Thank you, La Crosse Tribune, for highlighting the story of Ali Jandal, a La Crosse native who spent his summer break from medical school helping Syrian refugees in Jordan.

It is wonderful to hear the bright side of the sad news in the world. While describing the inspiration for his work, the article highlighted his roots in the La Crosse community; however, it did not touch on his faith –- Ali Jandal is Muslim.

Through my work with the La Crosse Interfaith Shoulder to Shoulder Network, I’ve had the privilege of meeting Ali’s parents, Daoud and Lina, who are also Muslim.

We have been working to bring stories like Ali’s to the public eye in an effort to promote understanding and bridge divides between different faith communities in the Coulee Region. When I reached the end of your article, I found myself wondering why there was no mention of Ali’s identity as a Muslim.

The cynic in me thought, if Ali Jandal had made headlines for committing a crime, his faith would have been highlighted in the opening sentence of the article. Why should it not be in the opening sentence of an article praising his selflessness in serving refugees? Instead, it wasn’t mentioned at all. Here’s hoping that next time, it will be.

Megan Grinde, La Crosse

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