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Published: Friday, 9/21/2007

Southwyck is being held hostage

In a recent editorial about a new direction for Southwyck, The Blade stated that the current mall "owners have little to gain from holding onto a deserted and mostly empty building." As a long-time Maumee area resident and customer of the Southwyck Dillard's, it seems to me that it has everything to gain by continuing to prevent unknown competition for their new location at Fallen Timbers.

The lack of commitment and decision by Dillard's has kept revitalization of this area dormant for the past several years while Fallen Timbers was being developed. I would assert that this behavior was nothing more than a business strategy on the part of Dillard's.

I believe Bill Dillard is manipulating his ownership stake in Southwyck to block property redevelopment. I am urging everyone to boycott all area Dillard's locations until Mr. Dillard agrees to stop holding the Southwyck redevelopment project hostage. It appears as though Mr. Dillard is a very bottom-line oriented individual. Together we all have an opportunity to influence that bottom line by not shopping at Dillard's.

David Wolff

Maumee

We don't know how universe originated

Regarding a Sept. 5 letter in the Readers' Forum about religion and logical thought, I would be quite interested to know what "evidence" the letter writer's trust in God is based on. In fact, this very choice of wording assumes that the existence of the God he trusts in is already proven with evidence, when it obviously is not.

Where the writer speaks of "the universe," he's talking about the "universe as we know it today." As I understand it, science and cosmology today make no claims whatsoever to know of the status of any of the matter and energy of today's "universe" prior to its "beginning." Perhaps matter and energy existed prior to this beginning, in some very different type of "universe," in some very different way than is known from today's universe. Maybe this matter and energy exist eternally on their own. Maybe they were created by an eternal God. None of this is now known.

It seems the most logical conclusion to arrive at is to shrug one's shoulders and say honestly and simply, "I don't know how the universe originated - I would need more information."

Paul Chad

Bowling Green

Iraqi resistance was presaged by history

Iraq's invasion is without a doubt America's most foolish mistake. It cannot, however, be dismissed by the notion that it was impossible to foretell Iraqi resistance. This mistake has been made before, and it should have been studied.

In 1393, the region was invaded by Tamerlane and his Turkish barbarians. The scope of Tamerlane's brutality cannot be described: beheading men, galloping over children, and abducting young mothers into slavery and leaving their toddlers to starve. His destruction was so complete that 40 years later an Egyptian historian wrote that Baghdad no longer resembled a city.

Iraq's ancestors could have given up. Instead they escaped into remote regions. They lived by the credo: clan and tribe against anyone and everyone. Life in Mesopotamia returned to old patterns. Sunni-Shiite hostilities became paramount. It climaxed in 1508 when Shiites from Persia (Iran) invaded Basra, Mosul, and Baghdad. The Turks sided with the Sunnis and took those cities back, reasserting their tyranny over the Sunni, Shiite, and Kurdish quagmire.

Do these patterns sound familiar? They should. Today, the Shiites of Iran are provoking hostilities with the Iraqi Sunnis, and the Turks, who think they own the Kurds, are threatening war.

The Sunnis and Shiites will continue to fight, as they have since their first war in A.D. 656, unless they form separate nations. Unfortunately, President Bush won't permit this. He continues to prove the old axiom that a man is never so foolish as when he refuses to learn.

Robert Baron

Port Orange, Fla.

Mayor Stoner took risk to save pond

It's refreshing to hear that the mayor of Northwood, Mark Stoner, has put his political career at risk to save the pond at Curtice and Lemoyne roads and turn it into a park. While other communities are spending big bucks to recover wetlands, he's worked to save what they already have.

I hope the voters in Northwood remember this in November. Ironically, his political opponents, who wanted to fill it in, will probably be taking their kids and grandkids there to enjoy the fishing. Maybe it should be named Stoner Lake to remind them who saved it.

Rick Shortridge

Oregon

Purpose of talk often is to persuade others

In his Sept. 10 column, S. Amjad Hussain takes issue with religious proselytizing, stating that "freedom of religion does not include freedom to convert others." Actually, it does. The freedom to practice religion allows for the sharing of ideas, ideas one believes to be true, in the hope that others might find them believable.

Much of human communication has as its goal the evoking of some kind of change in the other person. Forcing one's beliefs on another is, of course, wrong, but from soap box to the radio talk show to Dr. Hussain's column, the goal of the communicator is to change the thinking, behavior, or even the belief system of others by a well-articulated and compelling argument.

I enjoy regular warm and animated conversation at a local coffee shop with a Muslim. I suspect we'll never come to common ground in our beliefs but we'll continue to show respect and care for each other.

Dr. Hussain states that "in a civil (and civilized) society, one should have the right to convert but only out of one's own free will." I agree.

We should never deny a person the free will to believe as they want, and to convert if only they want to do so.

This, however, does not preclude anyone from offering what they believe to be a compelling argument that, when stated out of love and with respect, might prompt the other person to want to convert.

I'm certain Dr. Hussain will continue to try to "convert" people's thinking by his insightful columns, and I will also try to "convert" people's thinking by my writing and speaking.

I'm glad we live in a country where we can both do so freely.

The Rev. David J. Claassen

Mayfair-Plymouth Congregational Church

Temperance

Freedom of speech includes conversion

The University of Toledo's newest trustee upped the ante for idiocy in his most recent anti-Christian diatribe. S. Amjad Hussain once again berates Christians for their attempts to "proselytize" Muslims. The good doctor's references to the Crusades indicate his ignorance of history. The Crusades were organized by Europe's royalty to halt the "proselytizing" of "celestial-high-horse" riding Muslims into their countries.

The zenith of Dr. Hussain's unintentional column of irony is "freedom of religion does not include the freedom to convert others." To take his constitutional "logic" further, does freedom of speech not include the freedom to persuade others? Does freedom of assembly not include the freedom to meet in large groups? Does the freedom to petition the government not include the freedom to disagree with the government?

Unfortunately, for millions of people around the world, the idea of certain "freedoms" isn't debated, or guaranteed in a constitution, it's only hoped for.

Fortunately for myself, and Dr. Hussain, the United States does allow all those freedoms - thank God.

Jim Hoops

Wauseon, Ohio



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