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Applauding Parsons' Call for Tolerance

July 14, 2002

Re "So He Was an Arab--Let's Not Overreact," column, July 7:

I applaud Dana Parsons for his thoughtful and reasonable words in the column, and I commend The Times for publishing it.

Our nation is understandably tense and on edge, and that makes it all the more important not to jump to conclusions or vilify a whole group of people.

As Parsons writes, the individual who opened fire in the airport is exactly that: an individual. We should not, as some Americans and Israelis have, assume he is a terrorist or a member of some larger, hostile group.

There are millions of peaceful Arabs, Egyptians and Muslims living in the United States, and it would be folly to turn on them in suspicion and hate because of the actions of one. I hope we Americans can exemplify our nation's ideals by standing up for tolerance, justice and appreciation of diversity.

Farah Haq

West Chester, Pa.

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I want to thank you for publishing Dana Parsons' column. It is truly a sensible article and shows that we need to make sure that our emotions and our first instinct get the best of us. Thank you for supporting simple sensibility.

Ali Hakeem

College Station, Texas

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