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Categories: Letters to the Editor, Opinion I received a disheartening message recently. As the chairman of the Department of Surgery at Ellis Hospital, a disheartening message usually means a patient has received a terminal prognosis. In this case, the notice was far less critical, but just as disturbing. The Niskayuna Democratic Committee, whose candidates in this year’s election are Joe Landry, Denise Murphy-McGraw, John Della Ratta, Peter Scagnelli and Diane Percy, sent out a “mailer,” claiming that my daughter — at the top of the Republican ticket for this year’s elections — was racist, Anti-Semitic, and Anti-Muslim.How would my daughter, Yasmine Syed, harbor such beliefs? I’m a Muslim. So are three of her uncles and two of her aunts. Her mother, Anne Marie, is of Jewish descent whose ancestors barely evaded persecution in Hitler’s Europe, escaping to America after World War II. Yasmine is half-white, half-Middle Eastern, the daughter of both a Muslim and a Christian, the descendant of Jews. As a parent, I asked, “What did my wife and I do wrong?” I quickly realized we didn’t do anything wrong. It was Joe Landry and his team of Democrats who did something wrong. In Mr. Landry and his political counterparts’ ignorance and haste to smear my daughter and the Republican slate of candidates, they revealed a glaring oversight.They failed to even properly research their opponent. My daughter and all of our children are a living, breathing “League of Nations.” Being of Pakistani descent, she isn’t anti-Muslim. With a mother of Jewish heritage, she isn’t anti-Semitic. And being half-Caucasian, half-Middle Eastern, she isn’t racist. As Jesus said in Mark 3:25: “If a house is divided against itself, that house cannot stand.” Basically, Joe Landry and the Niskayuna Democratic Committee would have you believe my daughter is full of hate — for herself.If Mr. Landry and the Democratic slate don’t even know or respect our family, do you think they care about your family or what’s needed to make Niskayuna a better place? Since my wife and I moved here in 1982, this town has represented every good thing about America that I sought to enjoy when I emigrated from Pakistan in the 1970s.With this ugly, hurtful, and most importantly false mailer, Mr. Landry and his team reminded us of what our families sought to escape by coming here to America: accusations and innuendo based on personal politics or ethnic background. Niskayuna is better than this, and I know you are, too. Politely, I hope you’ll keep this in mind on Election Day, Nov. 7.Iftikhar SyedNiskayunaMore from The Daily Gazette:Puccioni’s two goals help Niskayuna boys’ soccer top Shaker, remain perfectNiskayuna girls’ cross country wins over BethlehemEDITORIAL: Thruway tax unfair to working motoristsEDITORIAL: Find a way to get family members into nursing homesEDITORIAL: Beware of voter intimidation
Warren Gatland has declared the British and Irish Lions’ unique place in the rugby landscape must be safeguarded, but stressed that some changes have to be made to the structure of future tours. “Australia was tougher than it was in South Africa four years ago because the game’s becoming more and more physical. It’s tough to put two games together in a week, so maybe you need a break in between games to rejuvenate yourself. “It’s important that the Lions and home unions get together to agree adequate preparation time. The season needs to be adjusted so that we can spend a couple of weeks in the UK preparing properly. The Lions need to be given the best possible chance to be successful for the future. “New Zealand is harder to tour from a logistical point of view. It wasn’t until I left there that I realised what a difficult country it is to tour because getting around is more challenging.” Gatland is open to the possibility of being at the helm when the elite of British and Irish rugby visit his homeland in four years time. “There’s a lot of water to go under the bridge before 2017. You get opportunities in life if you’re part of successful environments and teams,” he said. “Winning a couple of Grand Slams with Wales and reaching the semi-finals of the World Cup has given me this opportunity. “I’m grateful for the chance and if it came up again then it’s something I might look at.” Press Association A first series victory since 1997 was completed with the 41-16 rout of pre-match favourites Australia in the third and final Test of an epic struggle between the rivals. “The Lions are something that we need to preserve for the modern game. It’s special and it has been a privilege for me to experience it,” he said.
Black Stars midfielder Sulley Muntari says playing at the Baba Yara stadium in Kumasi always give them an edge over their opponents.The last time Muntari played for the Black Stars was at the same venue where Ghana thrashed Lesotho 7-0 in a World Cup qualifier last June.The AC Milan player-who is making a return to the team after missing out on the Africa Cup of Nations in South Africa due to an injury-says the Black Stars will always be favourites playing in Kumasi.“We believe that is a good ground for us, we always win our games there and see the Asantehene Otumfuo Osei Tutu there so it is like a second home to us,” said MuntariGhana are second on the Group D qualifying table with three points and three points behind leaders Zambia who play less-fancied Lesotho.