Friday, December 01, 2006

What does 'a group like that' mean?

Here is an awesome letter to the editor written by Selene, a Girls Editorial Board member. The letter was printed in the December 1, 2006 issue of the Duluth News Tribune.

This is regarding the Nov. 26 letter about the Minneapolis airport incident in which six praying Muslims scared another passenger and resulted in questioning of the Muslims, having their backgrounds checked, being "free to go," but not being allowed to continue on the same airline ("Passenger deserves praise for response to clerics"). The writer states "when a group like that acts in a strange manner." What does "a group like that" mean? Does it mean a group of people praying on airplanes, or is it a group fitting the American standard of terrorists? I have family members who are Iranian and most of them are dark and have a "Middle-Eastern look," but none of them are terrorists.

What classifies "acting in a strange manner?" There are many different religions that have different times and reasons for praying. In some religions, you must pray at certain times of day or before you do certain things. I suspect if a Caucasian person was praying on a plane in a specifically Christian way, he or she would not be pulled off the plane for questioning and perhaps even arrest.

I agree with the writer on one thing — our world has changed since Sept. 11, 2001, but definitely not for the better. Airlines need to have security measures in place, but racial profiling is not the way to go. Maybe terrorists don’t all wear big turbans and have bushy, black beards; maybe they look like the American ideal of a normal person — maybe.

I think the country has more than enough people like the lady who "warned" the authorities about the praying Muslims. Instead, we need more people who don’t look at every person from the Middle East with suspicion. Suspicion should be reserved for somebody who actually has done something horrible. It’s not for us to decide who looks like a terrorist and who doesn’t.

The writer is 12 years old.

This letter is a good example of a way to let your voice be heard! Writing to New Moon is another! You can also write your mayor, talk to your principal, or start a petition. What are some ways that you let YOUR VOICE be heard? Tell us about it by emailing


Anonymous said...

Not everybody's cristian ya know !

Anonymous said...

Quite right. I hate that we do this. It makes you wonder: Wouldn't it be classified as totally racist if Iranians started pulling ideal-looking Americans off planes for praying the Christian way? I have a horrible, sinking feeling that it would be.