Muslims in America- 2/11/2007

Re “Iraq’s Shadow Widens Sunni-Shiite Split in U.S.” (front page, Feb. 4):
The war and its ugly aftermath have served to raise the salience of this split. Most important, American Muslim religious leaders have not dealt with this issue in a realistic manner.
My experience attending Sunni as well as Shiite mosques is that Muslim religious leaders take one of two opposite stands — stating either that there is “no difference” between the two groups or that the two groups are “completely different.”
Both positions are false and unrealistic; neither helps the groups enjoy a healthy coexistence.
Muslims will get along better only when there is an acknowledgment of commonalities as well as real and major differences, and an understanding that religious diversity is a blessing and not a curse.
Ihsan AlkhatibDetroit, Feb. 4, 2007The writer is president of the Detroit chapter of the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee.

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