An Open Letter to American Muslims

Dear American Muslim Community,

I’m not entirely sure how it must feel to have the President of your country reaffirm his Christian faith, so as not to be seen as one of you.

I’m not sure how it must feel to have a very vocal community demand you not build a place of worship, because they find it offensive.

I’m not sure how it must feel to be considered associated with terrorists, even when you are not. Or to always be under suspicion, when you do nothing to be suspicious of.

I am sure, however, that there are fellow Americans…like my family…who see you as true patriots. The kind who blaze a trail with the very foundation this country was built on, while others stand in their way. We wish with all our hearts the rhetoric in this country was not demonizing you, or your families.

I’m ashamed and embarrassed at how you are being treated in your own land. I can only hope they don’t go after Polish Americans next. Or Romanian Americans, because my family would be next in line for their hate. I suppose, in this current climate, my family is safe being white and coming from a Catholic and Protestant background. But you never know. The crazy that has enveloped our nation seems to know no bounds, and I wouldn’t doubt if my family is next.

It seems we are not safe in our own country from those who believe they are righteous and ‘true’ Americans.

But we know Muslim Americans are just as ‘true’ as any other American walking any street in any town.

I guess we should be thankful our country allows for this ridiculous discourse. That we can argue over it all, and scream our bigotry from the tallest building. I guess…I guess. But right now I can’t help but feel shame for the behaviors of our countrymen and women, hell-bent on assuming you are less American, out to hurt them, and afraid of your presence.

While I take issue with your choice of religion, much the same as I take issue with your Christian brothers and sisters, I am proud to live in a country where you are welcome to practice your beliefs. And I want it to be clear to you and your family that we do not all hate. We are not all bigots. And you are just as American as I.

But you already know this. You’ve been living it. And I don’t mean to speak of things I don’t know. I just want to say… I’m sorry.


Erin Kotecki Vest


  1. What a perfectly wonderful post to happen to be my first read here. Thank you for saying what so many of us want to.
    .-= Honor MacDonald´s last blog ..The not a Mosque not at Ground Zero =-.

  2. Me too, Erin. Well said.
    .-= Barnmaven´s last blog ..First and last post on this subject =-.

  3. While you are so busy defending islam have you bothered to read their quran? Have you seen muslim men marrying small children? Have you seen the women with no faces. Throwing acid on them? Cutting parts of their bodies off? No, I am sure you have seen what you want to see..and, ignored the rest. Its like taking the mustard off your burger, its good now. Islam is not like other religions, well maybe religions of hundreds of years ago, but they still live in the dark ages. So tell them how much we love them, and respect their religion, but we dont. They came to our country and blew our people up. I saw our office workers jump from windows, I heard the man crying to his wife on the cell phone while the floor burned under him. You can fool yourself and the rest of the ignorant, but we know what that mosque is meant for. It is a sign of conquering, it is a filthy religion, and they are murderers.

  4. I totally agree and want to sign.
    But can you explain to me why it is being refered to as a Mosque. Everything I have read refers to it as being a Community center that will have to floors to allow for prayer service, while the rest of the buliding will have games and basketball courts and eduaction about the islam relgion, that is open to all people of all races of all reglions?
    just my two cents in question form.

  5. Ah Erin,
    Despite what you say, Derek did present another side of the argument. You said that this is a blog about an apology to Muslims and not one about the “community center.” But in your second paragraph YOU cite the “community center” as one of the points for which you must apologize on our behalf. He presented an argument for opposition. You called it bigotry.

    You wrote in response to my comment(which I thank you for posting) and just called my statements truths and half-truths. You supported your side of the argument with news articles and then attacked FOX News?!

    I would like to apologize on my own behalf, I am just a white American male who watches Fox, the BBC, and even CNN. But I am not smart enough to support my arguments by citing the media ad nauseum.

    I have however worked in threat assessment. I have analyzed extremist groups in a non-classified capacity. I do know that in order to have effective understanding of many muslim communities (who are not a single monolithic entity) and the politics that drive them, everybody must communicate with people who have blood on their hands. It is unavoidable.

    That is why I say that the Imam should be called to make a clear statement of exoneration. He’s not a wholesome innocent. He has by his own statements raised cause for concerns. I pattern my opinion after the method employed by Nelson Mandela. Peace and understanding is attainable but only with genuinely open communications. Press advocates are not credible. They have become advocates that interject themselves into the news. FOX News isn’t in a bubble. Neither is CNN.
    They reside in the same world and if they disagree, it isn’t fair to call them bigotts or say that they just regurgitate news. They have a different opinion. If you want respect, bring some to the table, please.

    And perhaps, unlike you, I do know the sting of condemnation that comes with being of a religious faith. I do know how it feels to have people write on my behalf because I just too stupid or bigotted to write or recognize truth for myself. So the next time I am at temple or wherever and in relgious contemplation, I will pray that somebody writes a blog sympathetic to me, although, as we have seen, waiting for the world to defend us is likely to get us murdered in large numbers.

  6. I am not defending the Koran or the Bible. I think both are bunk. I’m defending Americans and their rights.

    I think a large problem here is most people only associate Islam with radical Islam. Much like I have ‘normal’ Christian friends, I also have ‘normal’ Muslim friends.

    You can’t honestly believe every Muslim is a terrorist or marries a child bride just as much as you can’t possibly believe every Christian stones their children or has a wife who submits or kills their abortion doctor.

  7. @dereksdiatribe says:


    Hopefully you saw my reply on page 1 of the comments.

    The last paragraph of the latest post is the point. Most people don’t truly care if a mosque itself is built or even within a community center. The problem with this mosque is, once again, about WHO is going to be the Leader of it.

    I am a Catholic and I don’t care where the build Churches. If the Priest that is going to be in charge of it though is connected in some dubious ways with nefarious ‘other’ parties, then that also should be resolved.

    You are right, some do associate all Muslims with terrorism and a lot of others don’t. The blanket assumptiond made, like how you round-a-boutly called me a bigot for opposing the building until the outstanding ‘red flags’ are handled.

    In this new community center will there be a place for Christians and Jews to pray? Will they allow local Gay and Lesbian associations to gather? What exactly is there tolerance level?

    And if the Imam is out representing America during Ramadan in the Middle East, why exactly ist that most of the meetings are held behing ‘closed doors’? Why is there no press allowed?

    I don’t see all you ‘freedom of speech’ and ‘freedom of the press’ progressive liberals complaining that US dollars are being spent and we can’t know what’s happening behind those closw doors.

    I’d also like to apologize to all the sane Americans out there for the injustice and hatred thrown at yoiu by the lame stream media and those who worship it.

    Kindest Regards,

  8. Lets boil this down to gravy. Anyone who owns property at ground zero has the right to build there. I think, however, that there is a matter of decorum involved. In my home town, a mosque and community center was being constructed a few miles from my home. Once the construction started, one of our local citizens purchased the land next door to the mosque to hold pig races. The local press was aghast at how rude that was, how disrespectful. I agreed with the press. In this case, the owner of the property had the right to hold pig races next to the community center, but it was not the right thing to do.

    I feel similar about building a mosque or community center on ground zero. As much as I stood up for the community center back then, I am standing against this one.

    Why is it that you, self named Highness Queen of Spain, are so sensitive to the feelings of those outside of Judeo-Christian backgrounds, yet dismiss us as racists and bigots? Do you also support the Taliban’s action of blowing up the Buddha’s of Bamyan. It was on their land? They had the right to destroy that treasure. What is the difference? Was that the right thing to do?

    Someone asked earlier about the Japanese cultural center on Honolulu…It is not built over the USS Arizona. There is a difference. And what happened Hiroshima and Nagasaki was a shame. It also saved thousands of American lives. It was a necessary tragedy.

  9. from my facebook page Timothy McVeigh is considered by many to be a Christian terrorist. He was apprehended with photo copies of the Turner Diaries and was heavily influenced by judgement day and a race war that would overthrow the government. He killed people of many faiths in Oklahoma City. Yet when the structure was rebuilt, even the memorial quotes scripture. Why weren’t we demanding no churches be built near there? Why aren’t we upset the MEMORIAL in OKC has a bible verse on it? Why were other Christians in the community allowed to rebuild? Why wasn’t it salt in the wounds of those who lost lives?

    Because not all Christians are like Timothy McVeigh. Just like not all Muslims are like Al Queda. They lost loved ones too and they are rebuilding their community as well

  10. and I ask… since this Community Center is not at Ground Zero …. how far away would be far enough for you?

    Did you know they’ve been praying there ALREADY for a very long time?

    Did you know they have Muslim prayers 80 feet from the crash site at the Pentagon?

    Did you know?

    I’m embarrassed at how Americans are treating ALL AMERICAN MUSLIMS for what an extremist group did. Again, the only way you can be offended by Muslims “near” ground zero is if you believe THOSE MUSLIMS are terrorists.

    They are not.

    I’m speaking out because I’ve found white Christians in this country seem to think they own the whole damn place and anyone who isn’t white or Christian isn’t welcome, and can’t possibly be a true or real American.

  11. and I ask you, very simply – are all your Christian friends doctor murderers? Does every Baptist wife you know submit to her husband? Does every Catholic you know adhere to every rule in the church?

    Do you honestly believe every Muslim is the same?

    I’d never be Christian or Muslim…but I know good people who are both. I know Baptists who aren’t insane in their own families and I know Muslims who lead normal American lives.

    I think all this proves is many of you don’t know many American Muslims, or how they live.

  12. Hear hear!!
    .-= Edwin Perello´s last blog ..I Love My Country- but… =-.

  13. While I do believe in freedom of religion, this cult goes way beyond normal and acceptable human behavior. What civilized societies view as crimes against humanity the muslims consider acceptable religious behavior. All other faiths have their extremist, which cross this type of behavior, it is the norm for muslims. What most governments and people view as tolerance of faith in life style, muslims consider an offense punishable by death. This is not a matter of freedom of religion, it is a war. No different than anyother world war. Muslims have massacred millions of innocent people over the last millenium(buddist,hindu, and christian) : all in the name of their god. Again other religions have had their extreme moments but civilized people have reigned over this insanity. The muslims have progressively gotten worse in the same time window of time. It is a command of their god to convert you or kill you, you choose. Sounds like war to me, not tolerance of faith.

  14. Steve if you call that the norm for Muslims, I’m calling all Christian extremists the norm too. Time to leave your bubble a bit.

  15. I’ve tried to write a post about this issue for weeks and mine always come out angry. Thank you for this!!! It’s brilliant and beautiful and oh so true! I live in NYC and I’m so ashamed of everything that is going on. I am sad that the 1st Amendment is just a bunch of written words that the majority (68% – I read) don’t really believe should be put into action. So, thank you, again, for putting so eloquently and heartfelt what I could not.

  16. @dereksdiatribe says:

    I find it laughable that the word ‘Freedom of Speech’ are thrown around so trivially.
    I was told to keep my ‘bigotry’ of this blog after the link was posted on Twitter! So much for Freedom of Speech’!

    I have an idea, lets draw some pictures of what we think the Prophet Mohammad looks like.  We’ll see just how much Muslims believe in ‘Freedom of Speech’.
    And keep your eyes open for more information about Imam Rauf – a terrorist analyst be the name of Emerson has found hours of tape showing Rauf’s ties to radicalism such as Wahhabism (i.e. Saudi Arabia).

    As I’ve said all along – check out Imam Rauf before women like you become property.

    Kindest Regards,

  17. Boy Derek.. for someone so oppressed you still seem to be yapping …

  18. dereksdiatribe says:


    Thanks for yet another ad-hominen attack.

    It’s common when people can’t defend their positions that they will commonly resort to name calling.

    I was waiting to see if you were going to respond to any of the very valid points I made about the Imam and not about the “community center and mosque”.

    And now I have my answer. You just wanted to apologize.

    Thankfully they have a cure for a “bleeding heart”.

    Kindest Regards,

  19. Ah Derek. I don’t think that means what you think it means. First you claim your free speech is being violated because I told you to get your bigotry off my blog. Yet here you are! Then you claimed I didn’t refute your Imam claims yet in the comments I sent how many? 8? 9? sources to counter your claims. But apparently you ignore those too! How easy for you to just pretend history and facts don’t exist. Good thing we have the internet as a paper trail.

  20. And yes, this is a letter of apology- with out shame. We have treated our fellow Americans rather like shit lately, haven’t we?

  21. One of the difficult lessons of the 20th century is that leaders can do some pretty odious things without all that much opposition. As my grandparents siblings and their children who lacked the foresight to immigrate to New York were being deported from their ancestral town of Plock in 1941, there were a lot of right hands raised to salute the people who were doing that and relatively few finding a place for themselves in Yad Vashem or other public forums for people who did things to express opposition. In America, where we have protected political speech I did not see a lot of Imams taking a public stance against terroristic activities, not only in New York but in Afghanistan while Talibans destroyed irreplaceable Buddhist art and deprived females of much of their autonomy and even safety. I see people in other parts of the world memorializing purveyors of mayhem and death of innocents by naming streets or public places in their honor, with not a word of protest from the Islamic clergy of America where people are free and relatively safe to express what they think. When people in Africa get their limbs hatched or intimidated by the likes of Robert Mugave, it is the Anti-Defamation League and the Vatican at the forefront of outrage, not the representatives of the billion adherents of Islam. In the words of the great sage, Miss Piggy, c’est moi, its about me. doesn’t seem to be much in the way of concern directed to prior victims. In many ways, the lessons of the 20th century may need to be relearned in the 21st.
    .-= furrydoc´s last blog ..New Job Upcoming =-.

  22. In jr. high & 9th grade, I had a Muslim friend. Knowing her, and going over to her family’s home, exposed me to regular Muslims. I’m very glad for that.

    Thanks for writing this.
    .-= Al_Pal´s last blog ..Sensitivity- I have it =-.

  23. Actually, Q of S, you don’t have the authority to apologize for anyone. You’re just a blogger. Which is to say you’re just a chick with too much time on her hands and an obsession to self-publish.

    And you shouldn’t have said you think the Bible and the Qu’ran are “bunk.” That was a big mistake. Any credibility you might have had with American Muslims and the C-word folks was flushed down the proverbial toilet.

    But in a larger sense, it doesn’t matter, does it? You’re just a blogger. No one cares what you say.
    .-= daleandersen´s last blog ..Posisi Hisab Dalam Penentuan Awal =-.

  24. Awww Dale. I’ve missed you. You haven’t been around in awhile. If no one cares, why on earth do you keep coming back?

  25. I just LOVE it when people take the time to read your posts, and then take FURTHER time to comment, just to tell you that…no one reads your posts. Or follows up 74 comments by telling you that no one cares. HA!
    .-= Belinda´s last blog ..You Muskmelon Make This Jam =-.

  26. I’m late to the party, and I had to stop reading the comments because, frankly, they started hurting my feelings. These days any sentence with the word fox or beck seem to make me want to just go back to bed.

    Look. As I see it…

    One day, people are going to look back at this time, and feel incredibly embarrassed by the way they behaved. You’re NOT going to be one of those people.

    As an American who also happens to be Muslim… I read “I’m ashamed and embarrassed at how you are being treated in your own land.”… As I said, YOU, my friend? Have nothing to be ashamed or embarrassed about. Thank you, NOT for defending my right to practice my religion, but for defending my *country* and what it should stand for.

  27. As an American Catholic, I am embarrassed about the Church not addressing the homosexual priest issue. To the same point, why are American Muslims not addressing this issue and leaving it to QOS apologists and others to speak for them?

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