Letters to the Editor

I am writing in response to the decision to publish the controversial cartoon of the Prophet Mohammed in The Berkeley Beacon.

I have been following the controversy in Europe; however, this is the first time that I have actually seen this cartoon, and I am greatly hurt by it and can understand the outrage from the global Muslim community.,Dear Editor,

I am writing in response to the decision to publish the controversial cartoon of the Prophet Mohammed in The Berkeley Beacon.

I have been following the controversy in Europe; however, this is the first time that I have actually seen this cartoon, and I am greatly hurt by it and can understand the outrage from the global Muslim community.

As a Muslim student, I am deeply offended by this cartoon.

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I truly support the freedom of the press, speech and ideas. I do not support the violence or hate speech that has resulted from the cartoons in the rest of the world.

Protesting in a constructive way is a necessary and beneficial part of my religion, but violent measures step out of the bounds of Islam.

The Quran states, “Keep to forgiveness and enjoin kindness, and turn away from the ignorant” (Chapter 7, Verse 199). This is not a debate about the freedom of the press or speech or even censorship.

The issue at hand is the ethical judgment and responsibility that the press, and media in general have, to our society as a whole. With freedom comes a responsibility.

Is it right for a newspaper to offend members of the Emerson student body and Muslims around the world for the sake of proving a point?

We have classes at Emerson that are dedicated to these topics. This is bad journalism.

Respected major newspapers such as The Boston Globe chose not to publish the cartoon, because they are “gratuitous and unnecessarily provocative.”

The Berkeley Beacon is paid for by SGA and is an Emerson College officially recognized organization where students receive a non-tuition credit.

Therefore, a personal attack on members of the student body made by The Beacon that goes uncondemned without consequence can be interpreted as a personal attack from the SGA, the faculty, administration and the Emerson College student body as a whole, on the personal heritage and beliefs of the Muslim students at Emerson.

We must actively condemn The Beacon for its conscientious decision to offend the Muslim students at Emerson College and the more than 1.5 billion Muslims in the rest of the world.

-Helal Homaidan

For the Islamic Community of Emerson

Dear Editor,

I am deeply disturbed that a newspaper which would like to be considered respectable tries to get credibility (and popularity) by using sensational actions which knowingly offend the students it is here to serve.

As a secular Jew, I agree with Mr. Boyle that fundamentalism is bad, but in this case, he and The Beacon are proving that secular fundamentalism is dangerous as well-using a methodology of hate promotion similar to the radical religious one he objects to.

I am not sure in what “modern secular society” Mr. Boyle thinks we live in and what morals it holds (knowing that there are no federal gay marriage rights, and Sunday is still considered a religious day), but my secular morals are about accepting others, not making fun of them-especially not for the mere sake of mocking an entire group or belief as a whole and the pure pleasure that derives from the ability to do so.

I strongly call for punitive actions against The Beacon and its poorly educated Mr. Boyle.

Let us not stand by in silence like Martin Niemoeller, the Lutheran Pastor under the Nazi regime (see Holocaust Memorial), and wait for The Beacon to get a hold of a cartoon that bashes another minority within our student body.

Let us object to and raise our voices together against any type of racism, and go against its printing under the freedom to offend.

-Yoni Vendriger

President of Emerson Hillel

Dear Editor,

In the recent article in last week’s Berkeley Beacon regarding the prophet Mohammed cartoon, I have to say as a practicing Muslim and Emerson student that I felt disrespected to see it in our weekly newspaper.