Muslims deserve religious rights

Throughout this year there have been many attacks on Muslims and their faith.

On May 26, the conservative talk show host Michael Berry made remarks that should have had criminal consequences. His on-air outburst was so clearly ignorant that it defies rational thinking.

“I’ll tell you this — I hope somebody blows it up,” Berry said on KPRC-950 AM. He was directing his remarks at the proposed mosque to be built a few blocks from ground zero, the memorial site where the World Trade Center towers once stood.

This is the kind of unacceptable behavior that spreads toxic sentiments across our country.

Berry’s statements are crucial to the movement that others like Sean Hannity and Sarah Palin passionately continue.

Yesterday, the topic was heating up yet again pertaining to a Twitter battle between Palin and Michael Bloomberg.

From her Twitter account the Alaskan Governor Sarah Palin tweeted “Ground zero mosque supporters: doesn’t it stab you in the heart, as it does ours throughout the heartland? Peaceful muslims, pls refudiate.”

Those who argue against the building of mosques are forgetting what the first amendment of the Bill of Rights is all about. The first amendment states, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.”

The issue of contention with the construction of mosques is subtler than it’s being portrayed. Conservatives and republicans who are taking stances against the spread of Islam in the U.S. are really trying to use this to infuriate those who are subject to believing the smears that are issued by Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity.

The staff at Fox News continued this by creating a big deal about the president’s NASA agenda. President Obama’s NASA agenda has a foremost goal to open up and better develop the relationship with Muslim countries, as well as other non-traditional nations.

The criticisms of people like Palin, Hannity, and Limbaugh look idiotic once the facts are considered. There is nothing about the Muslim community that should pose threats to our friends or neighbors. Furthermore, there is no difference between building a mosque or a church.

The Islamic community has as much of a right to construct their places of worship, as does any other religion. The scare tactics of the conservative right are unoriginal and it’s a tough bet, because if they fail to convince enough people with their unsubstantial points they will fall to reality and truth.

Andrew Taylor is an economics senior and can be reached at [email protected]


  • Isn't it a little ironic that you are quoting the first amendment in connection with it's religion clause…. when you began the article by stating that something Michael Berry SAID "should have had criminal consequences" ?

    I also kinda like how you threw in Rush Limbaugh for absolutely no reason and with not even the slightest mention of any supporting evidence that he had anything to do with anything mentioned in this article.

    Aside from that, Sarah Palin is making no attempts at legislating a ban on the building of a mosque… which is what the 1st amendment is concerned with. She is merely trying to persuade people that it shouldn't be done.

    So what if you don't like her opinion? THAT is what the first amendment is all about.

  • Isn't it a little ironic that you are quoting the first amendment in connection with it's religion clause…. when you began the article by stating that something Michael Berry SAID "should have had criminal consequences" ?

  • You idiots need to realize you aren't some special exception, its bad enough you get PC double standards. How hard is it to realize that its simply in bad taste to build a mosque there? It is a very big difference between building a church there and building a mosque there because it wasn't a bunch of radical christians that crashed into the WTC it was a bunch of radical muslims. End of discussion.

  • I agree with what Zed said about the mosque being built there is just bad taste. This is being refuted the same way I would expect happen if a church that supported the KKK were to be built near where Rosa Parks refused to move on the bus, or near MLK's grave. That would be disgusting and an outrage. Most people know that not every Mosque is a terrorist plot house, just as most African Americans know not every southern Christian church with a white membership is related to the KKK. Common sense has to tell these people….if we build this here…alot of people are gonna be pissed. And the first amendment doesn't mean you have to agree with someone. Even if others don't like what you have to say, you have a right to say it. Berry, Bloomberg, or Palin can say whatever they want.

  • (Part I)

    The more I think about Andrew's commentary the more stupid it gets.

    So we as Christians, Jews, Hindus, Atheists, or Buddhists are not free to practice our religion in almost all Muslim countries, yet bleeding-heart Andy is upset about some "perceived" prejudice against Muslim's rights to worship here.

    Right on Andy! Your priorities, your clarity of vision are really something else. (With the "else"left up to your imagination.)

  • (Part II)

    In America, if anything, Muslims are handled with kid's gloves. Despite so many of them telling us to go to hell, killing us (remember Ft. Hood), and speaking openly about how we are second class people, we do nothing but treat them like thspecial people. They're free to build mosques most anywhere. Hell, we even give them special rights in many cases –special prayer facilities at airports, special foot baths in some government buildings, special hours for prayer and Ramadan at many large corporations. But that's not good enough for Andy.

    Andy wants us to let them build a mosque next to the site where THEY killed 3,000 of us. That would be like letting the Japanese build a Shinto Shrine at Pearl Harbor. Good thinging Andrew. You're a veritable genius, with the emphasis on veritable.

  • If you are into 'Command and Control' and you ban the Shinto Shrine at Pearl Harbor, where do you go from there?

    Command and Control people love to issue the dictatorial order …you will not…!

    Over and over until the people either revolt or form their own country as we did.

    For those who embrace 'Command and Control' how about a ban on Sushi Restaurants anywhere in the State of Hawaii?

    Congress shall make no law …!

  • case in point: In the movie 2012, director Roland Emmerich destroys:

    The Sistine Chapel in the Vatican
    St. Peter's Basilica in the Vatican
    Statue of Christ in Rio de Janiero

    ("because I'm against organized religion, Emmerich says)

    So what did he fail to depict the destruction of? Mecca.

    From Sci Fi Wire:

    [Emmerich was thinking of something even more explosive: the Kaaba, the cube-shaped building at the heart of Mecca, the focus of prayers and the Islamic pilgrimage called the Hajj; it is one of Islam's holiest sites…

    "Well, I wanted to do that, I have to admit," Emmerich says. "But my co-writer Harald said I will not have a fatwa on my head because of a movie. And he was right. … We have to all … in the Western world … think about this. You can actually … let … Christian symbols fall apart, but if you would do this with [an] Arab symbol, you would have … a fatwa, and that sounds a little bit like what the state of this world is.]

  • People in the U.S. who are into Command and Control are not at all pleased with religious freedoms afforded to all of us by the U.S. Constitution.

    Odd that …given the fact we founded this country to get away from the Command and Control fanatics.

    And they most certainly would ban a Shinto Shrine at Pearl Harbor if given the opportunity.

    But the old old questions comes up again.

    After taking out the Shinto Shines where would the Command and Control extremists go from there?

    Would they demand legislation banning Japanese Sushi restaurants within the State of Hawaii?

    History tells us they would do something just that extreme and much much more.

    [Congress Shall Make No Law] sounds pretty clear to me!

  • Andrew: It appears to me that you do not understand the American culture. We Americans are tired of people coming here and then telling us we MUST accept your ways, etc. I am sure you have heard the expression, "when in Rome, do as the Romans." That is the same for us. When you are here, you act and do like an American. It is in very bad taste for you to consider a Mosque in the site you have chosen. To me it seems you want to poop on us and then slap us because it draws flies. May I suggest you consider the Mohave Desert if you must go on with this idea. After what America went through there is no justification for a Mosque. Saudi Arabia who pretends to be a friend will not allow you to wear a cross or make any expression of Christianity. I would suggest you find another country…one that will let you build on every corner.

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