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Dear editor,

Your article "Fanning the Flames" by Grant Pick portrays Assyrians most unfairly [October 18]. It is sad that the Reader, which I've respected in the past, has to engage in a subtle form of race-baiting which does damage to a persecuted community as the Assyrians.

Nowhere do you note in your article that Assyrians have been targets of hate crimes in Chicago as much as, if not more than, the Jews have. Perhaps you would find it interesting that when the Assyrian Church of the East attempted to purchase some land near a number of Jewish residents, community activists strongly opposed the move, with many voicing their opposition in a hateful and racial manner. One Jewish man even spat on an Assyrian priest's hand when the priest attempted to reconcile with him at a hearing overseen by Alderman Stone. I never read about this in the Reader.

Perhaps you should report "anti-Semitic" attacks against Assyrians as well, since they are no less "Semitic" than the Jews.

Ross Jatou


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