Letters: Sept. 11 Coverage

This week, listeners wrote in to say how moved they were by Monique Ferrer's StoryCorps remembrance of her ex-husband, who died in the Sept. 11 attacks. Listeners also expressed their displeasure with the timing of our series on Muslims in America.

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STEVE INSKEEP, host:

And it's time now for your comments. Many listeners responded to last week's StoryCorps in which Monique Ferrer recalled her ex-husband's phone call from the World Trade Center to say goodbye.

Ms. MONIQUE FERRER: He just wanted to tell me how much he loved the children. And he says, you know, I also want to tell you that I always loved you. And I said, I know, the kids told me.

RENEE MONTAGNE, host:

April Fernandez of Portland, Oregon wrote, I listened to the story and I began to cry on the bus. This is how I would rather remember 9/11, rather than the political posturing that is occurring during this fifth anniversary.

INSKEEP: We also heard from you about our series on Muslims, in which we've been listening to people balancing their faith and country.

Unidentified Man: And I was working through that identity clash and it went away on September 11th. And on that day, I became an American.

MONTAGNE: That's the voice of a Muslim doctor in Chicago. Some letters focused on this comment by Abdul Hamid Dogar(ph).

Mr. ABDUL HAMID DOGAR: The culture is being diluted because of the environments here. Unless you live Islam at home, the children will not remain Muslim.

INSKEEP: Listener Tom Galley(ph) responds from Rockwell, Texas. If it is truly that bad here, why not exercise his freedom, leave, and live among those who settle their differences by suicide bomber?

MONTAGNE: Other listeners were furious that American Muslims would be heard as one part of our 9/11 coverage. Jennifer Faulks(ph) wrote from Amagansett, New York, It is the fifth anniversary of the worst terrorist attacks in American history and the attack was perpetrated by Muslims. Instead of honoring the fallen heroes, you are broadcasting a story about the people who were dancing in the streets.

INSKEEP: From Tillson, New York, Allison Lauria(ph) added, This was not the time to discuss Muslim tolerance. It was highly insensitive, she says, and disrespectful.

MONTAGNE: Catherine Adam wrote from Richmond, Virginia, to say that for interviewing American Muslims we should be prosecuted for, quote, "treason and sedition."

INSKEEP: And then we saw a note from Anna Kastag(ph) in Texas. She says the report got her thinking about her job. I work at a hostel, she writes. We get lots of international guests who look Arabic and speak foreign languages, and I react. There's the thought that maybe the guest is a potential terrorist, even the consideration that I should keep an eye on them.

MONTAGNE: She adds that as she listened to the radio, she had an epiphany. Suddenly, with great clarity and great shame I realized how prejudiced and fearful I have become since the events five years ago. What struck me today was how strong the emotionally reaction is, and how much effort I have to put into not reacting.

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