1. Archive

All facts are needed about group behind forum

Re: Forum fuels cries of "terrorist, terrorist!,' Sept. 15 Times.

Editor: It is appalling to me to think one reporter's distorted account of an event can cause so much dissension in a community. Mike Frazier, a Hernando county citizen, attended a County Commission meeting and stood up to voice his opinion about actions taken by our elected officials that he felt were alarming to the citizens of this county, as well as this nation. He stated his name and home address. No mention was made of his political party, church denomination or other affiliation.

His account of the event sponsored by a group called CAIR (Council on Islamic-American Relations) was factual, giving the date, time and purpose of the meeting. Names of county officials who attended the meeting were not even mentioned. Frazier was there simply to inform the citizens of this county that our government officials, who were sworn to uphold and defend the Constitution of the United States, attended a "closed" (invitation only) meeting sponsored by a group that has members who have been indicted or are serving sentences for terrorist activities aimed at the U.S. Nothing was mentioned regarding Muslims or their faith. There were no derogatory remarks made or names called.

How can anyone misinterpret Frazier's attempt to remind our elected government officials that their allegiance is to the people of the United States and Hernando County? Why would several of our officials consider attending such a meeting, let alone accepting awards from such an organization?

Whether informed, misinformed or perhaps just ignorant, our elected officials are responsible for maintaining the safety and well-being of the people of this county, and for this they must be held accountable. If our officials had attended or received awards from any other extremist group, people would be outraged. Because we are uneducated about the CAIR organization, our officials want us to dismiss this as intolerance toward Muslims. How far will they go to cover up a blatant mistake?

I urge the people of this county to search out this matter for themselves; don't take anyone's word for it. Get all the facts about the CAIR group and its leaders before making a decision. Be an informed citizen. Then, act on that decision.

Patsy Pledger, Brooksville

God and community have

nothing to do with hate

Re: Pastor's talk of terrorists is what's truly scary, Sept. 16 column by Jeff Webb.

Editor: I am writing to thank you for your column. I cannot express the shock I felt when I read the article about Pastor Mike Frazier.

These are some of the same statements we have heard throughout the country. It is becoming quite scary. A nation built on difference and justice has some who are so narrow in the name of religion.

The Lord I serve is kind, loving, patient and full of grace. There is no hate, no matter how you dress it.

As a resident of Hernando County for 14 years, and teaching in this community for 13 years, I am pleased I have never seen this ugly side of the county. We, as residents, must speak and let persons like Pastor Frazier and his followers know that Hernando County is not about hate, but living together to build a community of the 21st century that will be an example for our nation.

LaTreetha Sharpley, Spring Hill

Pastor does not argue

Muslims are terrorists

Re: Pastor's talk of terrorists is what's truly scary, Sept. 16 column by Jeff Webb.

Editor: As a longtime member of Landmark Baptist Church, I know firsthand that Pastor Mike Frazier does not think of Muslims as terrorists or look down on them. He has said this several times from the pulpit and also on his radio program.

His issue is not with the Muslims; it is with the group CAIR (Council on Islamic-American Relations). If you would do a little research, Mr. Webb, you will quickly see that this is a terrorist organization and that Pastor Frazier is not as crazy as you say. Several leaders in the CAIR organization are in jail today for alleged conspiracy against the U.S.

As far as the Hernando County Commission meeting is concerned, Pastor Frazier did not accuse anyone. He did not single anyone out. He did ask that the commissioners return their awards, but he did not name the officials who received them.

He and Chip Gripton were not the only ones at the meeting who questioned this; Rose Rocco also made a comment concerning CAIR's little party. I'm sure you're not interested in her comments, only Pastor Frazier and Chip Gripton's, so that you can single them out, as your paper is so famous for doing.

In articles concerning candidates before the primaries, Times reporters referred to Phillip Johnson and Richard Power as the "Landmark candidates" and used this term to degrade them. They did not point out the religion of other candidates. (I guess it would be hard to name Commissioner Diane Rowden's church; she named several.)

Why is it when Pastor Frazier or any other member of Landmark Baptist Church tries to exercise their political rights as citizens, they are immediately attacked?

Webb called Pastor Frazier an extremist. Tell me which is more extreme: for our elected commissioners to receive awards at a private party hosted by an organization that is linked to terrorists, or for a member of the community to question this activity? How about a newspaper that repeatedly prints biased information in order to attack a local pastor and his church who choose to be involved in local politics?

Do your research; find out about CAIR's leaders and their motives. Then maybe you'll get a good story with some truth and facts.

Sarah Cates, Brooksville

Minority professionals

enrich our community

Re: Forum fuels cries of "terrorist, terrorist!,' Sept. 15 Times.

Editor: I am proud of our county leaders. The Rev. Mike Frazier could learn a great deal about how to live a Christian life from those he is criticizing.

Many of us are happy to have people of other races and religions living in the area. I feel blessed to be cared for by Muslim, Hindu and Christian doctors.

Bouneva "Bee" Karsten, Spring Hill

Society pulled together

to cope with storms

Editor: I just wanted to express my gratitude to all the people who helped keep me and my loved ones safe during the last two hurricanes.

The pilots of the storm planes, the National Weather Service and the news media were right on top of all the latest information so we knew just how to prepare and where the storms were. They worked around the clock to make sure we knew the latest facts. We were safe, thanks to their warnings.

Gov. Jeb Bush worked tirelessly to ensure help was on the way and got to where it was most needed. We commend him for his extraordinary dedication in extraordinary circumstances. Our thanks to President Bush for getting federal help to us in a timely fashion. That was no small task and it just proves that in a crisis, even Congress can work together for the common good.

We are so grateful to all the states that sent personnel and equipment to help restore our power. We were without power, but it was restored in due time and we are deeply grateful for the long and difficult hours these people put in to restore comfort to us.

Our county officials worked tirelessly, as well, to ensure that order was restored out of chaos. Our Sheriff's Office and Highway Patrol were directing traffic where needed. Our firefighters helped care and transport the elderly, and that is no small matter. Our merchants gave away free items, such as ice and water, essentials for our health and living.

There are countless others I do not know who worked behind the scenes to make known to us what was ahead. We salute you all for your dedication, leaving your own homes and working around the clock to ensure we would have the latest information. Neighbor helped neighbor and proved once again we are our brother's keeper.

Only in America could we be so blessed. We have our home, our family, friends and love, and most of all we have our God. May God bless Florida and may God bless America.

Doris and Leon Palmer, Brooksville