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How have Muslima assimilated into the USA? Quite well, actually

To The Daily Sun,

In the latest alt-right rant in The Sun, Don Ewing wants us to believe that Islam in any form is "incompatible with our freedoms." Certainly, both the Quran and the Bible are morally equivalent in that they are antithetical to the principles of liberty in important ways. But the different sects and denominations of the religions themselves that have evolved over time are not always congruent with the literal readings of these books. Many sects have freed themselves from the literal readings of these archaic books. Progressive Christians and Muslims have done that. Right wing extremists have a habit of using a wide brush on groups they disdain as if that group is monolithic. They use the behavior of a group's fringe to demonize the rest whether it's Islam, liberals, immigrants, refugees, or Black Lives Matter. Even welfare recipients. Ewing claims "Millions of Muslim refugees in Europe are demanding, threatening, crude, ungrateful, and violent against people and property" and "Muslim assimilation with their adopted countries and cultures generally isn't their goal. Their goal is to transform those countries into Sharia law-ruled Muslim countries." Millions? What BS. Clearly, Ewing is clueless regarding Shariah and willfully lies. Millions? There is a good article defining it on the "Muslims for Progressive Values" website (http://www.mpvusa.org/sharia-law/). Every time righties mention Shariah, they want you to think ISIS or terrorism. It's not that simple.

The facts do not support Ewing's propaganda regarding "millions", "incompatibility", and "assimilation." Ewing demagogs. How have Muslims assimilated into the USA? Quite well. In the landmark Religious Landscape Study, believers were asked whether homosexuals should be accepted by our society, only 36 percent of Evangelical Christians and Steve Earle's Mormons thought so. Of all Protestants, only 39 percent thought so but 45 percent of American Muslims supported such equality. Regarding same-sex marriage freedoms, only 28 percent of Evangelicals and 26 percent of Mormons favored the freedom to marry while 38 percent of all Protestants did. Meanwhile, 42 percent of American Muslims did. Regarding reproductive freedoms, 33 percent of Evangelical Christians, 27 percent of Mormons, and 42 percent of all Protestants thought abortion should be legal. The survey found 48 percent of American Muslims supported legal abortion. Muslims are also ahead of conservative Christians on the environment. Christian Evangelicals want to use government to force their views regarding marriage, contraception, family planning, and reproductive freedoms upon all Americans. Right wing Christianity is the political ideology we should be concerned about here. How about women in the workforce? Asked whether having women in the workforce has made society better, 58 percent of Evangelicals thought so but 67 percent of America's Muslims did. Muslims have assimilated quite well in the USA. They have assimilated so well that they vote largely Democrat which is more concerned with civil liberties than the GOP is.

Ewing states, "Thousands of Muslims from immigrant/refugee families in Western countries demonstrate their commitment to Islam by joining ISIS or committing, or been caught planning or supporting, terrorist acts". BBC claims 850 went to ISIS from the U.K. The Swedish paper "The Local" claims 300 from Sweden and 90 from Norway. CNN claims 1,000 from France. The Daily Mail claims around 700 Germans. There are 4.8 million Muslims in Germany, 4.7 million in France, 3 million in the UK, a million in The Netherlands, a million in Spain, 630,000 in Belgium, 430,000 in Sweden, and 230,000 in Denmark. There are over 20 million Muslims living in Europe. That means that around one hundredth of one percent of European Muslims went to fight for ISIS. Yet, the fascistic propaganda of Ewing, Wiles, and Earle want you to believe otherwise.

What do Muslims around the world think of ISIS? In Pew's 2017 global survey, "Muslims and Islam: Key findings in the U.S. and around the world", Pew wanted to know what percentage of the people had favorable views of ISIS? Lebanon, 0 percent; Jordan, 3 percent, Indonesia, 4 percent; Palestinian Territory, 6 percent;. Turkey, 8 percent; Malaysia, 11 percent; Senegal, 11 percent; Nigeria, 14 percent; Pakistan, 9 percent. Yet most Muslims try to live by Shariah, which means the "way" or "path." It is similar in meaning to the Jewish law of Halakhah, which for Orthodox Jews means, "the path that one walks." Both involve a "comprehensive way of life, filled with rules and practices that affect every aspect of life" (jewfaq.org).

To learn about the progressive Muslim organizations, go to https://clarionproject.org/Progressive-Muslim-Organizations/. See also http://www.mpvusa.org/. Yes, progressive Muslims are as real as progressive Christians.

James Veverka


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I will seek re-election to the Ward4 seat on our City Council

To The Daily Sun,

Just when I think I should step down from being a City Councilor, events happen that impel me to stay the course.

I have served my ward and the city for the past 11 years in the only way I can: honestly, bipartisan, and with my only agenda doing what I can to make improvements in the city without hurting the taxpayers and nontax payers. Everyone is important. Always to the end that our young people are left with a city to be proud of and encourage them to stay and live out their lives in Laconia. Always to the end that our senior citizens who have made this Ccty and to those who have chosen to join us, to live without fear of tax increases, poor living standards, and safety for them to walk their neighborhoods and enjoy what we are so proud of here. Always to the working class, who are struggling for a better life and better jobs so that their children and their parents and grandparents are provided for.

It is not done alone, but by a united council that works hard to stay within the tax cap and gets things done that are meant to improve your lives with as little hurt as possible.

This is an election year and there is an organized group that would like to replace this council along with the tax cap. They want to spend, not for the good of the city, but for their own agendas  —  to spend without thinking how it affects the lives of the young, the old, the poor, and the middle class. They appeal to special groups; some use fear; some are dishonest in their claims.

Most are people who can stand the tax increases that will come, but they forget those who cannot.

The wanna be spenders forget that Laconia is considered to be the highest in income disparity in the state. They only see their own. They forget the highest percentage of the population is the seniors. No longer working, but living on Social Security, or pensions, savings, and the willingness to live with less.

They forget that over 60 percent of our students qualify for free lunches, breakfast, and sometimes dinner.

They forget industry is no longer coming into the area.

They forget a lot of our population is working two jobs or both parents are working just to provide food and shelter for their families.

They forget that our young people are leaving Laconia for better jobs elsewhere.

Because I do not forget these things, I will run for city councilor from Ward 4 once again this fall.

I would like to see the community working together as neighbors and friends. Let's not fall into the tactics that are now raging in the country. Let's stick to the facts and at the same time look for things we can agree on and make what compromises might be needed.

I hope by having a contested election process, the people will get involved and turn out for the primary. There is nothing more important than the place where you live. You can make a difference in local government by taking part in the primary election. Only two people will come out of the primary and run for office of councilor. You can't run for office if you don't win one of two spots in the primary.

Brenda Baer

Councilor, Ward 4


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