Public condemnation shames the Shreveport Times into apologizing to America for featuring a 9/11 front page story that pandered to Muslims

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In an apology on Sept. 12th, Judi Terzotis, President of Gannett Louisiana & Publisher of Shreveport Times said, “Remembering the heroes and inspiring people moved to action on the horrible events of 9/11 is a job for the ages. We missed being your beacon for honoring them in print as we should have.

Shreveport Times  Michele Marcotte’s story about how members of the Islamic community in the Shreveport, LA., region were coping 12 years after the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, led The Shreveport Times on Wednesday, September 11th.

Shreveport-Times

Our main story reporting how local Muslims were sheltered from some of the hatred after 9/11 was an important story to share, but it should not have been the main story Wednesday or run on a different day. Many of you complained that we missed the mark, and the reaction is easy to understand.

I want you to know that not doing enough to put the coverage in is registered and understood. Our team heard your voices and realized the missed opportunity.

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Here are some excerpts from the story: 

Many American Muslims faced hostile acts of violence in the years that followed the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks. Hijabs or headscarves have been pulled from heads of Muslim women, Korans burned and mosques damaged.

The Muslim chaplain of the Shreveport-Bossier City’s Islamic community said, “Sept. 11 was a very sad event, but it did not affect us too much” in the local Muslim community, said Khurshid A. Khan, vice president of the Islamic Association of Greater Shreveport.

Once in a while someone will tie a piece of pork on the door handle of the local mosque — Muslims are restricted from consuming pork — or some other act to show “hatred” or “ignorance” of Islam. But it’s never been more than that, he said.

 David Otto, professor of religious studies at Centenary College in Shreveport, believes that number (of Islamophobes) is growing. Before Sept. 11, Islam wasn’t on many people’s radar, he said. But after the terrorist attacks, many Ark-La-Tex residents began to identify a small group of radicalized Muslims as a representation of an entire world religion rather than educating themselves on it.

And that is still the mentality today for many in the area, he said. “Many people have let their fears substitute for knowledge,” Otto said. But there are many opportunities for locals to educate themselves on Islam, he said. Locals can take an introduction to Islam course or speak with educators in religious studies to learn more about the religion, he said.

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 FROM THE COMMENTS SECTION:

  • Karen Lord Collier · Works at Fara

    I am appalled and offended that you had a picture of a Muslin on the front page on the 911 Anniversary instead of a memorial to all the lives lost on that day. Mr. Kahn may be a nice person himself but the fact that he is a Muslin just throws it in the face of those killed on that day. Certainly should not be the First Page Cover story.
    • Sylvia Powers · Shreveport, Louisiana

      I hope you sent an email directly to the TIMES!!!…I totally concur with your reaction; it was mine as well!!!…why not send this to “comments” on the editorial page.
    • Karen Lord Collier · Works at Fara

      Yes this email went to The Times first and then it gets attached in Facebook. Thank you
    • Karen Lord Collier · Works at Fara

      Also sent to Letters to the Editor for The Times. I just if anyone else feels this way.
  • Viva Cox · Works at Security Guard

    Just like the ignorance of these posts and other ignorant acts that Americans do, not everyone can feel responsible for this hate. people just need to get a life and stop pining and whining over what these people can’t help either. it was 12 years ago, move on.
     
  • This front-page story in today’s paper is just plain stupid. Rather than a story on local Muslims and how they are doing I would rather have seen a story on Barksdale Air Force Base, also local and the part it played on 9-11-01. Good grief. On 9-12-13 I would be interested in reading about local Muslims. Jerie Shirley Black
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      Sarah The (Muslim) Lady

      There were many muslim first responders who lost their lives on 9-11 trying to save the lives of others. (There was one) There are muslims in the Military. Muslims are an integral part of the fabric that makes America what she is today. (No, they aren’t, stop listening to the Muslim-in-Chief))  This is a glorious country with great core values that make me proud to be American. I am a Muslim and I cry for the victims and their families on 9-11. However, I also am saddened to hear the same disease of racism and ignorance flooding the minds of my fellow Americans. We should work together to understand and foster compassion not hatred. Please do not blame the actions of a handful of horrid people on an entire religious faith. (But Islam is directly responsible for most of the horrid acts Muslims do)