If Islam could only decide to confine itself to being a religion ~ that would solve a lot of problems. Stick the mosque and stay out of the laws!! Laws are for politicians who are prepared to face criticism for their ideas.
Washington….The Obama administration, for the second time in two months, interjected itself Monday into an angry local dispute over a proposed Islamic center, warning local officials that opposing the mosque could violate the civil rights of its members and become a federal crime.
Yeah we don't want to look like ~ say.. The Islamic world ~ remember the ones ~ who have no regard for basic 'rights and freedoms' !! But aren't we somehow trying to impress them as well !!
The Department of Justice filed court papers Monday in support of construction of a Murfreesboro, Tennessee mosque, saying local Muslims were protected by the First Amendment right to free exercise of religion and disputing opponents claims that Islam is not a valid religion.
In August, President Obama drew fire from conservatives and many New Yorkers when he said people have the right to build a mosque on private properly. The statement so inflamed his detractors that the next day the president stressed he was not necessarily endorsing the proposed Islamic center near Ground Zero in New York.
In the Tennessee matter, the Islamic Center of Murfreesboro is attempting to build new facilities outside of town to accommodate its growing congregation. It purchased 15 acres for a new 10,000-square foot center, with a worship house, school, a gym and swimming pool. The surrounding area would include a pavilion and cemetery.
Opponents filed suit last month. They charged county officials did not properly notify the community about the proposal, and they argued that Islam is not a valid religion but instead a political cause to force the United States to adopt Muslim laws.
In August some construction equipment at the site was set on fire, and signs have been put up in the area saying "not welcome."
But the government said in its court filings that "Every court has treated Islam as a religion for purposes of the First Amendment and other federal laws. No court has held otherwise.''
Islam, it said, "falls plainly within the understanding of a religion for constitutional and other federal legal purposes.''
Thomas E. Perez, assistant attorney general for civil rights, said local officials have an obligation to treat a mosque the same as a church or synagogue. "This is not only common sense,'' he said. "It is required by federal law.''
Perez and Jerry E. Martin, the top federal prosecutor in central Tennessee, noted that their decision to intervene comes on the 10th anniversary of a federal law which bars local officials from using zoning or land-use laws to discriminate against religious groups. Since 2000, they said, the DOJ has opened 51 such investigations, filed seven lawsuits and joined in 40 privately filed suits.