From Lynn G. Carlson
I have to respond to the mean-spirited letter from Andy Kmetz regarding Muslims (“Just what have Muslims ever done for America?” Feb. 4).
I served my country in the United States Peace Corps from 1983 to 1986 in Mali, West Africa n a country where the majority of the population is Muslim.
I discussed religion with my friends there frequently. They would ask if I was a Christian and when I said yes, they would reply by saying “Allah be ye kellen ye” n God is all one. They asked many intelligent questions about my religion and never once tried to convert me to theirs.
Their generous and kind acts toward me and each other, rather than any professions of faith or doctrine, showed me the quality of their spiritual beliefs.
It’s important that we not equate Islam with fanaticism. The jihadists who make the news are extreme and dangerous.
Mali itself has been attacked by them. Moderate Muslims there had to fight back, with the aid of French forces, to repel the fanatics who invaded the northern part of the country.
Again, all Muslims are not extremists, any more than all Christians are a part of extreme acts performed by Christian fanatics.
Muslims themselves can respond to the question of what they have done for America better than me, but as far as I am concerned, they don’t have to respond to such a ridiculous question at all.
I observe that here in Cheyenne, while their numbers are few, there are Muslims going about their lives, working hard, paying taxes, practising their religion quietly, raising their children and contributing to the community.
In other words, being good American citizens.
I have to think that many Catholics will cringe at Mr. Kmetz’s comments.
Also while in the Peace Corps, I witnessed the Catholic Church providing aid when needed to the Malian people regardless of religious affiliation, something I admired greatly.
These Christians lived the tenets of their religion and served God by serving others, not by writing ugly letters to the newspaper.