Letters: Muslims in America, Part II

Last week's listener comments about our series on Muslims in America drew a fresh round of e-mails. Many of the comments we originally read criticized the series. This week, a number of listeners write in support of the stories and interviews.

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RENEE MONTAGNE, host:

We have a few weeks of your comments to catch on this morning.

This may be a first on this program. We received the most reaction - hundreds of e-mails - about the listener e-mails we read the last time. They were mostly angry responses to our series on American Muslims. At the time, some of you told us we were being insensitive, even treasonous, to air Muslim views on the fifth anniversary of 9/11.

STEVE INSKEEP, host:

After hearing that, many others wrote in to disagree. Marie Eaton(ph) of Bellingham, Washington, writes: The instinct to label all Muslims as the enemy is exactly why it was so important that NPR aired this program on that day.

MONTAGNE: And this from Don Dobson(ph) of Ann Arbor, Michigan. We have troops in harm's way trying to establish democratic governments in two Muslim nations. I would think if the liberty and safety of Muslims is worth our soldiers lives and limbs, then it's worth inclusion in our 9/11 remembrance.

INSKEEP: On to other subjects now. A listener in Madison, Wisconsin, heard our report on luxury psychiatric hospitals for teens. She writes: As a young adult who has been in mental health facilities, I have to say I was disgusted. Psychiatric wards are not supposed to be luxurious. Pampering rich kids, the listener says, is not the path to mental health. Next time, try a story on a successful treatment that everyone can afford.

MONTAGNE: We have two corrections now. In a story earlier this week about the Senate race in Vermont, we played a clip from political scientist Garrison Nelson, but didn't get his school right. He teaches at the University of Vermont.

And in a story about two siblings who were separated during World War II, we said the Germans invaded Romania in 1941 - wrong. The Germans did not invade Romania, and in fact were allied with that country during most of the war.

INSKEEP: And we have this clarification. We recently told you that Wal-Mart is offering a credit card in China which can be used at all six of its Chinese stores. That is true. But a company spokesman wrote in to add: The card is co-branded with another one, so it can actually be used anywhere in the world.

MONTAGNE: Finally, last week we aired a commentary by John Ridley about something he calls wordbites. Even shorter than soundbites, he says, and even more meaningless.

INSKEEP: Words like Defeatocrats, Islamofascists and blacktovists - all of them wordbites, according to Ridley.

MONTAGNE: Mark Reese(ph) in Silver Spring, Maryland liked the commentary but says wordbites date back even further than our own John Ridley said. For example, there's the mugwumps - Republicans who deserted their candidate in 1884 and were alleged to have their mugs on one side of the fence and their wumps on the other.

INSKEEP: And Mr. Reese continues: Who can forget H.L. Mencken's contribution to the language of the 1920s? The booboisie, a word that described apathetic and even pathetic middle class folk.

MONTAGNE: If you want to toss your words into the fray, or just have a word with us, go to npr.org and click on Contact Us.

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MONTAGNE: This is NPR News.

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