Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Abusing Freedom of Religion

Islam is, first and foremost, an ideology which is the antithesis of American principles and, as such, is not entitled to First Amendment rights. Nevertheless, in this posting I'll abide by the assumption that Islam is a religion.
According to CAIR, some of the practitioners of Islam are particularly pious and intend to disrupt traffic at a busy airport. Not only do these practitioners want to leave their cabs in order to bow in the direction of Mecca, but also they want to leave their cabs at the curb so that they can go inside the airport to complete the ritual ablutions.

http://www.cair-net.org/default.asp?Page=articleView&id=36803&theType=NB :

CAIR-OH: Prayers Lead to Tickets for Muslim Cabbies
Source: Associated Press
"CLEVELAND - Somali immigrants who work as cab drivers at Cleveland Hopkins International Airport say police are ticketing them when they step out of their cabs for traditional Islamic prayer. Police say they are enforcing a requirement that all drivers remain in their vehicles outside the terminal and are trying to maintain order in an increasingly competitive airport cab scene. A sign warns taxi drivers not to leave their vehicles within 300 feet of the terminal or their automobile will be towed. Police aren't towing, but are ticketing for loitering near a public hack and misuse of a cab stand. Those offenses carry a $150 fine, plus $69 in court costs. Members of the Islamic religion are required to have five formal prayers daily, which must be done facing the direction of Mecca in Saudi Arabia, considered the most holy city in Islam. In America, that's usually northeast. Muslims are required to be freshly cleaned with water and recite the prayers in various positions, including standing and kneeling on the ground. The cab drivers say this is why they must leave their cars to wash up in the airport restrooms and to pray in certain areas. 'By law, under the First Amendment, Americans do have the right to freedom of religious expression,' said Julia Shearson, director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations' Cleveland office..."

We're talking about a security threat here! How difficult would it be for a terrorist to leave his cab in time to avoid the detonation of a bomb or other weapon? Furthermore, an airport cab lane is not the place to abandon a vehicle, and signs prohibiting this type of disruption have been in place for years. If these practicioners of Islam are so devout, then let them leave the cab lane and assemble elsewhere. After all, their faith is supposed to matter more than any financial gain or loss, right?
Would any other religious group be accorded consideration in the way that CAIR advocates?
I'm getting fed up with these overreaching accusations of the persecution of Muslims. Another sentence from the article reads "'We are very concerned about any possible profiling,' [Julia Shearson] said. 'Overall, I think that law enforcement, they do try to understand other cultures and religions and we hope that they will work hard to reach out to this particular community and open a channel of dialogue with various leaders.'"
The right to freedom of religion does not apply to the situation at the Cleveland Airport. Let the practitioners of Islam adjust their work and prayer schedules to conform with airport and security regulations.

In the mid-1990's, I took a class of upper-elementary, Christian-school students into Washington, D.C., for a tour of the Capitol Building. Because our Congressional Representative was in a meeting, the tour was delayed, and these very lively students were becoming restless. I could see that some of them were going to get into mischief, and I had to come up with a way to keep them constructively occupied.
Having recently directed this group in a school program, I lined them up on the steps and began directing them in the singing of "America the Beautiful." Several tourists stopped to listen, and a few Hell's Angels bikers removed their skullcaps and covered their hearts--not because the choir of untrained voices was so excellent but because listening to children sing about their nation moves every patriotic heart.
As soon as the students had finished singing, along came the Capitol Police. "You must have a permit to sing here. If you don't cease and desist, we'll have no choice but to arrest you for unlawful assembly." For singing "America the Beautiful"? I suppose it's a good thing that the choir didn't break into "Amazing Grace"!
Of course, not wanting to cause trouble for my school or for myself, I dismissed the choir and used alternative methods to keep the students occupied. But if a similar situation were to arise for me today, I'd let the authorities take me away in cuffs, and I'd go to court to fight for my rights.


At 5/31/2005 1:26 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

One has to ask, "Which is worse — the people who seek advantage for their own nefarious purpose or those who allow them to get away with it?" One parallel might be this: who is the greatest offender, the prostitute, or the person who pays for those services?

People who seek their own advantage in society are doing what it is that people tend to do – look after their own “best interests.” But the reason we live in a society of laws is to allow no one group an advantage of another.

Freedom of religion is one of our principal ideas, which explains why it is in the FIRST of the Bill of Rights, but one religion should never be allowed an advantage over any other. We do not allow, for example, Muslim children to use their prayer rugs in public school settings, and we do not allow the recitation of the Lord’s Prayer in schools either.

It is unacceptable to allow people (whose motivations are at least questionable to me) to leave their cabs unattended at airports or in intersections during rush hour to attend to their prayers, just as we would not allow a Christian group to hold an assembly at an airport or in an intersection, impeding the pursuit of commerce. If the City of Cleveland rolls over for this, I think they should be sued by every Christian group in the US. [Pause] Where is the ACLU on this issue? [Ha!]

Slowly, ever progressively, Muslims are seeking a position of dominance in America and throughout western culture. THEIR rights have priorities over the rights of others. We must draw a line in the asphalt to stop this. I think you should establish an organization in opposition to CAIR – but sadly, we cannot compete with the level of funding accorded to such organizations from the Saudis. No bucks, no Buck Rogers.

GREAT Post! I hope others will comment on this, as well.

Semper Fidelis,

At 5/31/2005 3:26 PM, Blogger Jason Pappas said...

I definitely agree that Muslims are masters at manipulations and want to devise ways that get us to show respect for their religion. The religion is strong on rituals over faith - in the sense that the mechanical practice is more important than what is in your heart. Thus, they look at ways of manipulating the laws to get others to join in the rituals – by getting public space, by getting accommodations, by getting exemptions from prohibitions, etc. They’ll use religious freedom if that works, they’ll use “respect our culture,” and if all that fails they feign offense and demand sensitivity.

I refuse to classify Islam as a religion: it’s a political ideology in religious garb. And the threads are wearing mighty thin. Even so, people don’t understand that yet. One has to argue that arbitrary demands by every religion just can’t be accommodated. But that’s the problem a ritualistic religion has over spiritual religions of faith.

Of course, we really need a total ban on Muslim immigration. But I suspect I’m preaching to the choir.

At 5/31/2005 7:09 PM, Blogger Northern Virginiastan said...

Not long ago, in the DC Metro Area, Muslim cabbies serving Ronald Reagan National Airport tried to get the airport authority to provide facilities for ablutions. I don't know what happened to their campaign.

At 5/31/2005 9:31 PM, Blogger Always On Watch said...

Yes, islam is a political ideology in religious disguise. As Mustang points out, we are allowing muslims to seek their own advantage. They are using American rights to take down our nation. Do we have even one generation left of freedom? I have my doubts.

Northern Virginiastan,
I think the muslims lost the cause at Reagan National, but only becaue of its proximity to D.C.

At 6/01/2005 9:44 PM, Blogger beakerkin said...

I find it odd that there has never been this type of problem with Jews
who pray three times a day. Jews tended to live in countries that did not cater to their religious dictates.

I have never heard of Jews seeking this kind of accomodation. You can ask for a Kosher meal on a flight but that is about it.

At 6/01/2005 10:16 PM, Blogger Always On Watch said...

In my experience, Jews have always taken their faith as a personal matter. I am not Jewish, but I have Jewish friends, acquaintances, and colleagues.
The only accommodation I've ever provided is a dietary one, but I've never felt compelled to do so. Rather, I do so out of courtesy.

My parents' next-door neighbors, who are Jewish, were so helpful when my parents died some ten years apart. These neighbors, who follow certain dietary restrictions in their own home, provided us, both times, with a Honey-Baked ham for the after-services reception because they respected our customs. I'll always remember their kindness.

I'll say a blessing in public, but I don't expect the entire restaurant to upend to accommodate me. I certainly won't block a lane of traffic to practice my faith.

However, like Jason, I believe that the real issue with Muslims is the practice of an ideology, the goal of which is force every other ideology, religious or otherwise, into a state of submission.

At 6/01/2005 11:02 PM, Blogger Jason Pappas said...

Yes, that point about having a personal religion is important.

Muslims just can't get that. They really want to get others to pay respect to their religion. They intend to use "religious freedom" to make demands and manipulate others to give an inch and then another inch.

Most people I know just want to be left along to practice their religion.

At 6/02/2005 10:22 PM, Blogger beakerkin said...

I will post the new here I am joining the DHS in St Albans VT.
I will be in the holding pens doing my part in this battle . I wish there was more I could do.

There are some nasty leftist that target my blog but it is safe to post here.

At 6/02/2005 10:39 PM, Blogger Always On Watch said...

Thank you for letting me know the specific about your job change. I so admire you for what you have done in your blog and for what you are now doing for our nation.

We need more Americans like you!

At 6/03/2005 3:02 PM, Blogger beakerkin said...

I am a small cog at DHS . I had a laugh as my Broklynese is considered exotic.


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