Learn from history, now | AspenTimes.com

Learn from history, now

Dear Editor:With recent Senate approval of $2.4 billion in U.S. aid to Israel, the freedom to discuss Israel’s policies toward Palestine, and how U.S. support of those policies relates to terrorist acts against innocent civilians in both of our nations, is every American taxpayer’s right and is protected by our Constitution. As a citizen, I resent the attempt to silence public debate by muddying it with anti-Muslim propaganda, indignant denial, and accusations of anti-Semitism.Demonizing Islam and stifling free speech is not conducive to finding a solution to combating terrorism, which is vital to everyone’s safety and survival. In fact, these actions might lead to frightening consequences for American citizens.If the pro-Israel faction in America succeeds in convincing the majority that those who advocate justice for Palestine are disseminating anti-Semitic messages, it would be possible to use anti-hate speech laws to eliminate public discussion, thereby abridging our First Amendment rights and handing a victory to those who want to “destroy our freedom.”Dr. Tawfik Hamid advocates legislation prohibiting American Muslim women from wearing their headscarves. He also told audiences in Aspen that even moderate Muslims condone jihad and that many American Muslim leaders promote hatred of America, and suggested tighter controls on freedom of speech in American mosques. In other words, Hamid advocates discrimination against and persecution of people based on their religion.If the pro-Israel lobbyists and their counterparts like ALERT succeed, by employing shills like Tawfik Hamid, in convincing the majority that moderate American Muslims are a threat to our safety, we will be ripe for hate crimes, mosque bombings, and the violation of civil rights by government entities.I suggest we learn the lessons of history and speak out now, while we still have the freedom, to prevent an American Muslim Holocaust.Sue GrayCarbondale