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Paranoia? Or a real affront to reasonable folk?

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I was outraged when I read the guest opinion” printed in Friday’s Roane County News.

It’s shameful that the editors of our local paper are so determined to insult the sensible citizens of Tennessee and silence those who are asking legitimate questions that they go all the way to the Washington Post to reprint accusations of “Islamophobia!”

Charles Haynes plays the tired old demonization card right away with his condescending “Let’s be honest. Much of the controversy surrounding the so-called ground zero mosque is fueled by Islamophobia — a fear and loathing of Islam.” His definition of honesty obviously differs greatly from my understanding of the word.

Why bother to respond to the serious concerns of people who disagree with him when he can simply dismiss those concerns as “paranoid fantasy” and continue along his merry way, preaching to us simple-minded bigots about “religious freedom.”

I have a few questions for Mr. Haynes.

If the only reason for opposing this mosque is “fear and loathing of Islam” then how does he explain the opposition of moderate Muslims?

Zuhdi Jasser, president and founder of the American Islamic Forum for Democracy, told the Daily Caller, ‘This is not a humble Islamic statement. A mosque such as this is actually a political structure that casts a shadow over a cemetery, over hallowed ground. 9/11 was the beginning of a kinetic war, it is not an opportunity for cultural exchange, it was the beginning of a conflict with those who want to destroy our way of life.’”

Stephen Schwartz, director of the Center for Islamic Pluralism, highlighted three problems with the project.

“First of all, aside from the issues of conflict with jihad, Islam teaches us, especially Muslims living in non-Muslim societies, to avoid conflict with our neighbors,” he told The DC. “We think this is an incredibly heedless project. It went forward without adequate planning or foresight, without anticipating reaction and it is absurd to think that there would not have been reaction. It is simply absurd. Second, there is the problem of Imam Feisal’s propensity to mix with radicals. And thirdly, there is a problem with the lack of transparency about money funding.”

Imam Feisal has been reported to have connections with known terrorist organizations such as Hamas, whose leader recently announced his support for the project. I guess the involvement of Hamas doesn’t concern Mr. Haynes.

I just don’t think it’s wise to allow known sponsors of terrorism to build “educational outreach” centers in this country. Has Mr. Haynes ever heard of the Trojan Horse?

Maybe the growing “anger and prejudice” Mr. Haynes described is actually a reasonable response to deliberate, provocative statements and actions.

Maybe most Americans can look at history and understand the Muslim custom of building grand mosques at the sites of their greatest conquests.

Mr. Haynes may not see it that way, but most Americans realize that radical Muslims around the world certainly will see it as a symbol of their victory over the “Great Satan” and they will be encouraged and energized in their quest to make Sharia the law of the land.

Look around you, Mr, Haynes. England has already given ground to Sharia, there is at least one Saudi-funded school promoting Sharia in Fairfax County Va., Saudi-backed saboteurs in the Muslim Brotherhood operate in America and boldly promise to “eliminate and destroy Western civilization from within” and googling “honor killings” will bring you stories about victims right here in our communities.

A “paranoid fantasy?’”

Not if you look at the facts.

Linda Wimberley

Kingston