Letters: Ramadan, Guns in New Orleans
MICHELE NORRIS, host:
It's Thursday, the day we read from your e-mail. And we received quite a few praising independent producer Jake Warga. He chronicled his grandmother's experiences with Alzheimer's disease. This one is from Marilee Guglielmo(ph) of Gilbert, Arizona: `I want to thank you for the beautiful and sad story of aging. Having seen such changes in my own grandmother and great-grandparents, it was wonderful to hear the heart-wrenching experiences shared through recordings. Alzheimer's and dementia are strange diseases that can take away the people we love before they're gone.'
Yesterday I spoke with Islamic studies Professor Akbar Ahmed about the Ramadan fast and the fact that many rescue workers in Pakistan are keeping it while they're working. Well, a number of listeners wrote in to take issue with Professor Ahmed's interpretation. `I was fasting on my way home from work and truly appreciated that you would explore the issue,' writes Youssef Yazdi(ph) of Princeton, New Jersey. `Unfortunately, the impression I got from the professor's comments was that under Islamic rules there is no provision for exemption from the fast due to illness. That is clearly incorrect. In fact, the Koran is very clear and explicit on this point. In Chapter 2, it says, "But whoso among you is sick or on a journey, then they shall fast that number of days later, and those who are hardly able to do it may make up for it by feeding a poor person." I particularly found the professor's story of his grandfather's death as a result of fasting distressing. Most scholars would consider his actions to be poor judgment at best and sinful at worst.'
On to our report on gun ownership after Katrina. Listener James Owens of Albany, Kentucky, was disappointed. He writes, `I regularly disagree with most of the viewpoints expressed on NPR, but to your credit, your announcers and reporters are always articulate and well-spoken. The Hurricane Katrina gun report was a glaring exception. The reporter's language bordered on juvenile, using terms like "Second Amendment crowd" and "gun-crazy." Aside from the vocabulary, as a gun owner, I hoped to hear some kind of discourse on the issue of gun ownership strictly for the purpose of self-defense. What I heard was nothing of the sort. I thought NPR would for once give the issue of gun ownership a fair shake. I was wrong.'
Finally, our interview with Kansas Senator Sam Brownback brought back memories for Richard Groth of Bradenton, Florida. `Brownback said Justice Roberts is a rock star among lawyers and that no one remembered who followed The Beatles on "Ed Sullivan." I do,' Groth writes. `On February 16th, 1964, Mitzi Gaynor stole the show. After a comedy duo performed,' Groth says, `she did a song-and-dance routine that was almost too much sex for my 20-year-old virgin eyes to take. Singing "It's Too Darn Hot" and wearing a skimpy outfit, she worked up a sweat, and that's all of the show I remember.'
Well, whatever you remember about our show, we'd like to hear about it. You can write to us by going to our home page, npr.org, and clicking on the `Contact Us' button. And don't forget to tell us where you're from and how to pronounce your name.
(Soundbite of "It's Too Darn Hot")
Ms. MITZI GAYNOR: (Singing) It's too darn hot. It's too darn hot. I'd like to dance with my baby tonight.
Backup Singers: It's too darn hot. It's too darn hot.
Ms. GAYNOR: (Singing) Find romance...
Backup Singers: Yeah.
Ms. GAYNOR: (Singing) ...with my baby tonight
Backup Singers: Too hot.
Ms. GAYNOR: (Singing) But it's too darn hot.
Backup Singers: It's too darn hot.
Ms. GAYNOR and Backup Singers: (Singing in unison) It's too darn hot. It's too darn hot.
Ms. GAYNOR: (Singing) I'd like to dance with my baby tonight, find romance with my baby tonight, but I can't dance with my baby tonight 'cause it's too darn hot.
Ms. GAYNOR and Backup Singers: (Singing in unison) It's too darn hot.
NORRIS: You're listening to ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News.
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