Media portray Islam negatively

I am writing about my concerns regarding the constant media coverage in the United States that focuses on the acts of terrorism by individuals who call themselves Muslim. It is unfair, and I feel it is crucial to educate the public that the true teachings of Islam do not promote violence. One person cannot represent all Muslims in entirety any more than it can of any other religion or race.

Mass media need to focus more on the Muslim population that enforces peace. Why is it if an American Christian commits a crime we do not immediately point out that they follow Christianity? I believe propaganda is at play concerning Islam and its followers. At times it is plainly used to justify our involvement in the Middle East and to put blinders on citizens. Our nation is repeating history by causing discrimination against individuals of a certain religion or race. This is not a road we should continue on.

My hope is that, moving forward, people educate themselves with the religion and get to know a Muslim within their community. Citizens need to think for themselves instead of what the media are dishing out.

I have read several articles from in the BDN that shed a positive light on Islam and Muslims in the local community. I applaud the BDN for doing so. Maybe other news outlets will follow the BDN’s lead.

Nichole Belanger


Orlando an American horror story

Like most mass shooters, Omar Mateen was an angry, bigoted man, as testimony from his co-workers, his father and his ex-wife reveal. His apparent fury over seeing two men kissing in public and reports he stalked a former male co-worker via text message, abused his ex-wife and may have frequented the Pulse and gay dating sites all suggest he probably was a closet case full of internalized self-hatred taught by parents, teachers and religious leaders and fueled by a deep-set cultural homophobia created by religious extremists of all faiths and Republican lawmakers who further foment hatred to LGBTQ Americans, with their recent avalanche of homophobic policy proposals and laws.

And despite a history of abuse and mental illness, despite being investigated by FBI twice for potential ties to terrorist organizations, Mateen, much like Dylann Roof and the San Bernardino shooters, was able to legally buy a gun and large amounts of ammunition. Despite the racist, xenophobic, divisive rhetoric by Donald Trump and others, this is nothing but a very American horror story.

Lisa Morris


Ranked-choice voting ensures majority support

Maine has a long history of encouraging independent and third-party participation in our elections. We are willing to listen to alternate ideas that may not solely adhere to the party line. This is important because we listen to the message and messenger before forming an opinion about the candidates.

But when there are more than two candidates running for an office, it often feels risky to vote for the candidate of choice rather than one of the two more likely to be elected. The most recent example is the election and re-election of our governor with 38 percent and 48 percent of the votes, respectively. Regardless of how one feels about our governor, it seems less than ideal to elect someone who has not won 50 percent of the vote.

Ranked-choice voting will appear on the ballot this November. I encourage readers to learn how this will enhance the power of their vote and ensure that, when there are more than two candidates running for the same office, the one who wins that office has truly received at least 50 percent of the votes.

With this system in place, we will be able to support our favored candidates and not worry about splitting the vote and inadvertently helping elect our least favored candidate — the proverbial either/or scenario.

Peg Balano


Time to repeal Second Amendment

There is a lot being said about the Second Amendment, but it is never referred to in its entirety. It is a short one-sentence statement that reads as follows: “A well-regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.”

As I read this sentence, the first two phrases state the reason for the second two phrases. Think about what this country was like when this was written. The civilian population was called upon to put down their daily chores and pick up their rifles when need be. I do not think that is the situation today. Today we have a regulated militia as many millions of my fellow Americans have experienced. The population no longer has to supply their own rifles when called to serve, as many of us know.

Inasmuch as the reason is no longer valid, maybe it is time to repeal the Second Amendment and write a replacement that fits today’s situation.

John Ferriday


Bangor no longer the River City

What a fantastic view of the Penobscot River printed in on the June 9 front page. Sadly, the view from the Bangor side is no longer available. Season’s restaurant patio area offers a view of an 8-foot-tall wooden fence.

Several years ago, a casino was built that blocked the view of the river. Residents got over it. After all, the river was visible along the length of Main Street heading toward downtown.

A few years ago the Waterfront Pavilion was developed to attract world-class entertainment events to our city. The enterprise has been successful, and local businesses have benefited from the increased traffic.

A chain-link fence was installed to better delineate the space. Understandable. Blue tarps were added during performances to ensure only ticketed persons saw the visual part of the act. Reasonable and warranted.

Most recently Waterfront Concerts took an unprecedented step and erected a wooden wall to ostensibly further mark the boundaries of the park and prevent unauthorized viewing. The result is evident: Bangor is no longer the River City. Everyone with whom I have spoken was surprised to learn solid fencing and barriers are not subject to public hearings or municipal review. The view of the Penobscot River should never be unilaterally blocked.

Marianna Reeves