I think the letter – or sermon – in the Jan. 7 Portland Press Herald from the clergy of the Portland-area community did a great disservice to the community. The subject was the vandalism of the Ahram Halal Market in Portland.

I feel the clergy should have praised the citizens of their community. They have made it possible for the Muslim population to be leading nice, comfortable lives. As clergy, they should extol the acceptance, kindness and generosity of the Portland-area community. The clergy should encourage the Muslim community to focus on this good and not on one case of vandalism.

We all know that, in this world, there are good people and bad people. Thankfully, the good are the majority.

There are crimes committed every day by and against people of all races and religions. They include vandalism, welfare fraud, theft and even murder.

We have to depend on our law enforcement – federal, state and local – to make sure there is accountability for these crimes. We need to see and hear that justice is done. This will help the goodness in people not to be chipped away, little by little.

The clergy should realize that when they circle the pews to protect one group of people, and berate all others, they are creating resentment and anger.

Brenda Pooler

Portland