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Letter: Giving credit where due

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Posted: Tuesday, June 20, 2017 10:30 am

Editor: Earlier this spring, while my American history class talked about the turn of the 20th century, we discussed “yellow journalism” and studied comparisons to the present state of “news”. After studying the topic, a student offered this point to the discussion: “What if information hasn’t changed over the years and it has always been up to the readers to use critical thinking skills to decipher what is biased? Maybe people have always wanted to accept what fits their worldview.” How does this young-adult wisdom work today?

Two ongoing, global events have caught my attention that I believe serve as important case studies for the inhabitants of Lodi and the United States.

News lately has spent much time talking about terrorist attacks throughout Europe, especially those in the United Kingdom. Each day seems to bring about a new attack or more detail about a previous one. Then, I find a story about London imams (Muslim religious leaders) who, with Jewish and Christian clergy, walked the streets of London in a show of solidarity to core religious beliefs that condemn the acts — going as far as to say that such violence disqualifies adherence to the respective religions.

Less covered, but equally troubling, news out of the Philippines on the militant uprising on the island of Mindanao. Militants claiming an allegiance to ISIS going village to village seeking Christians, and other non-Muslims, to capture and kill. Then, the BBC reports Muslim families on the island have taken in Christians to hide them from militants and have helped them escape.

If a terrorist gets to change the values of Islam (“radical Islam” as some like to say), can a Samaritan do the same? Picking and choosing to meet our desired worldview is a dangerous pastime. Violence is so appealing to those who want to admonish a religion, but it only seems fair that those who act compassionately get a chance to represent their faith as well. Maybe a person should be judged by their character and not by the character of another. This is a great feature of Americanism.

Jonathan Solis

Lodi

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