Most state legislative sessions are just starting up, yet we have already seen legislators introduce 13 bills in nine states that would prohibit the “application of foreign laws” in state courts. Now, on the surface, that might not sound like a church-state issue, but that’s by design. The troubling fact is that these bills are driven by anti-Muslim animus and the spurious fear that Sharia law is infiltrating our legal system.
A Tennessee mother is arguing that her family’s “personal religious beliefs were violated” because her daughter was expected to learn historical and objective information about Islam as a part of her social studies curriculum in a public school.
Most of the country now knows Khzir and Ghazala Khan as the parents of Capt. Humayun Khan, a brave soldier who was killed in Iraq in 2004. But Khzir Khan’s moving speech at the Democratic National Convention and his wife’s subsequent comments haven’t deterred Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump from attacking their motivations.
An armed forces prayer breakfast at which a controversial retired U.S. Army general was to speak was cancelled this week thanks in part to his long history of Christian proselytizing and anti-Muslim rhetoric.
One of the far right’s favorite personalities, Glenn Beck, recently had a discussion on his show about the future of Christian “persecution” in the United States. His guest for that segment, an evangelical leader named Samuel Rodriguez, said he thinks Christians will soon be sent off to jail just for practicing their faith.
In law as in Shakespeare, what’s past is often prologue.
Arkansas “patriot” Jan Morgan announced to the world two years ago that her gun range would no longer serve Muslim customers. At the time, I noted that her actions violated public accommodation law and that she would lose an inevitable lawsuit; that did not deter Morgan, and it did not deter a number of other gun-range owners from implementing the same policy.
You don’t have to look far to find examples of attacks on mosques in the United States.
I spent just a few minutes on Google recently and came across headlines like “Crimes Against Muslim Americans and Mosques Rise Sharply,” “Anti-Muslim attacks occurring in record numbers across U.S.” and “Hate Attacks on Muslims in U.S. Spike After Recent Acts of Terrorism.”
Augusta County, Va., public schools temporarily closed in December due to public backlash to a World Geography lesson. Riverheads High School teacher Cheryl LaPorte asked students to copy the shahada, or Islamic declaration of faith, as part of a lesson on Arabic calligraphy.
Kimberly Herndon, a local parent, blasted the assignment.