Neanderthals are alive and well

Neanderthals are alive and well

Postby quickiewle » Thu May 26, 2011 7:18 pm

And living in Murfreesboro.

From Seattle Times

Darkness descends on the Muslims of Murfreesboro

Islam claims 1.5 billion adherents on the planet, writes Leonard Pitts Jr. But 17 bigots in Murfreesboro, Tenn., trying to block a group of Muslims from building a mosque, contended Muslims have no constitutional freedom to worship because Islam is not a religion.



So, it turns out Islam is a religion. Imagine that.

Granted, this would be considered self-evident by most of us, but it has been a matter of great controversy in the Tennessee town of Murfreesboro, where 17 people went to court last year to prevent a group of Muslims from building a mosque. On their own land.

The need to defend this fundamental right was only one of the ordeals visited upon the Muslims of Murfreesboro, who have also faced threats, vandalism and arson. As recently, vividly illustrated in "Unwelcome: The Muslims Next Door," a troubling CNN documentary, the antagonists here are a clownish band of bigots scared witless by the prospect that a new mosque will be built in their community by a congregation that has already worshipped in said community for 30 years.

Seriously. You can't make this stuff up.

The 17 had contended Muslims have no constitutional freedom to worship because Islam is not a religion. So the statement at the top of this column represents not just self-evident truth, but an actual ruling last week by an actual judge in an actual court. Again: seriously. Chancellor Robert Corlew, the aforementioned actual judge, was obliged to verify that Islam — which has survived 14 centuries, and claims a billion and a half adherents — is a religion.

As reported in the Daily News Journal of Murfreesboro, in throwing out most of the plaintiff's case, Corlew also dismissed claims that "Kevin Fisher, an African-American Christian, would be subject to being a second-class citizen under Sharia law; Lisa Moore would be targeted for death under Sharia law because she's a Jewish female; Henry Golzynski has been harmed because he lost a son fighting in Fallujah, Iraq, by insurgents pursuing jihad as dictated by Sharia law."

Maybe you're tempted to turn away in disgust. Yield not to temptation. We need to see this. This is what it looks like when a country loses its mind.

It looked like this in Germany in 1938 on Kristallnacht, in Rwanda in 1994 when the Hutus savaged the Tutsis, in America in 1942 when the Japanese were herded behind barbed wire.

My point is explicitly not that Muslims face mass vandalism, genocide or internment. Lord only knows what they face. Rather, my point is that the psychological architecture of what happened then is identical to the psychological architecture of Murfreesboro now. Once again, we see people goaded by their own night terrors, hatreds, need for scapegoats, and by the repetitive booming of demagogues, until they go to a place beyond reason.

And in that place inevitably lies a dark night of malice, destruction and awful deeds that seem like good ideas at the time. When it passes, like a fever, we — the doers and those who simply observe — are left shivering in a cold dawn as reason reasserts itself, wondering how barbarism overtook us, what broke loose inside us, and vowing that it will never happen again. Never again.

Me, I don't fear Muslims. I fear Muslim extremists. I fear extremists, period. And that group in Murfreesboro, make no mistake, are extremists.

Against their extremism, I find bitter succor in the inevitability of that cold dawn. Yes, there will come a morning after.

But first we must learn how dark this night will be.

Miami Herald columnist Leonard Pitts Jr.'s column appears regularly on editorial pages of The Times. His email address is: lpitts@miamiherald.com
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" I'm not sure whether the world is being run
by smart people who are putting us on,
or by imbeciles who really mean it."
Mark Twain
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Re: Neanderthals are alive and well

Postby quickiewle » Fri Sep 02, 2011 12:18 pm

"Islam is not a religion. It is a worldwide political movement meant on domination"
Pat Robertson

(loud buzzer)" EHHHHK! Wrong answer, Pat! But thanks for playing... (bozo)!"

Update...
From blog.au.org

Religious Freedom: Tenn. Court Affirms That Isn’t Just For Christians Any More
August 31st, 2011
By Rob Boston
Discrimination, Religious Exemptions & Free Exercise of Religion, Freedom of Religion, Other Free Exercise Issues (including RFRAs, zoning, etc.)

The assertion that Islam isn’t really a religion and thus doesn’t deserve the protection of the First Amendment deserves to be tossed out of court.

Guess what, folks? Muslims have the right to build houses of worship in America!

Shocking, isn’t it?

Apparently it is to some people in Murfreesboro, Tenn. They’ve been in state court trying to stop some Muslims from expanding a mosque there.

Why? Well, they just don’t much like Muslims.

As a legal argument, that leaves a little to be desired. And on Monday Chancellor Robert Corlew III of the Sixteenth Judicial District reaffirmed an earlier ruling and shot it down in flames.

“Those who are adherents to Islam are entitled to pursue their worship in the United States just as are those who are adherents to more universally established faiths (in our community),” ruled Chancellor Corlew. (“Chancellor” is a title applied to some judges in Tennessee state courts.)

Continued Corlew, “We have a duty equally to treat those whose religious beliefs are similar to the majority beliefs and to those whose beliefs are very different from the majority. If the zoning laws are too favorable to those seeking to build places of worship, then citizens should prevail upon their elected representatives to change those ordinances, but until they do the Court must apply those laws equally to Protestant Christians, Roman Catholics, Muslims, Buddhists and others.”

Murfreesboro Muslims want to build a 52,960-square-foot community center and mosque to replace their existing structure. Their plans have got some people all riled up. Joe Brandon Jr., an attorney representing 17 local residents who are trying to block the Muslims from expanding their house of worship, is relying on a legal argument that could charitably be called creative: He says Islam isn’t a religion.

“Chancellor Corlew seems to go on and on that it’s been decided that Islam is a religion, and we take issue with that,” Brandon groused to the Nashville Tennessean. “There’s no proof in this case that Islam is a religion. There is no case law or code that Islam is a religion.”

Okaaaaay. So, Mr. Brandon, if Islam isn’t a religion, what is it exactly?

It’s remarkable that in 2011, courts even have to waste time entertaining arguments like this. I understand that every American deserves his or her day in court, but some arguments are just fallacious and deserve to be summarily tossed out. The assertion that Islam isn’t really a religion and thus doesn’t deserve the protection of the First Amendment is one of them.

To me, Chancellor Corlew showed commendable restraint. Judge Boston would have been tempted to slap Brandon and his gang with sanctions for filing a frivolous lawsuit. (If you really want to read something disturbing, check out this October 2010 article from the Murfreesboro Post about Brandon’s courtroom antics.) ( It's priceless, trust me).

I’m sure there are many good people in Murfreesboro who are embarrassed by the antics of this hopeless band of Islamophobes. The mosque-bashers aren’t going to get anywhere in court, so they ought to pack up their sorry tactics and go home.

Their raw bigotry has no place in the United States, the nation that pioneered religious liberty for all.
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" I'm not sure whether the world is being run
by smart people who are putting us on,
or by imbeciles who really mean it."
Mark Twain
quickiewle
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Posts: 5112
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Location: Seattle
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