“A Maligned Reputation” : New York Times

September 2, 2007

To the Editor:

In the American future it has to be possible to combine Islamic faith with loyalty to America. As Samuel G. Freedman documents in ”Critics Ignored Record of a Muslim Principal” (On Education column, Aug. 29), the educational career of Debbie Almontaser exhibits that possibility with wonderful clarity.

The most disturbing aspect of her reluctant resignation as principal of the new Khalil Gibran International Academy in Brooklyn is the power of ”unidentified bloggers” on the Internet to influence any citizen’s public reputation. When hatred, rumor and bigotry substitute for fact in the public mind, the moral core of responsible public communication disappears.

Apparently there is no way yet to curb character assassins on the Internet. Ms. Almontaser’s experience and Mr. Freedman’s account are due warning.

Donald W. Shriver
Peggy L. Shriver
New York, Aug. 30, 2007

View letter…



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