The hysterically anti-Muslim letter from state Rep. Paul Wesselhöft ("A call for nonviolent civil disobedience," Aug. 25, Gazette) reveals alignment with Glenn Beck's anti-Muslim ranting on Fox News Radio. Beck and Wesselhöft should take a deep breath and consider some rational observations:
Worldwide, al-Qaida's political murders have killed more Muslims than Christians. The 9/11 terrorist attack on America was political, not religious, and Muslims who worked in the World Trade Center were killed with others. The Muslim religion should not be blamed for 9/11 any more than Christianity should be blamed for Germany starting World War II (although Christian churches in Germany almost unanimously supported the Nazi hate campaign against Jews that resulted in the Holocaust).
The proposed Islamic community center in New York is at least two blocks away from Ground Zero (it's not "at" Ground Zero, as Beck and Wesselhöft claim). Neither location can be seen from the other. The connection is contrived by Muslim-bashers inflaming the passions of otherwise good people, evoking mob mentality that is frightening to reasonable Americans. Irrational fears of black liberation in America resulted in hundreds of shameful lynchings. Now a Muslim cab driver has been attacked because of this hysteria.
U.S. military prospects in the Middle East and our troops on the ground are threatened by anti-Muslim demonstrations in America. Gen. David Petraeus is pursuing a campaign to win the hearts and minds of the people of Afghanistan, already suspicious of U.S. intentions after nine years of war.
The U.S. Constitution stands tall in the world for protecting religious freedom and religious worship. With some unfortunate exceptions, we Americans have set a standard of religious freedom of expression admired the world around. Third-generation Muslims in America love this country, quietly going about their business, paying their taxes, loving their fellow man. That's why people come to America.
Beck and other Fox personalities have one goal, and that is to undermine this administration through slanderous assertions about President Obama: that he is a Muslim (he's not), that he got it from his father (an atheist who deserted the family when Barack was a very young child), that he was born in Kenya (ridiculous slander, long since refuted), etc. The fear-mongering radio jocks at Fox joyfully instigate loathing for Hispanics, Muslims and liberals, building a mob mentality they hope will result in votes for the party they represent.
I pray for the rise of America's reasonable majority " people of all political persuasions " to put the brakes on this growing national madness that will destroy America from within. It is more dangerous than any foreign opponents.
Batchelder, a Vietnam veteran and graduate of Oklahoma City University, is director of The Peace House in Oklahoma City.