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Volume 14, Issue 5 ~ February 2 - February 8, 2006

Letters to the Editor

We welcome your opinions and letters – with name and address. We will edit when necessary. Include your name, address and phone number for verification. Mail them to Bay Weekly, P.O. Box 358, Deale, MD 20751 • E-mail them to or submit your letters on line, click here

Islamic Center a Good Neighbor

Dear Bay Weekly:

As members of the Bay Presbyterian Church in Calvert County, we are appalled by the continued attempts to smear the reputation of the Southern Maryland Islamic Center.

It appears that some in Southern Maryland are critical of the fact that the mosque’s building funds were donated by Iraq’s former president Saddam Hussein. Yet at the time of the gift, the Iraqi government was supported by U.S. policy and alliances. To imply wrongdoing because of a presumed relationship between the mosque members and the former dictator is irresponsible. We feel such suggestions are intended to inflame rather than inform.

Dr. Emad R. Al-Banna, imam at the Prince Frederick mosque, was the guest speaker at one of our recent worship services and spoke of peace as it is taught in the Koran. The Muslim community wants its mosque to be recognized as a welcoming house of worship for any and all who would like to worship God there.

In the experience of Bay Presbyterian Church members, Muslims in Calvert County have proven over the years to be among the best of neighbors. Their faith is reflected in their ethic of service to others — including non-Muslims — in the community. The community has taken great strides to prevent the attacks on the mosque like those that occurred after September 11, 2001. Activities such as this set us back, immeasurably. We urge all people of all faiths to practice compassion, tolerance and understanding in these difficult times.

—Diane Daly: Administrative Assistant,

Bay Presbyterian Church, Prince Frederick

Is That Bill Burton?

Dear Bay Weekly:

Man, is that Bill Burton of Waters and Woods fame from the 1960s’ Baltimore Sun? His articles were my bible as a teen in Maryland. My website on Bay culture may interest some:

— Michael D. Robinson, Anchorage, Alaska

Editor’s note: It sure is. Bill Burton has been writing for Bay Weekly since shortly after his retirement with The Evening Sun in 1993. Coming to us when we were just months old, he brought this fledgling paper strength. He still writes for us each week, not infrequently making mention of his year in Anchorage.

Prosecute Violent Crime, Not Marijuana

Dear Bay Weekly:

Maryland law continues to incarcerate individuals who use, possess, cultivate or distribute marijuana, even if the marijuana is for personal use by adults.

Incarceration of nonviolent individuals not only wastes taxpayer money, it overcrowds prisons so that violent criminals are often set free when they are eligible for parole.

Without a legal, regulated market for marijuana, drug dealers have no reason not to target children or to sell contaminated and dangerous samples. If marijuana were treated more like alcohol, for example, children would have a harder time obtaining it.

Marijuana causes less harm to both individuals and society than alcohol or tobacco, yet responsible adult drinkers and smokers are not punished by the state in any way.

Our state government should use tax money to prosecute violent crime, not punish marijuana users.

—Ryan Neale, Crofton

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