Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Another sad moment in our nation's history

A group of bigots in Tennessee has filed suit in County Court to prevent the building of a mosque in Murfreesboro.
Their complaint claims that the county failed to determine whether the Islamic Center of Murfreesboro is entitled to protection under the U.S. Constitution's First Amendment which guarantees basic rights, including freedom of religion. They have also claimed that the county violated the state's Open Meetings law in the approval process.
Well, on Monday US Attorney Jerry Martin of Nashville filed a brief with the court offering legal proof that Islam is a recognized religion entitled to constitutional protection. Martin said his office was not taking sides in a "local matter" but that the office
would not sit by while mosque opponents raise questions in court about whether Islam is a recognized religion. Martin said in a statement that to suggest otherwise "is quite simply ridiculous."
Well, good on Jerry Martin.

So why is this "another sad moment?" Because he found it necessary to say it!

There are no accurate figures because the Census Bureau does not ask about people's religion, but its 2010 Statistical Abstract, citing a standard survey, says Islam is the third most followed religion among adults in the US. It is exceeded only by Christianity (which comprises 76% of the total) and Judaism. There are more adult Muslims in the US than there are adult Buddhists, Hindus, or Unitarians. According to the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life, worldwide there are over 1.5 billion Muslims, over one-fifth of the world's population.

And yet there are people going into court suggesting in their arguments that Islam is not a "real" religion, people who in pursuit of maintaining their bigotry, their ignorance, their paranoia, are insisting that Islam does not deserve the protections of the First Amendment.

That is indeed sad. It is also frightening, but today I find it just truly sad.

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