In Maryland, the Constitution trumps religion

August 10, 2011

Regarding your editorial "Fueling anti-Islamic fears" (Aug. 8), proposed prohibitions on Sharia law have not been introduced in Annapolis. On the contrary, the Maryland General Assembly has passed legislation protecting the free exercise of religion by Muslims and Jews and, by so doing, the beliefs of all people of faith.

Senate Bill 756 and House Bill 474, passed in 2007, do not require funeral directors to learn how to embalm, which is contrary to Islamic belief.

Similarly, the legislature enacted a law this session that allows an Orthodox Jewish couple to close their business on Saturday, their Sabbath, and open it on Sunday, when all other used cars dealers in Baltimore City must be closed.

Lisa Gladden, Jill P. Carter, Nathaniel T. Oaks and Samuel I. Rosenberg

The writers, who sponsored the above legislation, represent Baltimore in the Maryland General Assembly.

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