Over the weekend, a makeshift bomb was thrown into a Minnesota mosque in what many activists are calling the latest hate crime against the Muslim American community. Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton (D), along with other state officials, visited the Bloomington mosque and was quick to call the attack “a criminal act of terrorism,” but on the federal level, President Donald J. Trump remains mum.
Not-so-nice things have been happening in Minnesota lately for religious minorities. A recent Minnesota Public Radio News report highlighted a spate of disturbingly islamophobic speakers catering to the Religious Right’s rhetoric at events in largely rural areas of the state.
A Minnesota restaurant owner responded to a tragic stabbing at a shopping mall in St. Cloud in an unfortunate manner. After the revelations that the perpetrator was Muslim, he decided to put a “Muslims Get Out” sign outside of his restaurant Monday morning.
A Minnesota town is being sued by the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) for denying a zoning permit to a mosque.
Members of the Abu Huraira Islamic Center claim they were unconstitutionally denied the permit by the city of St. Anthony in 2012. On Wednesday, the DOJ agreed.
Speaking at a press conference about the suit, U.S. Attorney Andrew Lugar didn’t mince words.
When the Family Research Council (FRC) and other Religious Right groups advocate against marriage equality in the courts and in the public square, they usually base their argument on bogus studies and other more-or-less secular rationales. But behind the scenes with their own crowd, they turn to a harsh fundamentalist reading of the Bible as their basis.
Voters in four states will cast ballots on marriage equality next month, among them my adopted home of Maryland. Polls show that the Maryland measure, which allows same-sex couples to wed, just might pass.
Religious Right groups, of course, are doing all they can to ensure that doesn’t happen. They’re mustering all of the arguments we’ve heard before: Same-sex marriage will somehow harm families, it’s condemned by the Bible, it will lead to people marrying bicycles, etc.
As they say, all good things must come to end.
I’m sad to report that today is my last day at Americans United. I’m heading on to a new communications position at the American Civil Liberties Union’s Washington Legislative Office, where I promise to keep up the good fight.
But before I go, I want to take this opportunity to reflect on my past three-plus years here at AU. It has been a lot of fun. I’ve met great people who I am going to miss, and I have had some very interesting experiences that I’ll always remember.
Here are the top five: