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Home / Articles / Today / National Today /  Islam Is a Religion, and Therefore Protected by the Constitution
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Wednesday, May 30,2012

Islam Is a Religion, and Therefore Protected by the Constitution

photo courtesy of Shutterstock.com

It's unclear whether a procedural victory for opponents of a controversial Islamic center in Murfreesboro, Tennessee, will delay or permanently enjoin completion of a mosque, under construction since last September. Equally unclear, without detailed knowledge of the facts, are the merits of Chancellor Robert Corlew's ruling that the planning commission had not provided proper public notice of the construction before granting a permit. But if this ruling is not a victory for bigotry (Corlew explicitly acknowledged the Islamic congregation's rights under the First Amendment and a federal statute), it is a victory for the bigots who opposed the mosque out of antipathy toward Islam and the idiotic claim that it is not a religion.

Mosque opponents effectively "put Islam on trial," KATV reports. At 2010 hearings, "a string of witnesses questioned whether Islam is a legitimate religion and promoted a theory that American Muslims want to replace the Constitution with extremist Islamic law and the mosque was a part of that plot."

These are not arguments; they're fantasies, and we have heard them all before, often from the same people who would conform constitutional rights (notably rights for gay people and women) to their understanding of biblical law. Still, the ignorance and un-self-conscious hypocrisy that underlies rants about Shariah law are breathtaking.

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