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Overreaching Labels?

To the Editor:

Ms. Sassa’s friend’s observations about the Muslim Student’s Association in the last paragraphs of her review are misguided [“Food for Thought,” Oct. 14]. Whereas it is true that “Muslim” and “Arab” are not interchangeable, that does not necessarily imply that they are mutually exclusive or adversarial. Ms. Sassa’s friend arrogates to himself the authority to define the tastes and sensitivities of people he labels as “Muslims.” Counting head scarfs or “hijabs” is not the same as counting Muslims; Muslims were present despite Ms. Sassa’s friend’s inability to count them. This unhealthy obsession with appearances and over-eagerness to superficially classify and label people contributes to the hardships of all cultural minorities in the U.S., not just Muslim women.

Shihab Elborai G