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February 15, 1991     The Message
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February 15, 1991

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4 The Message -- for Catholics of Southwestern Indiana February 15, 1991 Editorial II i So many voices: which LEINGANG ones should we hear? A "classic rock" song played on the radio as we drove up the hill. A religious hymn replaced it on the way down. That's the kind of thing that happens when you're driving from place to place with the car radio tuned to a station which is rapidly becoming out of reach. It had been a great day for the kind of radio listening ] like to do when I am traveling in a car. While driving from Chicago ta Evansville I was able to listen to FM stations from all over Illifiois and Indiana, and to AM stations from all over the country. I heard a Mardi Gras report from New Orleans, a local newscast from Dallas, traffic and weather information from Philadelphia, and National Public Radio news on at least three different stations. The "classic rock" came from an FM station in Terre Haute. The hymn came from a station I was never able to identify. So many voices, so many choices. Which one should I listen to? We enter another week at war. Many are the voices in the world. There are calls for peace, for continued hostility, for a cease fire, for a stepped- up campaign. There are calls for negotiations. There are sug- gestions that nuclear weapons should be utilized to hasten the end of the conflict. There are fears expressed. Fears of chemicals, fears of biological weapons, fears of high casualties, fears of failure. A voice from a desert field hospital expresses dread at the thought of choosing who will be treated and who will be left to die. Another voice calls for making sure that both parents of a child are not called to serve in harm's way. The voices are in radio newscasts. The words are on roadside signs. Images flash by at highway speed: "Support our troops." "We support our troops 100 percent." "Pray for peace." Yellow ribbons speak silently. Red, white and blue ribbons on dresses and suits speak of some- ii one's concern. Badges and buttons are for sale near the cash register of the convenience store. One button reads, "Support our troops, bring them home." Varying opinions seem to radiate from everywhere. Some religious leaders call for peace. Others call for a just peace. It is a just war, some say. A just war is not possible in our days of high technology, say others. Some of the world's political leaders en- courage the campaign to liberate Kuwait. Others express fears that the United States seeks to carve up the Arab world. Like a song we've heard before, some voices are predictable. Others fade before we learn even where they come from. So many voices. Which ones should we hear? Pray before you listen. And then listen to them all -- at least as many as you can. And only then decide. n Washington Letter Attacks on Arab-Americans: big, 00rry in time o{ war By LAURIE HANSEN Catho!!  News.Service WASHINGTON (CNS) -- Kareem Khoury, a Palestinian immigrant to this country, found out the hard way, about how bigotry surfaces in time of war. Four days after U.S. forces first bombed Iraq, some 60 residents of Blissfield, Mich., helped Khoury and his wife, Tahani, clean up the walls of their Dairy Queen, on which vandals had sprayed "U.S.A. No. 1" and large peace sym- bols. Three days later, the Dairy Queen was burned to the ground. The incident has not shaken Khoury's faith in his new homeland. "The support of the people around town has been tremendous," he told Catholic News Service Feb. 7. Khoury, the father of four, said he would like to tell those who vandalized his drive-in that "I'm not the one that's kill- ing their children." He attributed the attacks i a'h.MESSAGE 4200 N. Kentucky Ave. Evansville, IN 47724-0169 Weekly newspaper of the Diocese of Evansville Published weekly except last week in December by the Catholic Press st Evansville, Publisher .... Bishop Gerald A, Gettelfinger lats Publisher .... Rev. Joseph Ziliak Editor .... ', ............. Faul Leingang Production Mgr ............... Phll Boger Cir./Adv. Mgr ........... PsJI A, Newiond Address all comrnunioetlon to P.O. Box 4169, Evansville, IN 47;'2,-0169. Phone (812) 424-5536. Subscription rate: $1 7.50 per year Single Copy Price':'50 Entered u 2nd clau,matter st the pcat of- ficll in Evansville, IN 47701. Publication number 843800. Pomtmaster: Return POD forms 3579 to the Office of Publication, CGpytfQh! 1991 Calholl Prom of Evan41 against him to "ignorance," and called for more education to fight bigotry. "Even if I were an Iraqi or a backer of Saddam Hussein, this shouldn't have happened. This country was built on freedom of choice and on freedom of opinion. Either we have those freedoms or we don't," said Khoury. Five months ago, Archbishop Charles A. Salatka of Oklahoma City, in a Sept. 10 statement sent to priests of his arch- diocese, warned about the bigotry that frequently surfaces during time of war. Archbishop Salatka, in the statement, urged Catholics to "guard the truth," which he said often "takes a beating" in wartime. The enemy nation is fre- quently "painted in grotesque shapes," "wild rumors" are circulated and "ethnic groups, in the present case, Arabs, are insultingly treated in the various media as well as in everyday conversations," he said. Treatment of Arab-Americans has, in fact, gotten more out of hand than the archbishop predicted. The Washington- based Arab-American Anti- Discrimination Committee reported Feb. 6 a sharp rise in Good work! acts of violence, harassment and intimidation against Arab- Americans since war broke out in the Persian Gulf. The civil rights organization reported there had been nearly 100 incidents since Iraq invad- ed Kuwait on Aug. 2. These in- clude 47 since the United States retaliated Jan. 15. Reported incidents include threatening phone calls, firebombings of businesses owned by Arab-Americans and assaults. James Zogby, a Lebanese- American Catholic who is director of the Washington- based Arab-American Institute, told CNS that the increased number of incidents against Arab-Americans was "expected and dreaded." But he said they were most often committed by "punks and bigots, the same people that do swastikas on synagogues," citing "overwhelming sup- port" for the Arab-American community from President Bush, mayors and city councils, as well as Jewish organizations. Anti-Semitic incidents are also on the rise in the United States, according to the Anti- Defamation League of B'nai B'rith. The 1,685 anti-Semitic incidents in 1990 were the most To the editor, Thanks, I needed that! I really appreciated the article, "A Wise Man speaks to Grand- parents." It's so difficult to keep on track and put the five steps into practice every day. I needed this reminder and en- couragement. The article really struck home for me. I appreciate all your work on the Message. It has been a valuable resource for me. The movie reviews and the articles Letters to the editor I by Charlie Martin about the music are great for keeping us up with what our children listen to and would like to view at the cinema. Keep up the good work! Name withheld 149 people To the editor, As I read the year-end edition of the Message and remembered the many impor- tant events that occurred in our See LE'I'TERS page 15 recorded since the league began compiling statistics in 1979. The league attributed the in- crease to the Persian Gulf war, a worsening economy and "an increasingly crude popular culture." To ensure that there is no ma- jor societal backlash against Arab-Americans or Jews, Zogby urges denouncing of incidents of bigotry by public officials and church leaders and im- mediate prosecution of those who commit hate crimes. "We must make it crystal clear that these groups are protected and respected constituencies," he said. The FBI is currently in- vestigating more than 30 hate crimes against Arab-Americans that violate federal civil rights law, according to an FBI spokesman. That's not the only kind of in- vestigation the FBI has under- taken, however. Especially painful to Arab-Americans, like Zogby, has been the govern- ment's contention in recent weeks that citizens of Arab des- cent pose a security risk that warrants investigation by "the FBI. The FBI has conducted inten- sive interviews with some Arab-Americans about their political affiliations and possi- See WASHINGTON page I; Bishop's schedule The following activities and events are listed on the -schedule of Bishop Gerald A. Gettelfinger: I