.) As it turns out, much — but not all — of what he says is, in fact, verifiably true; so we need to determine which is which.
The evidence of 1,400 years supports the writer’s claims about Islamic brutality towards both women (even Muslim women) and “infidels” or “non-believers” of all kinds. The rules of Muslim behavior come straight from Muhammad and can be seen in the Quran and related texts, which non-Muslims are forbidden even to touch (lest they know the truth). Muhammad was, indeed, said to have personally killed many “infidels” and did take a child as one of his wives. The reality is that the more faithful a Muslim is to the Quran, the more that person — if male — must emulate the cruelly capricious behavior of Muhammad, or — if female — must submit to the barbaric behavior of males who do. And the Quran makes it very clear that there are no restrictions on the degree of deception or violence that may be used in their worldwide effort to convert absolutely everyone to Islam.
The writer goes wrong when he — without any proof whatever — attributes that mindset and behavior to Samar Ali and vents his anger in her direction. Whether his anger comes from loss of a friend or loved one on 9/11, personal injury or loss of a relative or buddy during military service in the Middle East, or just plain bigotry is irrelevant.
Samar Ali is the highly educated and extremely competent daughter of equally educated parents (medical doctors) who came to America from separate countries before marrying here. Likely, they moved here seeking freedom from Shariah law and strict Islamic practice. Ms. Ali’s public appearance without veil or head cover suggests that her American attitudes are dominant over her Islamic heritage, as is true for most Muslims in this country.
The Quran IS, in fact, in clear conflict with our Declaration of Independence, Constitution, Bill of Rights, and several later Amendments. One cannot truly be loyal to both philosophies.
The ONLY just criticism of Ms. Ali’s appointment, then, is whether any person of Muslim heritage can truthfully accept the U.S. public office requirement of allegiance to America’s founding principles. That is an issue which must be settled through public interviews of her — not closed-minded mudslinging.
'The City Paper' occasionally publishes thoughtful letters to the editor online.