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April 10, 2013

READERS' FORUM; April 10, 2013

Disagree, but don’t censor

I, too, am a fan of the Trib-Star Readers’ Forum and have been a subscriber for over 20 years, ever since I arrived in Terre Haute. I noted with interest the letter from Dr. Abhyankar which liberally quoted the website apostates of Islam.

In that letter, former Muslims decried a religion to which they had firsthand knowledge, specifically pointing to a doctrine of hatred pervasive in fundamentalist Islam and Sharia law. The letter also asserted that the intent was to point out the problems associated with a religion they are deeply familiar with but to distance that critique from their fellow Muslims for whom they deeply care. A few days later you published a letter from Dr. Arthur Feinsod, professor of theater, complaining that the first letter was a hate letter and how deeply troubled he is by the decision to allow its publication. Feinsod later allows that he is all for free speech but apparently only if it agrees with his point of view. Dr. Feinsod admits to having no background in the Muslim faith, but, he has friends who are Muslim. Well, there is that.

In agreement with Dr. Feinsod, one would indeed hope that we can foster a community environment where all walks of life and members of every faith are allowed to worship and live as they see fit within the confines of the law. What infuriates me is his quickness to accuse Dr. Abhyankar of intolerance, bias and hatred.

Nowhere does Dr. Feinsod explain how Dr. Abhyankar manages that. I find it interesting that the least tolerant among us tend to trot out the buzz word “intolerant” as they criticize this paper for allowing ideas to be expressed which don’t agree with their own.

Nothing in Dr. Abhyankar’s letter threatened the safety and security of our Muslim visitors, friends and neighbors. Dr. Feinsod, on the other hand, would gladly censor free speech, if we’d only allow him to do so.

— William M. Munson

Terre Haute

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