News From Terre Haute, Indiana

Letters

June 2, 2013

READERS' FORUM: June 2, 2013

(Continued)

Responses prove writer’s point

In his letter dated April 7, 2013, Arthur Feinsod states that the anti-Islam commentary in this newspaper could lead to statements advocating violence against Muslims, thereby harming interfaith dialogue and the community. Subsequent letters on this topic have proven Feinsod to be 100 percent correct.

Take Saul Rosenthal’s letter dated April 21. Rosenthal has always fancied himself to be the smartest guy in town (see June 24, 2012 “in my not-so-humble opinion …”), writing lengthy letters on any topic no matter how trivial.  

Now Rosenthal argues that the anti-Islam letters should be allowed because writers “have a right to free speech about how they feel about Islam, even if many disagree.” But Feinsod never made any argument for government censorship that would violate the right of free speech — he argued only for responsible speech that would support interfaith dialogue and a better community. The “right” of free speech is irrelevant.

Some readers may believe that this is an innocent mistake by Rosenthal. But Rosenthal has previously written about the distinction between free speech rights and responsible speech. In October of 2010, Rosenthal wrote a scathing critique of NBC News for airing an interview with the despicable President of Iran.

Rosenthal wrote, with great sarcasm, “Let us thank our lucky stars and stripes for such a fearless affirmation of our freedom by serving as a megaphone for the minority, the pariahs, the outcasts, no matter how unpopular, freakish or criminal.” So Rosenthal does understand the difference between free speech rights and responsible speech. But his past writings indicate that Rosenthal advocates for responsible speech in the case of Jews and Israel, but defends those who write hate speech against Muslims.  

Rosenthal claims that he only wants to “awaken and galvanize a largely complacent world” about the dangers of Al-Qaeda. What?! Rosenthal must have been living in a Taliban cave during the two wars waged during the decade after9⁄11, culminating in the righteous death of Osama bin Laden. And what does female genital mutilation have to do with Al-Qaeda? It seems more like a device used to elicit emotion against Islam and Muslims at large, and it is not the first time Rosenthal has (mis)used this device.

In November of 2009, Rosenthal wrote a letter noting the horrible practice of female genital mutilation in Africa and cited a WHO report to associate the practice with Islam. But in its 2009 report, WHO stated the practice was found in these countries among, “Muslims, Christians (Catholics, Protestants and Copts), and Animists, as well as non-believers.” If anyone is spreading half-truths, it’s Rosenthal.

After9⁄11 and other acts of terrorism by extremist Muslims (including the tragic events in Boston last month and London last week), everyone already knows about the danger of Muslim extremists. And since 100 percent of readers already know this, by definition Rosenthal cannot educate readers on this point, and it’s difficult to believe that is his true motivation. On the contrary, Rosenthal’s own past writings suggest that he has a strong prejudice against Islam and Muslims at large, and that he is willing to torture the First Amendment, assert a double standard on responsible speech, and spread half-truths in order to assert this prejudice.

Leaving aside the apparent integrity points, Rosenthal is so caught up in his mission that he is missing the larger picture. Rosenthal calls Abhyankar “brave,” even as Abhyankar latest missive is that the solution to Ron Mott’s problem is the eradication of Islam — not radical Islam, but Islam (April 28).

Rosenthal should ask himself what Abhyankar has in mind for Jews once Muslims are eradicated. The other Hindu writer who has supported Abhyankar’s anti-Islam rant is Dr. Anil Sarkar, who may have given us a hint when he previously wrote in this paper that Jews worship a “powerless” god who did not save them from Hitler.

Perhaps Rosenthal is not as smart as he thinks he is.

— Tina Christian

Libertyville, Ill.

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