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Letter to the Editor: Freedom of religion is a beautiful thing

To the editor:

Intolerance of others religion is not what America stands for. Racism and bigotry has no place in our great country. Mr. Jim Dyrdahl's latest charge (June 13 letter) is that not enough Muslims are denouncing violence. It doesn't take long to research and find all the Muslim organizations/individuals who have, in fact, condemned the violence. It's just another attack on Muslims by Dyrdahl. More Muslims have died from terrorists than followers of any other religion. That's just a fact.

One of our Founding Fathers, Thomas Jefferson, had a two-volume English translation of the Qur'an. Denise A. Spellberg's book "Thomas Jefferson's Qur'an — Islam and the Founders" reveals how our Founding Fathers intended religious tolerance as a key American ideal — not only for the different Protestant groups but also for future Muslim citizens in our country. In fact, President Trump hosted a Ramadan iftar dinner with Muslim guests at the White House on June 6, 2018.

Muslims serve, and have died, defending our freedoms beginning with the Revolutionary War and every major U.S. war since.

There are 1.6 billion Muslims living around the world. The Pew Research Center in 2017 reported that Muslims in the U.S. represent 1.1 percent of the total population. To quote Dyrdahl, "What is currently happening in Belgium (becoming a Muslim controlled nation), is what is destined to happen here unless there are changes." Is this more fear-mongering? If he is really worried about violence around the world, maybe he should look into the genocide being committed right now in Myanmar by Buddhists killing Rohingya Muslims.

Perhaps if Mr. Dyrdahl is so outraged about lying, as he wrote, has he written a letter to President Trump asking him to stop lying to the American public on a daily basis?

Gretchen Obert

Washington, D.C.

(Former Alexandria resident)

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