One of the characteristics of the Minneapolis Star Tribune that makes it such a bad paper is the relentlessness of its bias. From coverage of the local news, to the editorial page, to the letters to the editor, to its metro columnists the paper is saturated with a leftist know-nothing perspective. The one exception is columnist Katherine Kersten, whom the paper treats like a virus against which antibodies must regularly be deployed.
Thus the editorial page runs editorials that argue with her columns and the letters to the editor tilt markedly against against her columns. On the Star Tribune site today, the following letter to the editor has been designated “letter of the day,” with the heading “New Year resolution for Kersten: Lay off Islam.” See if you can determine the qualities that set this letter apart for special recognition:
It’s nice to see that, after Katherine Kersten’s recent obsession with bashing Muslims, she has finally chosen a subject about which she actually has knowledge. Thank goodness for Christmas!
Her Dec. 21 column was the first in more than two weeks that wasn’t devoted to misrepresenting Muslims and Muslim organizations.
Past Kersten columns quoted an expert on Somali culture giving his incorrect religious opinion about Muslims transporting alcohol. Wouldn’t an expert on Islam have been a more credible source?
Another “source” was quoted as stating, incorrectly, the Muslim American Society of Minnesota is an “Arab organization” with a “Middle East” agenda. Omitted was the fact that two-thirds of the organization’s leadership is neither Arab nor Middle Eastern.
Her latest column focuses on calling for a cease-fire in the war on Christmas and honoring the contributions of those with different beliefs.
While we are in the midst of celebrating our respective holidays, readers may be interested to know that many Muslims are about to embark on the pilgrimage known as Hajj — the largest annual peaceful assemblage of people in the world. Millions of Muslims gather in Mecca responding to the call of Prophet Abraham, united in the spirit of peace and unity.
It is in this spirit that Muslims respect and honor those with different beliefs. It is in this same spirit that we respectfully request that biased columnists refrain from obvious attempts to misrepresent a beautiful religion and its believers.
KHALID ELMASRY, MAPLEWOOD;
SPOKESMAN. MUSLIM AMERICAN SOCIETY OF MINNESOTA
Virtually every statement or implication of every statement in the letter is false. Gotta love that Muslim muliticulturalism on display in Mecca and elsewhere in the Muslim world! Just check out the churches in Mecca. And that “annual peaceful assemblage” of Hajj somehow regularly gives rise to hundreds of deaths, as noted in “Incidents during the Hajj.” I don’t think “peaceful assemblage” would be the first words that leap to the mind of those who have recognized the pattern of trampling deaths every few years during the Hajj.
Or compare Kersten’s column on the airport’s Somali taxi drivers with Elmasry’s description of it. Kersten suggests in the column that the “no alcohol carry” fatwa — issued by the MAS itself! — is inconsistent with Somali cultural practices, not with Islam. (The description of a MAS as an “Arab group” with a “Middle East agenda” was Kersten’s quotation of Omar Jamal, director of the Somali Justice Advocacy Center.) Perhaps its concatenation of falsehoods is what makes Elmasry’s letter deserving of “letter of the day” honors.