Recent events have forced me to start worrying about the future of freedom, especially the freedom to observe and practice the religion of one’s choice. On the one hand, columnist Dennis Prager made an inflammatory statement last weekend suggesting that Minnesota’s new Congressman-to-be, Keith Ellison -- a Muslim -- should be forced to swear into office on a Bible, instead of the Koran it was rumored he might use. It’s simply a silly idea. If a man doesn’t believe in the importance of a document upon which he takes an oath, there can be no assumption of any weight, then, behind the oath itself. But, worse, it demands a religious test for holding office -- strictly verboten by the Constitution of the United States of America. Prager argues against freedom of religion, if it’s not the “right” religion.
Sadly, this falls right into step with the views of those he would battle.
While Dennis Prager was probably drafting his piece on Ellison, in that same state came the news of six imams having been detained after making a stink while boarding an airplane. Of course, the news media carried the superficial portion -- that six American Muslim leaders were removed from a flight after “a passenger expressed concerns” about the praying men. And, the newspapers mentioned that the imams were setting up a protest for their having been “roughly handled” and “insulted” for ‘flying while Muslim”. What most of them didn’t mention was that the imams, having one-way tickets, prayed very loudly (according to police reports from several eyewitnesses) at the terminal, boarded the plane together, then scattered and seated themselves next to all the emergency exits -- effectively blocking anybody else’s access to the exits. Worse, their assigned seats were not the ones in which they sat. Two of the imams sat in first class -- without having obtained the upgrades which would have entitled them to those seats. Two of the imams -- neither of them an exceptionally large man -- requested seat belt extensions (the sort issued to people of my size or larger), and then promptly stored them under their seats instead of using them as they were designed to be used. The imams then proceeded to talk (again, according to police reports of eyewitness accounts) very loudly in favor of Sharia -- strict Muslim law -- and against the United States government. They rose from their seats repeatedly during embarkation, flitting back and forth between seats, chattering loudly in Arabic. When seated at last, the men also began again to pray very loudly, repeatedly shouting “Allah!”
With a number of passengers expressing concern, the crew called for security to escort the imams off the plane. They were led out quietly and without brute force. They were held for a time, then released, issued tickets on another plane, and allowed to go home. None of the imams was attacked, none was threatened, none was handcuffed or menaced by dogs, despite what ringleader Omar Shahin wants you to believe. But, due to the “trauma” they somehow suffered by having been seen as a potential threat, they’re now demanding (a) all behavioral profiling at airport security be stopped, (b) hearings against profiling be held in Congress, and (c) special prayer rooms be established at airports, access to which only Muslims will have.
The demand for prayer rooms is showing up in private businesses, as well. A woman at a Detroit fitness club is demanding her own prayer room because her prayer was interrupted by another patron of the club. The club had already relaxed its dress code in order to accommodate Muslim modesty standards, and now they’re being sued because they haven’t made enough accommodations, thus “violating Wardeh Sultan’s civil rights” to pray undisturbed at the club. Keep in mind, this was a members-only fitness club, not a mosque or even a public facility. And, Ms. Sultan could perfectly easily have scheduled her workouts so that she was finished and out of the building long before time for prayer again.
If this goes anywhere in court, it will be serious blow to our rights as citizens to operate legitimate businesses freely.
Dennis Prager was wrong to demand that a Muslim be forced to swear on a Bible. He has a right, though, to be concerned by escalating Muslim demands for us to bend to their will. Sharia is law most of us infidels can not live under. Literally.
Dennis Prager: America, Not Keith Ellison, decides what book a congressman takes his oath on
Composite Drawlings: Upons whose holy book does one swear?
Pajamas Media: The Faking Imams
Investor's Business Daily: Tale of Fibbing Imams (HT: lgf)
Debra Burlingame: On a Wing and a Prayer
Flight Club: Being Naughty On a Plane (video, approx 2 1/2 minutes)
Little Green Footballs:Every Gymnasium a Mosque