Letter To The Editor



In Dena-Kay Martin's article, "Anti-Semitism Prevalent On Campuses, ADL Says" (Monday, Oct. 21), UB student Garry Mikhailevich made comments on the religion of Islam and Muslims on campus that I found very troubling. In Martin's article, Mikhailevich states, "There are Islamic meetings on campus, in which they discuss and scapegoat to justify the murder of Jews in the Middle East and explain why their religion is not directly responsible." This statement is very complex, but only in that its ignorance resonates on multiple levels.

Firstly, I personally have planned and/or attended each and every single "Islamic Meeting" on this campus in the past year and oddly have seen Mr. Mikhailevich at none of them. Neither in Muslim Student Association events or in the weekly Jummah prayer services has the murder of Jews been supported or even widely discussed. The only conclusion I can draw, then, is that Mr. Mikhailevich is either misinformed or lying.

Secondly, I would like to remind the readers of this paper that the situation in the Middle East is not one-sided. According to the Associated Press, since the uprising in September of 2000, 611 Jews have been murdered. However, in that same period nearly three times as many Muslims (1,625) have also been murdered - but perhaps I should rephrase this statement in terms more acceptable to the current political climate. In the current middle-eastern conflict, 611 Jews have been murdered and 1,625 Muslims have been collaterally damaged.

Finally, in his statement, Mr. Mikhailevich said that in these alleged meetings we "discuss and scapegoat" reasons why our religion is not directly responsible for the murder of Jews. No scapegoating is necessary here. Islam is not responsible for the Middle-Eastern violence. What Mr. Mikhailevich has failed to realize, beyond an elementary interpretation of the conflict, is that there are political entities at work, which are unrelated to and separate from the religions of Judaism and Islam. While such misconceptions are sadly typical, they are odd when presented in an article that addresses bigotry against a religion. I wonder if anyone else sees the irony.