Editor, the Gauntlet,
[Re: "Muslim feature one-sided," letter, Nov. 30, 2006]
I began to read Robert Schmiel's letter regarding Sarah Malik's three-part feature on modern day Muslims with great interest. Okay, I made that part up, but I found nothing that would dispute her facts; rather his letter simply states that Malik's article wasn't written in the fashion Schmiel would have preferred.
There is nothing wrong with her sources and nothing wrong with her arguments; he clearly refrains from challenging those aspects. What he does find "utterly unhelpful and discouraging" about the article is the fact that it seeks to describe the current political situation Muslims in third world countries find themselves in. Rather, he would have Malik talk about how some Muslims aren't good people.
Obviously, the latter accomplishes only fear and consternation, whereas the former helps us understand the issue in more detail so that we can come up with solutions, and more importantly help those who are attempting to implement such solutions (ie. Muslims seeking to discredit the radical ideology of terrorism from a religious point of view).
Secondly, he misunderstood the concern from a northeast Calgary Muslim leader who feared that youth were hijacking the identity of Muslims for their own gang. I'll give him the benefit of the doubt and consider it a simple misunderstanding. But to criticize an article for not being what he expected is, in my opinion, not only utterly unhelpful and discouraging, but also laughably ridiculous.