The small town of Kennesaw, Georgia voted last week to ban an Islamic group from opening a temporary mosque, even though the landlord of the space they wanted to rent agreed to the deal and the city planning commission and other city staff recommended approval. Many local residents openly voiced concerns about Sharia law and terrorism. To give you an idea of the tone of the discussion, a man who recorded the City Council’s vote said “The scumbag lawyer for the terrorist org. says he will sue… good luck with that.”
Well, not really. Faced with a possible federal investigation and the threat of a lawsuit, city officials are reconsidering their decision. The feds have intervened in many similar cases across the country, including two other cities in Georgia, and ultimately reversed the decisions.
What part of freedom of religion don’t these people understand? Many of the original European settlers of North America were fleeing religious persecution. They are probably rolling in their holy graves.
What makes this even more hypocritical is that the people opposed to the mosque were not allowed to mention religion at all at the City Council meeting where the vote was taken, but instead opposed it on the grounds of the mosque’s hours of operation, attendance, and parking. However, a newspaper pointed out that in July the city allowed a Pentecostal church to rent a space for exactly the same purpose. Meanwhile, anti-Muslim protestors carried signs outside the meeting, saying “Ban Islam” and “Islam Wants No Peace!”
“Many of the original European settlers of North America were fleeing religious persecution. They are probably rolling in their holy graves.”
The first part is true, but I’d question the second bit. I think it was Jon Stewart who said “The Pilgrims left England for the freedom to practice the most oppressive religion known to man.” Rhode Island was founded by folks exiled from Mass. Bay Colony for religious reasons, and I think Maryland was set up initially as a place to put all the Catholics unwelcome in the rest of the colonies/Empire and even still there was strife between Catholics and Puritans in the state.
Having said all that, it’s still clear that the folks trying to ban mosques are grossly ignorant. I can’t nitpick anything else from your post!
You do have a point. Maybe it would have been better if I said the founding fathers were rolling in their graves, not the religious refugees who initially came here for the right to be intolerant.
I certainly hope they would be. At the very least, we should be embarrassed ourselves that in a country where we generally have so much we have so many people who know so little.
“What part of freedom of religion don’t these people understand?” The part that distinguishes freedom of religion and bigotry.