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Letters to the editor: A harrowing reminder

A harrowing reminder


Sarah Yacoub's recent column (Thursday, Aug. 30) in this paper is a harrowing reminder of just how easily some people can justify taking a life. She makes the case that if a family is treading water or can't afford to pay for healthcare, then a child does not deserve the right to live. Is that really the bar our society should set? Any little financial hiccup is an excuse to deny a bay the right to exist? If your electricity bill is too high, should you abort your child? If you're late on your credit card, should you abort your child? What world are we living in if people like Sarah value the sanctity of life less than they value Obamacare?

What's worse, Yacoub is either lying or misinformed about her accusations. She said pro-lifers haven't thought about illegal abortions, but these laws already exist. She claims pro-lifers are pulling heart strings, but then asks what would happen if a mother's life were at risk. AGain, these laws already exist. And pro-life people ARE trying to help, one fundraiser, cookie sale, donation at a time with NO help from government money (unlike Planned Parenthood who takes our taxpayer dollars for anti-life purposes.)

Personally, I support life, as well as taking the $25 million Madison's Planned Parenthood receives each year and putting it toward non-controversial services that actually help women gain access to healthcare and services, rather than encouraging them to abort their child. That's why I support the introduction of the Women's Public Health and Safety Act, which would do just that.

If you are pregnant and scared and you read Sarah's column, know that she is wrong. You are strong and life is precious.

Deborah Elwood


Greetings of peace


My name is John Emery. I am a veteran of the US Army, a Muslim, and a speaker for Islamic Resource Group []. While I am not a resident of Hudson, I have followed the exchanges in this paper about the role of Muslims in the United States. I have noticed a lack of Muslim voices in this conversation, and I would like to provide some context and speak on behalf of Americans who are Muslim.

Muslims have been a part of the Americas since at least 1528, helping explore what would become the United States. About one-third of the Africans enslaved in the Americas were Muslims when they arrived. In the 19th and 20th centuries, generations of Muslims came to the United States seeking freedom from military conscription, unfair taxation and lack of opportunity.

These Muslim homesteaders, entrepreneurs and factory workers demonstrated that with hard work and grit any person can succeed in America, regardless of their ethnic or religious background.

Today, in the 21st century, Muslims around the world continue to seek a home in the United States. Like my German Catholic and Irish Protestant ancestors, they are seeking a home free from religious persecution where they can combine their religious values with the high ideals of the American Constitution. Americans who are Muslim love this country because of America's commitment to fairness, dignity and respect for all. We are weaker as a country when we let fear and lack of understanding to come between us. So, instead of dividing along sectarian lines, let us unite in a United States which doesn't simply tolerate difference, but celebrates the strength and beauty of our diverse backgrounds.

Finally, if you have a question about Muslims, then ask a Muslim. I invite everyone reading this letter to invite a speaker from Islamic Resource Group to their local community organization, house of worship, or school. IRG has more than 40 speakers - all Americans who are Muslim - ready to share their stories, answer your questions and to build bridges of peace and understanding. I also invite everyone to visit a Muslim house of worship (mosque). You can request a guest speaker or a visit to a mosque from our website IRGMN.ORG or contact me directly at John@IRGMN.ORG

John Emery

Islamic Resource Group

St. Anthony, Minn.

Appreciates civil, thoughtful letters


As a long time resident of Hudson and reader of the Star Observer, I want to compliment the authors of the letters to the editor in the Sept. 20 issue and the editor for choosing these letters to print. I found the letters timely, thoughtful, civil and informative, all very much appreciated by this reader. Thank you.

Joyce Santo


Facts matter


Mr. Tom Westerhaus' perception is his reality but not based in facts. The words and phrases he cited were taken out of context and accusations were painted with a broad brush in an obvious desperate attempt to foment [his] hate against and contempt for Citizens for the St. Croix Valley. Breathtaking hypocrisy.

Westerhaus' writing suggests he failed to realize the speaker, Usama Dakdok, is deeply self-aware, unflinchingly self-critical about his own operating assumptions, driven to ask questions, and to affirm convictions when others do not. Real professionals (Mr. Dakdok) have something to profess. It's the wisdom that comes from the examined life.

Mr. Dakdok has heart-knowledge. In the Jewish and Christian traditions, the most important thing about being a human being is having heart.

The speaker was very well researched, extremely well sourced and flawlessly argued. The presentation was based on the Bible and the Qur'an. The haters have lost their collective minds. If you haven't noticed, the left has mastered the art of making facts controversial.

Given Westerhaus' writing, it would behoove him to read and actually learn something from Robert Fulgram's popular book titled "All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten." Fulgram's words are worth remembering: "Wisdom was not at the top of the graduate school mountain, but there in the sand pile. I learned: Share everything. Play fair. Don't hit people. Clean up your own mess. Don't take things that aren't yours. Say you're sorry when you hurt someone. Live a balanced life - learn some and think some and draw and paint and sing and dance and play and work some every day. When you go out into the world, watch out for the traffic, and hold hands. Heart wisdom — deep within you, learned a long time ago. Don't neglect it."

We, like Socrates, may not have profound last words about our lives. Whatever they are, I hope they are words of integrity, satisfaction, and gratitude.

STOP the vitriol against Citizens for the St. Croix County. REMEMBER Milwaukee Sheriff David Clarke's words of wisdom --- "don't stay stuck on stupid!"

Mary Grosenick