Dear Mr. President:
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Dear Mr. President:
To the Editor:
Unfortunately, in the last century the narrative of Jewish-Muslim relations has been marred by episodes of violence and hate. Ignored by many, however, is that both religions derive from the same source: Abrahamic monotheism. Therefore Judaism and Islam are not related just functionally — as are all faiths — but share a mutual history, hence the two religions need not to be seen as adversaries but more like siblings, the spiritual children of Ishmael (Muslims) and Isaac (Jews).
As a current Rutgers graduate student in the Department of Religious Studies, it is rather upsetting to see a group claiming to represent the honorable Jewish students on campus — the Rutgers Hillel — is hosting an event this Tuesday, Sept. 30, that could lead to the spewing of much hate and negativity. The event Hillel is hosting is titled “Examining Human Rights Violations Against Minorities in the Islamist World,” and the guest speaker for the event, Brooke Goldstein, is a known Islamophobe.
Of the many noteworthy Super Bowl commercials, Coca-Cola’s “America the Beautiful” has received the lion’s share of attention. In the commercial, the song “America the Beautiful” is sung in eight different languages to depict the melting pot of ethnicities in the United States. This act of singing in multiple languages has caused uproar on Twitter and Facebook, where many found it difficult to comprehend that a patriotic song could be sung in a language other than English. But not only has the bigoted sector of our society come out against this commercial, but I too have come out against this commercial. I, unlike the bigots, have little or no interest with the language aspect of the commercial, I simply disagree with the message “America the Beautiful” portrays. I believe America is not beautiful, and there are statistics to back my claim. According to the United Nations Children’s Fund, the U.S. is ranked 34th out of the 35 most developed nations in the world in terms of child poverty. The Program for International Student Assessment, based on math, reading and science test scores, ranks the United States’ student body in comparison to the student bodies of all other nations as the 36th. According to the Palma ratio, the U.S. is ranked 44th out of 86 nations in terms of income inequality, making it much worse than the rest of the world’s developed nations as well as many underdeveloped nations, such as Nigeria. However, America doesn’t lag behind in all areas. According to the IHS Jane’s Defence Budgets, we account for 58 percent of the total defense dollars paid out by the world’s top 10 military powers. These numbers and many more are ugly — thus singing “America the Beautiful” does not make this nation beautiful. We, collectively, have a long way to go before we can even begin discussing beauty.