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Letters to the Editor 

Week of Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Racism and Middle Eastern Children

Cruel: I can't believe these things happen in schools ("Suffer the Little Muslims," Aug. 17). If there was ever a place a child should feel sheltered, outside of the home, it should be at school. I hate that people could be so cruel, specially in a society I feel is so advanced. Boy, am I wrong. I wish I could have been at one of these incidents to try and understand why people say these things -- to ask them what they are trying to get at, and to have protected these children from ignorance.

Thanks for opening my eyes.

Mercy (last name withheld)
North Beach

Unsettling: I am writing to express my sincere appreciation for your recent article on racism and discrimination towards Muslim Americans in the American education system. For myself and other Muslim Americans, the current sociopolitical discourse is quite unsettling, but voices like yours are both refreshing and encouraging to us all. I hope you will continue to voice your opinion on such matters, regardless of how unpopular it might be.

Noreen Kausar Zaman
New York

Important: I enjoyed your article around Muslim discrimination. It comes at an appropriate time and I think it is important to bring such subjects to light.

We will be hosting a class and public lecture which begins in September entitled "Understanding Islam" at California Institute of Integral Studies. It is being taught by an amazing man who is a Westerner but converted to Islam in 1968 and lived and studied in Mecca, Medinah, and North Africa. He is a scholar in Islamic Studies and Arabic, and has served as chaplain at San Quentin, as well. He has a unique ability to make difficult subjects accessible.

We felt that Islam was an important issue in the world presently and wanted to educate the public on this tradition in face of so much negative publicity. You can learn more about the program at We will also be hosting a few other programs around Islam, including a special program on women in Islam's history and a mystical dialogue between an Imam and Rabbi.

Karim Baer
Director, CIIS Public Programs

An unappreciative view: Wow, this is some top-notch journalism. You lead with a story about a girl getting teased for her appearance in high school (wow, that's Pulitzer Prize material) and then don't even bother to call the teacher or administrator involved for a balanced side of the story. Is there a chance that the teacher didn't say "or whatever your people believe"? Eh ... let's not let balance and objectivity get in the way of a good story. After all, a girl was teased in high school here ... clearly this is a epidemic of anti-Arab racism that is permeating our school system! STOP THE PRESSES!

Lame. Seriously, this is super lame.

Chris Bauer
San Francisco

Editor's note: The story was based on interviews with 27 Middle Eastern families whose children were alleged to have suffered some form of discrimination in Bay Area schools. We attempted to contact teachers and administrators with knowledge of each case of alleged discrimination. The San Francisco school district declined, in all cases, to make teachers available for interview.

The Comedy of Camelot

Aren't we, though?: Fucking brilliant ("Remembering Our Camelot," Aug. 10)! I laughed sooo hard.

Leigh Toth
Nob Hill

It's official -- another new low!: The value of reading SF Weekly is to collect a perspective not offered by the conventional press. Included in this alternative view is the irreverent and wicked humor of talents that regularly grace your pages. I've got to take exception, though, to the over-the-top parody of the mayor, specifically the staged sexual positions. No matter how you feel about the man, this is not just sophomoric, but vitriolic. It has established a new low in the alternative press for a personal attack on an elected public official -- and his wife. What's next, personal tidbits culled from garbage cans outside their home? Medical records revealed? Come on guys, show a little class.

Charles Higueras
Miraloma Park


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