As an Ahmadi Muslim girl who learned swimming at the age of nine, I couldn't understand what was so controversial about the story regarding women-only swimming ("Female-only swim sessions to debut in Columbia," Nov. 15).

Even at age 9, I realized that to continue swimming I would prefer a women-only facility. Back then, our swim school had special accommodations for mothers with young children (Mommy & Me), as well as time set aside for parties, classes, and free swim. Instead of limiting my freedom, why don't the naysayers ask for similar accommodations for their own preferences? I am sure their needs would also be considered favorably.

As an 8th grader, growing up in the post-Sept. 11 era, I now understand the controversy isn't about swimming, or women, or special accommodations. It's about the words, "Muslim community." And that's very disappointing.

Shireen Younus, Perry Hall