Note: This letter appeared in the Gainesville Sun on July 10, 2009.
Letters to the Editor Gainesville Sun, FL
July 8, 2009
To the Editor:
Re: Church sign stirs outrage (July 8).
The DoveWorldOutreachCenter's unfortunate display of an anti-Islam message is a sign that interfaith discussion and understanding are much needed within the Gainesville community.
First Amendment freedoms entitle the DoveWorldOutreachCenter to express its opinion. But important moral and ethical responsibilities accompany such freedoms.
The church's decision to erect a sign proclaiming that "Islam is of the devil" and its statement to The Gainesville Sun classifying Islam as "a violent and oppressive religion" perpetuate offensive misconceptions about the Islamic faith. The violence promulgated by radical Islamists must not be confused with Islam as a religion.
Andrew L. Rosenkranz ADL Florida Regional Director
Media Watch ADL monitors electronic and print media reports about the Middle East