COUNCIL ON AMERICAN-ISLAMIC RELATIONS - ILLINOIS CHAPTER      |      DEFENDING CIVIL RIGHTS. FIGHTING BIGOTRY. PROMOTING TOLERANCE      |      WWW.CAIRCHICAGO.ORG

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Tolerance Takes a Hit
The Daily Herald




In response to a published article by Ms. Sara Burnett

Dear Ms. Burnett,

 I received yet another call today.

 "Are you Yaser Tabbara?"

 Here we go again I thought.

 Actually, not so.

 This time the caller carried a wholly different message, "Mr. Tabbara, I read the Daily Herald article 'Tolerance takes a hit' yesterday, and I just want you to know that I stand in solidarity with you. I happen to be an Irish-American; let me tell you, when my ancestors came to this country, they were treated inhumanely. I want you to know that despite the tremendous prejudice they faced they “have finally made it.”

I was so touched by this empathetic expression of camaraderie that I was at a loss for words. And it was thanks to you.

The gentle and humane face that a genuinely honest article such as yours puts on our otherwise mysterious and marginalized community brings out the best in readers. Here indeed is an Irish-American man who was moved enough by your article to get up and find my number and reach out to me. At such times, I am reminded of the true American and Chicagoan soul, that which stands up for truth and justice and that appreciates the humanity of all Americans. The Irish-American gentleman and you have relayed that message home to me - yet again.

I say thank you though words simply cannot express my gratitude to reporters such as yourself who are fully conscious of their sacred duty of reporting in a socially responsible way.

Yaser Tabbara
Executive Director
CAIR Chicago



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