It is odd for an Atheist to be defending religious freedom. I have a very negative opinion of all religion, but I have a strong, well, faith, for lack of a better word in the idea that everyone should be allowed to practice or not as they choose. Neither I nor anyone else should be the arbiter of what others find comfort or direction or confidence in. We can argue about the basis of it, we can argue about the outcomes but in this nation, we all have the right to have our religious freedoms.
As the outbreak of Islamophobia has grown so has the hysteria from the Right on this issue. In Murfreesboro TN, where the construction site of an Islamic center was the victim of suspected arson, the Wingers have really lost their minds. Last week they were in court arguing for a judge to issue an injunction saying the zoning commission was wrong to allow the building of the Center. Their primary argument? That Islam is not a religion, but a political movement. From the Tennessean:
Mosque opponents say that Islam is not a real religion. Instead, they argued in a Rutherford County courthouse last week that the world’s second largest faith, with its 1.6 billion followers, is actually a political movement.
Opponents say local Muslims want to replace the Constitution with an Islamic legal code called Shariah law. Joe Brandon Jr., a Smyrna attorney representing a group of mosque opponents, argued that the proposed mosque is not a house of worship. He said the Rutherford County Planning Commission erred on May 24 when it approved the mosque.
Brandon wants Chancellor Robert Corlew of the 16th Judicial District to issue an injunction stopping the mosque.
“Shariah law is pure sedition,” said Brandon in his opening statement Monday.