We don't need clothes sporting 'gun pockets'

Now I've read everything. A line of clothing with "secret pockets to hide your gun" is about as stupid a gimmick as I've ever heard of ("Secret Weapon," Sept. 9).

And the name of the line, State Property Wear -- isn't that the same as "license-plate-maker"?

We don't need rappers, especially those who promote sex and violence, giving youngsters any more ideas. There's enough violence in this city to last several lifetimes, and to think that the term "gun pockets" will do nothing more than boost sales is ludicrous.

As the mother of three sons who have been shot, the only thing I can suggest to anyone, urban or suburban, who may be thinking of buying this junk is to run the other way.

Violence isn't funny, and those who work for the so-called designer and agree with his line of thinking need to find another line of work and be grateful that no one has reached into one of the "gun pockets" and shot them.

And the "entrepreneur" who came up with this asinine idea should rethink his life and how this idea will affect the very youngsters he's targeting.

Ginger Williams


Corporate power threatens democracy

Jay Hancock argued that "Pa. official should keep his hands off Hershey sale" (Sept. 8). But this particular case aside, it is vital for people to have a historical perspective on the basic relationship between corporations and states.

A corporate charter is a privilege, and not a right. Anyone can start a business; however, to have the special privileges associated with incorporating requires permission from the people in the form of a charter from the state.

The United States was born of a revolt not just against the British monarchy, but also against British corporations. The Boston Tea Party was a response to monopoly practices by the British East India Company.

Americans have long known that excessive corporate power could undermine our democracy. And significant evidence suggests that such a state of affairs currently exists in the United States.

We should not forget that it is the absolute right, and responsibility, of states to oversee the corporate privileges exercised through the corporate charters that they issue.

Jim George


Refreshing to read Muslim perspective

Thank you for sharing Arsalan Tariq Iftikhar's comments on Muslim-Americans ("Devoted to Islam, America," Opinion Commentary, Sept. 10). Not enough space is given to our views, which helps explain why some people unfortunately continue to associate us with Sept. 11 and not with anything positive, despite all we have done for our country.

I hope that The Sun continues to bring us the Muslim perspective, as our nation's unity rests on understanding what constitutes America -- and that includes its millions of Muslims.

Shumaisa Khan

Alexandria, Va.

Muslim-Americans should be outraged

Arsalan Tariq Iftikhar complains that, as a Muslim-American, he was, the day after Sept. 11 "commanded to prove" his loyalty and to apologize for his faith (he refuses to do either) ("Devoted to both Islam, America," Opinion Commentary, Sept. 10).

I do not ask for any apology from someone who is not personally responsible. All I ask from Mr. Iftikhar is a column that expresses his unbridled outrage and deep sorrow that such a murder was committed in the name of Islam.

Not once, in an Op-Ed piece taking up 14 inches of newsprint, did Mr. Iftikhar express a sentiment that the 9/11 Islamic murderers were neither true Islamists nor martyrs. Yet the only regret the columnist expresses is that he, as a Muslim-American, found life in America more uncomfortable in the year after Sept. 11.

The silence of the American Muslim community, when we pine for screams of condemnation, is painful and deafening.

George Don-Lynn Barnhart


Condemning terror is no attack on Islam

I am also an American and a Muslim but, unlike Arsalan Tariq Iftikhar, I have not been "plagued by sleepless nights ... and unnerved by threats" ("Devoted to both Islam, America," Opinion Commentary, Sept. 10).

The first Friday after Sept. 11, I was met at the Mosque by American Christians and Jews bearing gifts of roses. In fact, it crossed my mind that in many ways Americans, Christians and Jews, were acting more Muslim than most Muslims.

America came together after Sept. 11. Almost immediately, Americans realized that this was not a conflict between Christianity and Islam but a struggle between freedom and fascism. And in this case the fascists wore the garments of Islam. But that does not make them Muslims.

And to condemn the acts of fascism is not and never will be an attack upon Islam.

Terry Muhammad Tahir


Glib letter insults victims of attacks

I did not lose any friends or family members in the attacks of last Sept. 11. I can only therefore guess at the rage I would feel if I had, and then read the glib assertion that "What goes around comes around" in the letter "Cracking open our isolation" (Sept. 11).

I doubt very strongly that anyone who died that horrific day had any responsibility for an American foreign policy that favors isolationism and exports culture to places that resist it.

These were people, after all, who simply went to work -- people who will be sorely missed.

Evan Balkan


MPT's programming need an overhaul

The budget cuts at Maryland Public Television come as no surprise ("MPT makes changes amid cuts," Sept. 6).

Since last September, I have awaited a new season at MPT. But it seems to me that its "new programming" is nothing more than trashing most of the really superior programs, which have been replaced by old reruns or mostly inferior substitutions along with commercials that are presented as corporate acknowledgements.

I am truly appalled at the poor quality of what is presented on PBS today.

I honestly believe membership will continue to drop until it returns to the quality programming of former years.

Elizabeth Hearn


Antietam section was a joy to read

The Sun is to be congratulated for doing an excellent job in its Sept. 8 special section marking the 140th anniversary of the battle of Antietam, the single bloodiest day in American history.

As a student of the Civil War, I found the articles well-researched and a joy to read. And reprinting the original coverage from 1862 was truly fascinating.

I hope The Sun continues not only to commemorate the seminal events in Maryland history, but also to use the talent of local college students, as it did in the Antietam section.

Eric Webb

Glen Rock, Pa.

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