Friday, August 13, 2010
O! say does that star-spangled banner yet wave,
O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave?
There are estimated to be between 2.54 and 7 million Muslims living the the USA, 37% of that number are Caucasian, 24% black, 20% Asian, 4% Hispanic and the rest mixed race. That is between 0.8 and 2.3% of the total population. Currently there are just over 1,200 mosques in the country but that number is in danger of finding it very hard to grow.
The reason for such negativity on a Friday morning is the growing outrage against any mosque across the USA. All of this has recently risen out of the groundswell of openly hostile opposition to the one proposed in downtown Manhattan close to Ground Zero where one stood the twin towers of the World Trade Centre. But it is not just in New York but in Florida, California, Georgia, Connecticut and Tennessee amongst other states that opposition and blatant Islamophobia is taking form.
The First Amendment of the USA's constitution enshrines two things Freedom of Religion and Freedom of Speech. Indeed the Supreme Court has ruled that "government should not prefer one religion to another, or religion to irreligion" of course that doesn't stop to the people and islamophobes in their midst.
Many of the people opposed to new Islamic centres and mosques and those who defend without question the Second Amendment the right to bear arms, which surely is the one that needs revisiting as the militia of the founding fathers has now been replaced by a large and world dominating professional army. So why is the second amendment being held so precious by some yet they are ignoring the fundamentals of the first.
As the article in the Guardian points out where significant numbers of Protestants, Catholics or Jews want to congregate for worship the local towns will not raise issues of traffic, parking or whatever excuse they are using to block a new meeting place being set up indeed most often it will go through unhindered and unquestioned. With the Muslims however that is what is being used and now it is even being open 'racism' against immigrants from a nation of immigrants, even those as I pointed out many will not be differentiated from the general population.
If people in America are going to overlook their First Amendment and not allow freedom of religion to one religious group then their whole Bill of Rights is open as a fraud. What they claim to hold dear isn't worth the paper it was written on even if it is on carefully guarded display in the National Archives.