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Will The Real Theocrats Please Stand Up?

By Bruce Gourley

Hate crimes in America against Muslims have risen to levels not seen since 9/11. President Donald J. Trump inflamed and rode Islamophobia to the White House, drawing the overwhelming support of a key anti-Islam voting constit­uency – right-wing evangelical Chris­­­tians. Upon taking office, Trump signed an executive order travel ban targeting immigrants from seven Mus­lim nations, and all refugees. Many of his evangelical Christian supporters cheered, but their joy was short lived as courts quickly blocked the pres­ident’s unconstitu­tional action.

Zoned Out

When Muslims in Bernards Township, N.J., sought to build a mosque, they found themselves subjected to a strange requirement that wasn’t imposed on other houses of worship: They’d have to build a “supersized” parking lot.

Officials in the township insisted that since Muslims gather for prayers on Friday afternoon, everyone who might come to the mosque should have a dedicated parking spot.

States Of Emergency

While much of the country has been understandably distracted by the antics of President Donald J. Trump’s fledgling administration, state legislators have been busy introducing a host of bills that could negatively impact religious liberty.

Legislation has been proposed in nearly two dozen states that could allow businesses, individuals, organizations, schools or even government entities to use religion as an excuse to discriminate against the LGBTQ community, women and others.

Americans United and Southern Poverty Law Center Explain Church-State Problems of Trump’s Muslim Ban in Brief to Appeals Court

Advocacy Groups Say Executive Order Violates Religious Freedom Rights

President Donald Trump’s recent executive order temporarily banning immigration from several Muslim-majority countries is effectively a Muslim ban and should immediately be put on hold, according to a legal brief filed today by Americans United for Separation of Church and State and the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC).

Trump Executive Order On Refugees and Immigrants Undercuts America’s Tradition Of Religious Freedom, Says Americans United

Americans United for Separation of Church and State today denounced an executive order issued by President Donald J. Trump that has the effect of shutting down our borders to refugees and immigrants from Muslim-majority nations.

“President Trump just acted to fulfill his promise to ban Muslim refugees and immigrants,” said the Rev. Barry W. Lynn, executive director of Americans United. “He has abandoned our nation’s commitment to religious freedom, and he’s turning away those seeking safe harbor and a better life. This action is fundamentally un-American.” 

U.S. Education Department To Monitor Religious Bias

The U.S. Department of Education will begin collecting data this year to track religiously motivated discrimination and bullying allegations from students.

“Students of all religions should feel safe, welcome and valued in our nation’s schools,” Catherine E. Lhamon, the department’s assistant secretary for civil rights, said in an announcement.

Ga. County Roiled By Flap Over Mosque Construction

Hundreds of people gathered at the Newton County, Ga., courthouse on Aug. 22 to attend a public hearing and express opposition to a local Muslim community’s plans to build a mosque and cemetery outside of Covington.

Most speakers blasted the plan, with some even suggesting the mosque could become a terrorist training camp, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported – yet they insisted they were not motivated by anti-Muslim bias.

Fundamentalist Christian Supports Religious Freedom For Muslims

Thanks to recent events both abroad and here in the United States, many Americans are wary of Islam. As a result, innocent Muslims throughout the United States are facing restrictions on their religious freedom – particularly when it comes to the places in which they worship.   

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