Mercury Rising 鳯女

Politics, life, and other things that matter

Living while Muslim

Posted by Charles II on March 1, 2012

From the First Amendment: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof…”

From DemocracyNow :

AWUD WALID: Well, being in Michigan, and our national organization, CAIR—and we have an office in New York—we’ve joined other advocates in calling for [NYC Police Commissioner] Ray Kelly to resign. Ray Kelly, as well as his deputy chief, have completely trampled upon the spirit of the United States Constitution and wasted millions of taxpayer dollars with having agents even overseas, much less going through in Connecticut and New Jersey, spying on where Muslims eat kabob to bean pie. A

…Michigan is a very unique state, because under current law, the U.S. Border Patrol and Customs and Border Protection has 100-mile jurisdiction from the international border in which they can stop anyone without predication and ask for them to produce proof of citizenship. Because of the Great Lakes being considered international borders, or part of the international border, the entire state of Michigan is within the jurisdiction of U.S. Border Patrol and Customs and Border Protection. Therefore, we have instances in Southwest Detroit where Latinos, born and raised here in Detroit, have been stopped and been detained for hours and asked to provide citizenship. We have issues of Muslims at the border and re-entering the border, have been stopped by CBP and asked questions, such as, “Do you pray? How many times a day do you pray? Which mosque do you go to? Who is your imam?” even asking theological questions about how they believe or interpret certain verses of the—in our holy text. So we believe that Customs and Border Patrol—I mean, Customs and Border Protection and U.S. Border Patrol are completely out of order right now, and they are engaged in racial and religious profiling.[emphasis added]

The Establishment Clause of the First Amendment is one of the most poorly understood bits of the US Constitution. For a discussion, see Cornell Law. Here, the US is clearly acting to inhibit the free exercise of Islam, which falls under strict scrutiny (i.e., the Court is more inclined to hear such cases than, e.g., a case of incidental aid provided to a religious school). The idea that people would be asked theological questions by government agents is mind-boggling. And since they can be stopped anywhere in Michigan by ICE agents, the whole (large) Muslim community in Michigan is subjected to what the rest of us experience in airports. Imagine the firestorm if such things were done to Christians or Jews.

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