As Islamophobia grows across the world, it can sometimes be difficult for people to find ways to discriminate against Muslims in places that promote religious freedom. Rather than accepting a diversity of faiths in their community, however, some of the less-than-tolerant leaders instead choose to find “creative” (and usually flawed) reasons to circumvent the Constitution and ban mosques. Here are five disheartening examples of communities attempting to keep Muslims out:
1. Turn Down That Music!
As the proposed Islamic Center of Clermont proceeds through the grueling process of receiving local approval, Ray Goodgame, a city council member for Clermont, Florida has a novel approach to blocking the application: pre-emptive noise complaints.
“[Muslim’s] wailing may become a nuisance to many,” wrote Goodgame. “There are other people who live within hearing distance of the property. I don’t want them to destroy the community with their music.”
Considering that “wailing music” is not a common complaint against the many other mosques across the country, this “reason” seems like a veiled way of saying “we don’t want your kind in our town.”
2. It’s Not Discrimination If They Want You Dead
When a proposal for a mosque outside of Nashville caused a controversy, presidential candidate Herman Cain gave a confusing explanation as to why he supported banning the construction: the First Amendment’s religious protections don’t supersede a community’s ability to make decisions for itself.
“They are using the church part of our First Amendment to infuse their mosque in that community and the people in the community do not like it, they disagree with it,” said Cain. “I’m simply saying I owe it to the American people to be cautious because terrorists are trying to kill us.”
I suppose once you’ve exaggerated the threat on your life, may logic and the Constitution be damned.
3. Mosques Are Way Different Than Churches
Kevin Grantham, a Republican Colorado state Senator, believes that there is an important distinction between churches and mosques: churches are strictly for worship, while mosques try to spread to other parts of life.
“Mosques are not churches like we would think of churches,” Grantham said. “They think of mosques more as a foothold into a society, as a foothold into a community, more in the cultural and in the nationalistic sense. Our churches – we don’t feel this way, they’re places of worship, and mosques are simply not that, and we need to take that into account when approving construction of those.”
Huh? I don’t know what fantasy version of America Grantham is living in where churches are only for worship. I seem to recall church-sponsored social events, ministers endorsing political candidates and a constant push to declare the United States a Christian nation.
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