I have been a resident of Howard County for the last 31 years, since I fled the Islamic rules in Iran. I came to America knowing that I am choosing to live in a majority Christian country and separation of government — be it federal, state or local — from religions, whether Christianity, Judaism, Islam or any other.

The Columbia Association's new twice-weekly, women-only swim time at the Columbia Swim Center, which I am a member of, is discriminatory. The rule of "women only" in the swimming areas is in violation of our constitution. This was pushed by the mosque and a Muslim woman of particular Islamic culture.

As a Muslim American woman I believe that the people who immigrate to America should live within the parameters of this society and refrain from enforcing their religions' rules on others.

The Columbia Association has discriminated against me and other Muslim women, by taking this action in response to one Muslim woman and a special Islamic sect, disregarding the silent majority that have been using the facilities for years with no problem.


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Manda Zand Ervin

Ellicott City