I just wanted to take a moment to extend my sincere appreciation and thanks to
everyone who has contacted me over the last several weeks to express their
support. The phone calls, e-mails and letters have been overwhelmingly
As most of you know, the media coverage has been much less positive, and in consideration of this I will be holding a press conference at 1:00 PM, Wednesday, August 20th. The press conference will be held at the Township Building, 11008 W. Lincoln Highway, Frankfort, in the meeting room available to all residents.
I will have a Will County sheriff’s department deputy available to make sure there will no demonstrations. Please, feel free to join me as I need your support, if you can’t come I understand about this short notice.
Thanks again for your continued support and, as always, you can contact me at any time by e-mail, email@example.com or through my web site www.paulruff.org
PS, You Must read this Sundays Southtown-Star on Page A-10; you will not be disappointed.
The controversy received much press, as Ruff notes, including this column by a writer at the HuffingtonPost.com, where I also write.
I tried to reach Mr. Ruff but could not get through and he did not respond to my emails.
I believe the email he sent out was one he received and then forwarded to others, something people do all the time, incuding with material that is somewhat edgy in nature. There haven't been an prior instances of Ruff expressing anti-Muslim sentiments.
My only concern is that the township will be using its staff or a Will County sheriff to prevent free speech in the form of counter demonstrations. There's a middle ground here on this issue that is important and while I am not sure if Ruff did or did not cross the line -- things involving Muslims always gets exaggerated on both sides of the contrvoersies -- I don't think anyone should be prevented from expressing their views or even protesting.
That said here is what I believe:
Mainstream Americans like Ruff have real concerns about Islam that are not being addressed.
There is a tendency for some Muslims to gather around the wagons on every issue involving a Muslims -- oftentimes I am denounced (ridiculously) as "anti-Muslim" simply because I criticize the ridiculous and stupid actions and dictates of Islamic extremists like the Bridgeview Mosques Imam Jamal Said who has reportedly told his Muslim parishioners that it is a sin" to participate in Halloween. They also denounce Valentine's Day and even Thanksgiving as "sins." It's pathetic, but the real problem is the even more naive and ignorant mainstream American media which over reacts on every issue.
I don't believe Ruff is a racist. I think he may (or may not) have dispatched an email that said bad things about Muslims and he should know better, but that doesn't deserve the attacks he is getting.
On the otherhand, some of the loudest supporters rallying around Ruff are extremist Christian racists and fanatics, too, like some of those who have been writing letters to the editor, cited by Ruff above, in the Sunday Southtown/Star.
There is a moderate middle ground and it behoves everyone to try their best for the sake of preserving our great society to find it.
-- Ray Hanania