Letters To The Editor

July 18, 2005

Pray for end to fanaticism and violence

As a moderate liberal, I often find myself in disagreement with Cal Thomas, but his column "Terrorism's root causes" (Opinion * Commentary, July 13) was right on the mark.

We keep talking about international terrorism as if it were the end rather than the means to an end.

In fact, our enemy is not terrorism but radical Islamic fundamentalism.

This variety of Islamic fundamentalism has morphed into an international movement that turns conventional morality - both Islamic and non-Islamic - on its head.

Blowing up innocent people is the means radical fundamentalists use to spread this movement, and it seems to be working. Terror appears to be a recruitment tool for at least some very confused and angry Muslims, who blame the West for a wide variety of sins.

One has to wonder when this curse of religious fanaticism will finally die out, or if it ever will.

Religion has the capacity to bring great good to mankind, but it can also create people who strap bombs on themselves and kill for their beliefs. When will we awake from this insanity?

Decent people understand their religion properly and don't use it as a pretext for murder. I just wish there were many more of them and fewer fanatics.

Maybe that is something we should all pray for.

Michael Cast

Edgewood

Muslim leaders must reject terror

I rarely find myself agreeing with Cal Thomas, but his column "Terrorism's root causes" (Opinion * Commentary, July 13) was painfully on point.

It's about time for Muslims living here and abroad to openly, loudly and frequently repudiate terror on behalf of the Quran.

But where is their outrage? Can you imagine leaders of other religions remaining quiet if members of their flocks planned, perpetrated and reveled in the death and destruction resulting from the horrific crimes the world has witnessed in the last few years?

They would be subjected to the harshest criticism.

Is there a guarantee that standing up for decency and denouncing the terrorists who are hiding behind and sullying Islam would deter terror? Of course not.

But America and the world need to hear an outcry from responsible Muslim leaders.

That cry needs to be heard now.

Stefan N. Miller

Baltimore

City Council is right to doubt hotel plan

Could it possibly be that the City Council actually will have the guts to stand up to Mayor Martin O'Malley and the Baltimore Development Corp. ("Hotel plan presents puzzle for council," July 14)?

The mayor says that the hotels are full all around the city. If that were true, the developers would be falling all over themselves to cash in by building a new hotel. So something must be wrong with this deal.

Do we need an anchor hotel? Yes.

Should the citizens of Baltimore foot the bill? No.

It is not often that this City Council shows signs of intelligence or insight. But I think its members are on the mark in doubting this hotel proposal and should vote against it.

C. D. Wilmer

Baltimore

Hotel is bad deal for city taxpayers

As a city resident who pays a lot of money in taxes, I'm relieved to see the City Council finally standing up for itself ("Hotel plan presents puzzle for council," July 14).

The city-financed hotel deal is a bad deal for Baltimore. There are no guarantees the market would act the way the Baltimore Development Corp. (BDC) predicts it will.

But one could say with much confidence that our tax dollars would have a positive effect on schools, transportation, jobs and city services if they were spent for those purposes.

The City Council has a responsibility to its constituents. On July 27, it should represent the taxpayers in the city and send this deal back to the BDC.

Approving this hotel deal would only signify that the City Council continues to be a rubber stamp for the mayor.

Aimee Darrow

Baltimore

Spend money to save convention center

The City Council must approve the city's construction of the convention hotel ("Hotel plan presents puzzle for council," July 14).

As a taxpayer, I contributed to the construction of the Baltimore Convention Center. For the city to fail now to finance the proposed adjoining convention hotel would allow the convention center to continue to be a white elephant and a waste of my tax money.

Former Mayor Kurt L. Schmoke made a serious error when he had the city, and taxpayers like me, help finance hotels on the east side of the harbor, far from the convention center.

Now we will just have to bite the bullet and make up for Mr. Schmoke's grievous error. We can't afford to lose millions of convention dollars to other areas.

Remember, we city taxpayers are also state taxpayers, and together we built the convention center.

I urge the City Council not to be responsible for throwing that tax money down a rathole.

Harry E. Bennett Jr.

Baltimore

Comfortable clothes ease airport delays

I'm sorry that Susan Reimer is so disappointed in the "sloppy" clothing of airline passengers. I prefer to think of them as comfortably dressed ("Flying the friendly skies with slobs," July 12).

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