Letters to the editor

December 23, 2003

Santa was appreciated

To the editor:

Saturday, Dec. 13, my friends and family ventured to the Antietam National Battlefield to see the annual luminaires. There was little traffic and each of us (two adults and four children) thoroughly enjoyed the scenery.

As we were leaving the battlefield, we noticed a brightly lit home directly across the road. In the front yard was a large sleigh, complete with Santa and Mrs. Claus, Frosty the Snowman and Rudolph. We pulled to the side of the road to get a better view of the characters.

I rolled down my window and watched as Santa walked to his sleigh, then headed toward our direction - his arms loaded with presents and candy canes. Santa passed out gifts to the children, then handed each of us a candy cane. The expression on the children's face was priceless. My 3-year-old son Grant, was in complete awe.


I want to relay my gratitude and thanks to the kind folks stationed on Sharpsburg Pike who donated their time and energy making Christmas a little extra special this year. We encountered a very unexpected, delightful surprise. Thank you again for making each of us smile and providing an experience we won't soon forget.

Merry Christmas and God bless each of you.

Heather E. Hose

Home buyers will be hurt

To the editor:

I am writing to respond to the Washington County Commissioners' decision to charge developers/home builders $6,500 per dwelling, starting Jan. 1.

It is obvious that the Commissioners are not business people. Either that or they just don't care about what impact this is going to have on businesses or the homebuyers.

First of all, having this law take effect in two weeks puts builders and homebuyers in a tough position because contracts have already been signed to build homes without this added cost taken into account.

Homebuyers have already applied for loans based on those contracts. It would have made more sense to have this take effect on July 1, 2004, when projects in the pipeline are finished.

This added cost is nothing more than a tax. Builders have to pass their costs on to the buyer. So once again the little guy is the one paying the price.

Most house loans are 30-year loans. Another $6,500 financed over a 30-year period will cost the buyer about $16,000. This will make the purchase of a new home unaffordable to some middle-income families.

Mark Merson

The dark side of Islam

To the editor:

Since the Sept. 11 attack on the United States, many questions have been asked about Islam and its goals and ambitions, if any. There have been a number of letters in this newspaper by various pro-Islam writers such as Mr. Yumlu and the Western Maryland Islamic Society.

On Nov. 1, there was also a letter by Faisal Husseini which sounded quite a different note. Some comments were, "A Muslim's allegiance must be to the Umma and not any nation. We must not recognize any authority at all besides Allah." Also, "For those of us in America we must strive in the way of God, to change this land of Kafir to a land of Iman."

Now I do not doubt the sincerity of the pro-Islam writers. But, how can we reconcile those with the letter of Husseini. Is he "just talking?"

Other nations have looked to the U.S. for an example when they wanted to set up a representative form of government - because it has been tried and done here. So, it would be logical to apply the same test to determine what to expect from Islam. Nations where Islam is the strongest include Iran, Saudia Arabia, Yemen, Indonesia, Egypt, Afghanistan, Syria and Sudan (plus others).

These nations have implemented Islamic rule. What does that mean? for one thing, no other religion is permitted. Christian churches are forbidden. A person who converts to Christianity is to be killed as a service to the nation. The U.S. government was told by Saudia Arabia that our personnel stationed in their country would not be permitted to bring along a Bible (it would "contaminate" the Islamic country). The U.S. government protested, and our people were told they could bring their Bibles, but they must not be carried off the base. Islam's treatment of women is well-documented.

The Koran teaches Moslems that it is not only possible, but proper, and they will earn reward, for killing "infidels," or anyone who is Jewish or Christian. In the Sudan there have been 2 million Christians slaughtered over the last few years - because the Moslems wanted to "cleanse the country." In the Philippines at the present time, Islam is trying to move toward capturing that government by guerrilla tactics. Other nations are also under pressures. And this is not some new phenomenon. The history of Islam shows a similar track record wherever they have had an opportunity.

Therefore, I believe that Mr. Husseini has done us a service in his call to "free ourselves from jahili society, concepts, traditions and leadership." That, my friends, means from the American government, way of life, religion, etc. It is a rare but honest evaluation of what real Islam has for its goal - as Mr. Husseini says it, "so that the banner of Islam can flutter over the earth." That is its track record.

Jerre K. Snider
Waynesboro, Pa.

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