July 8, 2008
A Mosque in Your Backyard?
Many of the good people of Walkersville Maryland have decided that they do not want a mosque in their town. They are, of course, being portrayed as redneck racists by the developer who wants to build it:
Officials of this rural Frederick County town illegally discriminated against a Muslim group by barring it from building a mosque and holding annual conventions on land zoned for farming, the property's owner said in a federal lawsuit filed Monday.
The religious-bias complaint was filed by developer David Moxley, whose family-owned companies had planned to sell the group 224 acres in Walkersville for about $6 million. The group, Ahmadiyya Muslim Community USA, was not part of the suit.
"I believe in the promise of America, and I will not allow a handful of bigots to deny that promise to these good people," Mr. Moxley said.
Walkersville Town Attorney Danny O'Connor denied the allegations....
"I've never seen a worse example of hostility toward a religious group accomplished through the zoning process as by the town of Walkersville," said the Moxleys' lawyer, Roman P. Storzer.
Now why would anyone not want a mosque in their backyard and an influx of Muslims?
Maybe because they've read too many stories like these:
The most senior judge in the UK says that he sees a role for sharia law in Britain
Britain's most senior judge reopened one of the most highly charged debates in Britain last night when he said he was willing to see sharia law operate in the country, so long as it did not conflict with the laws of England and Wales, or lead to the imposition of severe physical punishments....
Phillips insisted last night there was "widespread misunderstanding" of the nature of sharia law, and argued: "There is no reason why sharia principles, or any other religious code, should not be the basis for mediation or other forms of alternative dispute resolution [with the understanding] ... that any sanctions for a failure to comply with the agreed terms of mediation would be drawn from the Laws of England and Wales."
He also suggested sharia principles should be applied to marriage arrangements.
Like wife beating? Anyone who thinks it'll end with "conflict resolution" stand on your head.
British "sniffer dogs" now must wear booties when used in Muslim homes or mosques
Police sniffer dogs will have to wear bootees when searching the homes of Muslims so as not to cause offence....
Where Muslims object, officers will be obliged to use sniffer dogs only in exceptional cases. Where dogs are used, they will have to wear bootees with rubber soles. "We are trying to ensure that police forces are aware of sensitivities that people can have with the dogs to make sure they are not going against any religious or cultural element within people's homes. It is being addressed and forces are working towards doing it," Acpo said.
Yes yes, mustn't offend the Muslims, or they might, you know, get violent.
Oh, and they're also outraged over this ad the British police have been running
Muslims have complained over a police advert featuring a puppy sitting in an officer's hat.
A police force has apologised to Islamic leaders for the "offensive" postcard advertising a new non-emergency telephone number, which shows a six-month-old trainee police dog named Rebel.
The German shepherd puppy has proved hugely popular with the public, hundreds of who have logged on to the force's website to read his online training diary.
But some Muslims in the Dundee area have reportedly been upset by the image because they consider dogs to be "ritually unclean", while shopkeepers have refused to display the advert.
More from the Daily Mail
A postcard featuring a cute puppy sitting in a policeman's hat advertising a Scottish police force's new telephone number has sparked outrage from Muslims. Tayside Police's new non-emergency phone number has prompted complaints from members of the Islamic community. The choice of image on the Tayside Police cards - a black dog sitting in a police officer's hat - has now been raised with Chief Constable John Vine. The advert has upset Muslims because dogs are considered ritually unclean and has sparked such anger that some shopkeepers in Dundee have refused to display the advert.
Think this only happens in the UK? If you've got a service dog, don't take it to Minnesota
A St. Cloud State University student in a teacher-training program at Technical High School left the school in late April because he says he feared for the safety of his service dog.
The school district calls it a misunderstanding, and officials there say they hoped Tyler Hurd, a 23-year-old junior from Mahtomedi who aspires to teach special education, would continue his training in the district.
Hurd said a student threatened to kill his service dog named Emmitt. The black lab is trained to protect Hurd when he has seizures.
First they came for the dogs...
Remember that Mormon group got into trouble over allegations of polygamy? They went about it all wrong. If they'd just converted to Islam they'd be fine. If the coppers dared raid them they'd just claim "racism!" and "bigotry!" But nobody listens to such complaints if you're Mormon.
Maybe the good senior judge in Britain mentioned above should think about this before he signs his country up for sharia law:
Although polygamy is illegal in the U.S. and most mosques try to discourage plural marriages, some Muslim men in America have quietly married multiple wives.
No one knows how many Muslims in the U.S. live in polygamous families. But according to academics researching the issue, estimates range from 50,000 to 100,000 people.
Don't think that they're doing this in backwoods areas that are hidden from prying eyes. Try out in the open in New York City.
In Canada the men are taking full advantage of the situation
Hundreds of [greater Toronto area] Muslim men in polygamous marriages -- some with a harem of wives -- are receiving welfare and social benefits for each of their spouses, thanks to the city and province, Muslim leaders say.
In Britain they've even made it legal
Husbands living in a "harem" with multiple wives have been cleared to claim state benefits for all their different partners....
Ministers have decided that, even though bigamy is a crime in Britain, polygamous marriages can be recognised formally by the state - provided they took place overseas, in countries where they are legal.
If those stupid infidels will pay, why not?
Now, let me stop here and say what should be obvious; yes I know that not all Muslims in the West buy into this nonsense. I've profiled some who think otherwise. Unfortunately they're in the minority.
Don't assume that your local school will teach your children anything other than a sanitized history of Islam, either:
History textbooks being used by hundreds of thousands of public school students across the U.S. are blatantly promoting Islam, according to a new report by an independent organization that researches and reviews textbooks....
"Many political and religious groups try to use the textbook process to their advantage, but the deficiencies in Islam-related lessons are uniquely disturbing. History textbooks present an incomplete and confected view of Islam that misrepresents its foundations and challenges to international security."
The report finds that the texts present "disputed definitions and claims [regarding Islam] ... as established facts."
Muslim women must have their modesty:
• In Lincoln Park, Mich., Fitness USA relented when Muslim women demanded that the gym wall off a co-ed aerobic center from their women-only section because men could see them working out.
• In Bridgeview, Ill., a Muslim school says it wants its girls' basketball team to play road games against non-Muslim schools provided the public schools ban men and teenage boys from the game.
• In North Seattle, Wash., a public pool set up a swim time for Muslim women in which men, even male lifeguards, are banned.
They can't be around us infidels.
I think the Seattle Muslims get their ideas from their pals in the UK:
A father and his five-year-old son were turned away from their local swimming pool because they were the wrong religion.
David Toube, 39, and his son Harry were told that the Sunday morning session was reserved for Muslim men only.
Hackney Council, which runs the Clissold Leisure Centre in Stoke Newington, north London, claimed staff there had made a mistake.
However, the Muslim-only session was advertised on its website.
Banning infidels from the pool and fitness center has gone mainstream
On February 4, 2008, in an act of segregation disguised as "collaboration," Harvard University set the clock back fifty years by agreeing to ban men from a popular university gym for six hours each week to appease Muslim women. Harvard University spokesman Robert Mitchell stated to me that this was done at the behest of a group of women "whose religion does not allow them to remove their burqas and/or hijab in the presence of men."
The Harvard College Women's Center, which represents on its website that it supports "women that challenge, motivate, and inspire," quickly endorsed the policy of segregation. Its director, Susan Marine, told CNN, "It's just not possible for [the women] to be in a mixed environment."
Orwell would understand.
Harvard's not the only school getting in on the action.
Some public schools and universities are granting Muslim requests for prayer times, prayer rooms and ritual foot baths, prompting a debate on whether Islam is being given preferential treatment over other religions.
The University of Michigan at Dearborn is planning to build foot baths for Muslim students who wash their feet before prayer. An elementary school in San Diego created an extra recess period for Muslim pupils to pray.
At George Mason University in Fairfax, Va., Muslim students using a "meditation space" laid out Muslim prayer rugs and separated men and women in accordance with their Islamic beliefs.
Critics see a double standard and an organized attempt to push public conformance with Islamic law.
"Double standard"? Do ya think?
Don't you dare criticize any of this also, at least not in France.
Brigitte Bardot was yesterday found guilty of provoking discrimination and inciting racial hatred with a letter lambasting the influence of Islam on French culture. The 73-year-old former actor was not in the Paris court to hear the ruling and may well have viewed the result as a forgone conclusion. This was her fifth conviction for inciting racial hatred.
The charge arose out of a letter Bardot wrote to the then Interior Minister Nicolas Sarkozy in December 2006, protesting the slaughter of sheep at the Muslim festival of Eid al-Adha. In it, the animal rights campaigner claimed that France was "tired of being led by the nose by this population that is destroying our country by imposing its acts." The letter was also published on Bardot's official website.
French anti-racism laws prevent inciting hatred and discrimination on racial or religious or racial grounds. Bardot has been convicted four times for inciting racial hatred.
I really hope no one thinks they have freedom of speech in Europe like they do in the U.S. We can enjoy ours...for the time being, anyway.
So maybe now we know why they don't want the mosque in Walkersville,
I was careless in my post and forgot to state why all these concessions to Muslims matter (I guess since I've said it before I didn't think I should run through it again. But for the sake of clarity I should). After all, one might ask, what difference does it really make whether Muslims get foot baths at our universities?
First, it's not about the foot baths. It's about power, about who shall have power over whom. And what these (not all, just the ones complaining) are doing is showing that they are the ones in control.
Second, it's about the hypocrisy. If Christians demanded a our equivalent of foot baths the ACLU and Americans United for Separation of Church and State would be on the case in a heartbeat.
Third, it is about immigration and accepting the values of your new country. No one is saying that immigrants must give up everything. There is a give and take process with any new immigrant group; the natives pick up things and the immigrants adopt new ways. But far too often Muslims are not adopting Western ways but rather insist that we accept their legal system. This cannot be allowed to continue.
On a related point, Stephen Schwartz, writing in The Weekly Standard, explains why sharia law won't work even if it's supposedly only used for "mediation or other forms of alternative dispute resolution."
At first glance, letting religious courts handle family and business disputes through voluntary mediation might seem harmless, and radical Muslim advocates of using sharia in Western countries often cite the precedent under which a Jewish religious court, or beth din, will settle such disputes between commmunity members who agree to have them so settled. But this assumes a lack of coercion and free recourse to the civil justice system as an alternative, conditions that don't prevail when dealing with some powerful and well-funded radical Islamic clerics.
In Britain, for instance, the problems of Islamic family relations have already spawned a
"Muslim marriage mafia." Because numerous British Muslim women are wed in Pakistan or India in a religious ceremony, and their nuptials left unregistered in Britain, they cannot obtain divorces in British civil courts. They are therefore drawn to notorious sharia courts operating in East London under the domination of adherents of the fundamentalist Deobandi interpretation of Islam, which produced the Taliban. The clerics running the East London divorce racket extort thousands of pounds from poor Muslim women to grant them divorces. Their decisions are guided only by personal whim, so long as money is handed over.
Submitting financial disagreements to sharia tribunals in Britain would probably produce a similar dominance by radical clerics. Worse, it would support a growing sense of segregation between the broader, non-Muslim country and the Muslim minority.
Posted by Tom at July 8, 2008 10:00 PM
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Thanks for the post and the links which I read. I guess the I missed the Muslim polygamy piece on NPR. Perhaps I was listening to a book on tape.
When I read your initial paragraphs regarding the law suit against Walkersville, the words "zoning variance" went through my mind and sure enough...
Whereas I am politically incorrect enough to admit I would not want a super Mosque in my neighborhood, to be fair and honest, I suspect the zoning board's decision would have been the same had the developer wanted to sell to a Christian megachurch.
As you may know, I practice w/in the shadow of the bastions of the religious right and the nearest community to where I live could accurately be described as very religious being home to at least one Christian megachurch and an LDS Tabernacle.
Large religious institutions have an effect on neighborhoods and the insertion of one into a township w/ limited resources poses a problem for the township. Here is a small one: Whenever there is a service, on the sabbath or for a funeral or wedding, you need at least one peace officer directing traffic.
The New Life Church, about which you may have read b/c of the recent shootings there, is on my way to my office and it requires multiple patrol cars and traffic officers on Sunday. The New Life Church is in the city of Colorado Springs much has an adequate police force. But how is Walkersville going to pay for the extra officers to direct traffic b/f and after services? The prospective Mosque, being a religious instiution, would pay no taxes.
That is a small example. The Zoning Board I am sure considered the gamut when considering how a super Mosque would change Walkersville.
I am not familiar w/ the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act. B/c I do so little Federal work, I do not have the USCA on my Westlaw service.
If I am able to find out anything of interest, I will report back.
Posted by: The Loop Garoo Kid at July 9, 2008 4:38 PM
Thank you for stopping by, TLGK, and I would appreciate any updates you can provide.
And you're right about the effect of megachurches on neighborhoods. They can create lots of traffic and congestion and don't contribute to the tax base.
Sometimes churches are sensitive to local needs and build out infrastructure, and other times they get arrogant and don't. Either way, citizens are right to be concerned and do their due diligence in investigating the building plans.
Posted by: Tom the Redhunter at July 9, 2008 7:49 PM
I checked out RLUIPA. In addition to allowing DOJ actions against municipalities and towns, it provides a private cause of action by "individuals, houses of worship, and other religious institutions." The mosque is not a plaintiff in the suit filed by the landowner/developer and I question whether the developer has standing to bring an action under RLUIPA. We'll see. The DOJ can only bring an action for injunctive relief, not damages.
If you Google "religious land use act" you will find a lot of interesting stuff including the DOJ bulletin that pops up first.
Posted by: The Loop Garoo Kid at July 11, 2008 1:04 PM