Cultural ignoramuses; Steppin' out with Mr. F; Hail to the chief; Take a trolley Uptown; Muddy waters

Cultural ignoramuses

I have read your "Fluff" column ("Misguided Muslims," May 25) in the Dallas Observer. What's so ridiculous is you! If anybody is misguided, it is you! You think Steve McGonigle is one of the best reporters The Dallas Morning News has!

People like you and Steve McGonigle are so ignorant about Islam and Muslims. It is not even funny! Sometimes I wonder whether it's ignorance or plain hate for anyone who does not look and think like you do.

I'm not sure you've ever heard this statement: "Think education is expensive? Try ignorance." Your column is poorly written. It has no substance except trying to defend your buddy Mr. McGonigle. What is the "something" that it is a proof of? You could not even qualify that. The few hundreds of stories were not enough for you. Should it be a few thousand? One article is too many!

Both of you absolutely have nothing to offer the society you live in except promoting your own stupidity to the rest of the city. I challenge both of you to sit down in a town hall meeting with some intellectuals from around the city (Muslims and non-Muslims) to debate this issue and find out whether people with brains think that The Dallas Morning News, Steve McGonigle, and Eric Celeste are biased and racist or not. Are you up to it?

Waseem Nasrallah
Via e-mail

From Webster's Ninth New Collegiate Dictionary: Bias--A highly personal and unreasoned distortion of judgment: prejudice.

One-sided--Having one side prominent or more developed: limited to one side.

I could go on with the vocabulary lesson, but I'm sure you get the point. You claim that the articles published by The Dallas Morning News are "proof of something." Proof of what, sir? Could you be a little more specific? Are you saying that because the DMN reports on terrible acts done by so-called Muslims is proof that Islam equals terrorism, and Muslims equal terrorists? The issue is not that the DMN reports on stories that shine a negative light on Muslims and we don't like it. That is not the issue, sir. Do so-called Muslims commit terrible acts from time to time? Of course they do. We are not blind and ignorant. The issue is balanced and unbiased reporting. Isn't that what journalism is supposed to be about? The DMN has a responsibility to report what happens even if it does not shine favorably on a certain group of people. They also have a responsibility to be fair in their reporting. Are all the things that Muslims do connected with terrorism? What percentage of Muslims engage in these acts? What is that number compared with the majority? How many negative stories about Muslims has the DMN reported? What is that number compared with the positive stories? How many articles have the words "Islam" and "peace" in them? What is that number compared with the stories that have the words "Islam" and "terror" in them? Where are the articles that have Muslims' opinions on terrorism? Where are the articles that show what Islam teaches? Where are the articles showing that the word "Islam" comes from the root words silm and salaama, which mean peace and submission? If they're not there, then the reporting is biased. It doesn't take a genius to see that. When only certain aspects of a story, or community are shown, then the reporting is one-sided and biased. Plain and simple.

Perhaps you feel that the Muslims in the Dallas-Fort Worth area have no lives, nothing better to do, or that we don't have families to raise. Perhaps you feel that we are just complaining. The fact that we are protesting shows that there is a problem. We have brains. The fact that there is a Web site and protests in front of the DMN is "proof of something." No? We don't want special treatment or suppression of the news. We want justice, balanced and unbiased reporting, fair treatment in media, knowledgeable stories, facts, etc. It's really basic. Perhaps you should have spoken with some local Muslims or the leaders of this movement to see what the deal was before opening your mouth. Ninety-nine percent of Muslims are not Osama Bin Laden, and we are tired of being labeled as such. Wake up!

Via e-mail

Steppin' out with Mr. F

Mr. Schutze, I must commend you for another stinging, evocative piece on the--I'll use your newly nominated word--appalling southern Dallas public pools situation ("Deepest depths," May 25). I have been a freelance journalist for a few years now, and if I wrote as eloquently and as bitingly as you, I would no longer need to freelance. But I digress. Once again, you have accurately pinpointed the problem in keeping those pools open--it's back-stabbing, self-centered city council politics. [Council members Barbara] Mallory Caraway and [James] Fantroy sure did a lot to lock up re-election votes by shutting the door (and then leaning their bureaucratic fat asses against it) on the funding of those pools. It's May, the temperatures are hitting 100 degrees, and school is out. Where are these kids going to go? What will their parents tell them?

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