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.
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.
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.
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.
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).
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.”
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.
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.