Puzzled & disturbed

To the Editor:

I've been puzzled and disturbed by the predominance of articles by your regular columnist Shavana Abruzzo in her column A Britisher's View, concerning her opinions regarding Moslems and the Islamic religion.

Why do the Courier-Life Brooklyn neighborhood newspapers choose to import somebody from Great Britain to write articles in Brooklyn neighborhood papers supposedly devoted to local affairs, rather than find a Brooklyn writer like its two other regulars, Stanley P. Gershbein and Joanna P. DelBuono? Why does Shavana Abruzzo, disproportionately, write about the faults of the Islamic religion and Moslems as individuals? Why are these articles regularly published here in Brooklyn where there is a significant minority of Pakistani, Bangladeshi, Arab and Afro-American and miscellaneous other Moslems? Why doesn't she write about the faults of Catholics, Protestants, Eastern Orthodox Christians, Jews and Buddhists and their religions since every organized religion and some of their practitioners have failings?

When she writes, why does she choose to repeatedly use derogatory terms like “Moslem thugs,” “Moslem terror mongers,” “plague of Moslem zealots,” “venomous, murderous fundamentalists,” “terror thugs,” “Moslem fiends,” when describing the actions of individuals, who happen to be identifiable practitioners of the Islamic religion? Would Courier-Life Brooklyn neighborhood newspaper editors encourage, or even permit, its columnists or any of its writers to use terms like Catholic thugs, Protestant fiends, Jewish terror mongers or venomous, murderous ethical culturists when describing the misdeeds of practitioners of these beliefs?

I wish I knew the answer to these questions. As a Jew who is familiar with the diatribes of anti-Semites against my people and the religion that they practice (or fail to practice), her writing is reminiscent of the early 20th century anti-Semitic forgery, “The Protocols of the Elders of Zion,” or medieval blood libels, accusing Jews of killing Christian children so as to use their blood to bake Passover matzos. These terms sound very much like the anti-Jewish attacks used in medieval Europe or in Czarist Russia by leaders of these badly ruled societies to relieve pressure against them by stirring up their people to attack and kill the Jews.

These diatribes of Ms. Abruzzo are not dissimilar to those used by Gobbels, Hitler's propaganda coordinator before and during the Nazi “final solution to the Jewish problem”: gas chambers followed by the ovens. Or, are Shavana Abruzzo and her supporters trying to get the rest of us to follow the path of Torquemada and the Inquisition in the 15th and 16th Century Spain and Portugal to force both Jews and Moslems to convert to their view of the true faith under penalty of being burnt alive at the stake? Or are Shavana Abruzzo and those who agree with her approach merely attempting to introduce ethnic cleansing from Rwanda, Burundi, the former Yugoslavia and too many other places on our planet, to Brooklyn?

It certainly sounds as if Ms. Abruzzo is trying to stir up hate against Moslems and their religion. I certainly hope that her hate language isn't trying to provoke hate crimes against the overwhelmingly law abiding Moslem population here in Brooklyn.

Maybe, the problem is that she doesn't know how to write English in a decent, respectful manner. Or maybe the problem is that Ms. Abruzzo got her training by writing for the Fleet Street London tabloids where it is difficult to read an entire edition and get any real news or serious discussion of issues, but instead page after page of sensationalism, partially invented scandal and attack writing. These British tabloids make the New York Post look like high class journalism.

Regardless of the reasons for the Abruzzo obsession with Islam and Moslems, and her antagonistic approach to the Moslem religion and its practitioners, I do hold her and the Courier-Life Brooklyn neighborhood newspapers responsible for hate writing against our Moslem neighbors and apparently attempting to stir up the rest of us against people originating from Pakistan, Bangladesh, and the Arabic-speaking countries.

I hope that the editors of the Courier-Life Brooklyn neighborhood newspapers print this letter despite its criticism of its editorial policy and one of its columnists if they really believe in open dialogue about issues.

Charles Davis

Red Hook

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