Letters to the editor: May 21, 2014

Is Islamophobia widespread?

Sen. Daniel Patrick Moynihan said, “Everyone is entitled to his own opinion, but not to his own facts.”

Give us your opinion, but support them with facts. The Jewish Light editorial last week included the following  statement: “Given the amount of Islamophobia that’s been exhibited in this country, especially since 9/11…”   

The 2012 FBI Hate Crime statistics contradict the commonly heard claim of widespread “Islamophobia” in the United States. The FBI listed 1,166 Hate Crimes in 2012, of which only 149 were “anti-Islamic” (695 were “Anti-Jewish”).

What's My Home Worth? ad

“Islamophobia” has declined, not increased, since 2001. FBI statistics show the number of anti-Islamic hate crimes declined by over 70 percent, from 481 in 2001 to 149 in 2012.

And, here’s something very important for readers of the Jewish Light. Since 2001, every year’s FBI reports included between two and five times as many anti-Jewish hate crimes as anti-Islamic ones.

As for “school prayer,” every event in my hometown, West Frankfort, Ill., began with a Christian prayer, so I’m not offended by such things. What I did learn, however, from being a “minority of one,” was the importance of knowing the difference between facts and opinions.   

Richard H Senturia, Director

Citizens for a Just and Lasting Peace in the Middle East

A great loss

The unexpected death of attorney Ralph Kalish at age 63 creates in almost everyone who knew him a feeling of unfairness, because very few people can be said to be a genuine expert in so very many different fields and areas, and be, therefore, irreplaceable. 

Harvey J. Schramm