Student handled situation perfectly

I believe Mr. Jeff Siddiqui misinterpreted the article “Painting at Everett Community College offends and enlightens” (Feb. 26 letter). He describes his anger toward the misrepresentation of Islam and Muslims being portrayed as “murderous terrorists.” I find it poor logic to attempt to counteract the damage created by a violent image of a Muslim woman with an even more violent image of “American soldiers raping a young Iraqi girl…”

He stated that the al Maly family were intellectually intimidated into retracting their opposition. That is a gross misinterpretation. Is it so impossible to believe that Doaa al Maly is a peaceful and intelligent individual who saw something that offended her and sought to understand the meaning in a pacifistic way?

The purpose of confronting the museum volunteers was for Ms. al Maly to prove that Muslim women are not violent terrorists, but in fact peaceful caretakers. I believe she valiantly proved her point. She saw something that angered her and did not retaliate by asking for a disgusting depiction of Americans to be put on display, but instead sought to understand the reasoning behind the painting and invited the artist to her home for tea. The artist admitted to not knowing much about Islam and the al Maly family took this as an opportunity to teach her. That is freedom of speech in its purest form.

Perhaps our nation would have a better reputation globally if the administration followed a similar philosophy. Isn’t truth and understanding the philosophy that is powerful enough to end wars and bring conflicted communities together? Why must Mr. Siddiqui assume that Ms. al Maly and her father were wrong to “let it go” because they did not act aggressively? They have not let it go. They proved that Muslims are nonviolent people and can resolve complicated issues peacefully.

Natasha Hundley


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