I have given much time and thought to the ground zero mosque fiasco. It pains me to see Americans forget what America stands for and why other countries look up and try to emulate our system of government.

As a soldier and an American-born Muslim, I am ashamed of the things I have heard soldiers say in reference to the proposal to build an Islamic community center near ground zero, and I am ashamed of the things that I have heard soldiers say about Muslims in general. Some people and soldiers will surely say that the sponsors of the community center don’t have the right to build the mosque near ground zero because of Sept. 11. Some people and soldiers will say that, because of Sept. 11, ground zero is sacred ground now, and how dare those “Moslems” build there. Some people and soldiers will even say that it is Islam’s fault that Sept. 11 happened, and Muslims should not be allowed to build there even though the Constitution guarantees freedom of religion even if it is offensive to others.

My point is this: I am ashamed of you, America. How dare you let bigotry, hate and fear tarnish everything we as the greatest nation on Earth stand for? As a soldier born a Muslim, I was angry beyond belief when Sept. 11 happened because I knew that soldiers like me would be looked at like I, too, am at fault for what happened, even though I had sweated through many hours of training with the soldiers in my unit. I could never understand the pain that families of the victims of Sept. 11 feel, but I say to those families: Not all Muslims are hellbent on killing Americans. I may only be one Muslim, but I am hellbent on protecting you, America.

To you terrorists who call yourselves Muslims, I say: “If thou comest on them in the war, deal with them so as to strike fear in those who are behind them, that haply they may remember” (Quran Sura 8:57).

America, in our times of greatest stress and trials, we have shown the world why we are to be looked up to. Let us stand together and do so again.

Sgt. Akil Alim

Camp Mike Spann, Afghanistan

Beck coverage leaned left

Your printing of the slanted, anti-Glenn Beck article from The Washington Post (“Beck takes aim at Obama’s faith,” Aug. 31) is a very bad sign for Stars and Stripes. We in the military do not want “our” paper going the way of The New York Times and The Washington Post.

I am not a writer, but I can recognize biased word selection by reporters who write for The Washington Post.

Beck is a bit different for sure, but he is correct about President Barack Obama’s odd religious history and choices. I would not categorize Beck’s opinions as “attacks.” Is he not allowed to offer a counterargument to the absolute insanity of the socialization of our country without being labeled an “attacker”?

I read Stars and Stripes every day. Please do not let the leftist corruption of our media corrupt this newspaper.

Lt. Col. Joe Anderson (retired)

Richmond, Va.

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