I can understand women wanting to swim with women only ("Female-only swim sessions to debut in Columbia," Nov. 15). Human nature being what it is, people often stare and do inappropriate things. But isn't this a public facility?

What troubles me is this celebration of and rush to accommodate Muslims who, because of their modesty and religious beliefs, manage to manipulate others to achieve their goals and foster their customs in Western societies.

They relocated to open societies for better opportunities, superior living standards and democratic political systems. Yet they paradoxically want to limit access to others and maintain their own religious customs and dress in public.

How much time is spent in the world's Muslim countries accommodating the needs, customs and dress habits of Westerners? My guess is very little.

Aren't Western women often harassed in many Arab countries when they don't cover their heads and fail to show proper deference to males? Aren't women discouraged from driving in many of these countries?

America is far from perfect, but it is the greatest country in the world for so many reasons. No wonder that people from oppressive Arab countries want to live here. But we are gullible and naive to allow these subtle double standards to be promoted right under our noses in a place as progressive as Maryland.

John Burke, Towson