Yep, we have religious freedom in this country. You can worship however you please. The government should have no say over building your place of worship on private property.*
But tell me, what happens after a large mosque is built at the former site of the World Trade Center (which was destroyed by Islamists who were simply following the dictates of their holy book to the letter)?
What will we do when the following happens?
- The Ground Zero Mosque, like all other mosques, is added to the list of the Most Holy Places in Islam -- and it ranks rather high on the list since martyrs died there.
- The mosque holds an annual celebration that just so happens to occur on September 11th.
- The mosque is used as a center for radical indoctrination against people of other faiths and against western civilization. Freedom of speech, right?
- A museum is established at the mosque describing the 1000 years of "continuing victories" of Islam against the infidels, culminating in the successful "Attack on the Jews in the US", and predicting the destruction of Israel. Protected beliefs, correct?
- The mosque becomes a center for Sharia law, punishing its members for infractions against Islam, and working with the court system to enshrine Sharia as an "alternative system of law for believers". (This has already been done in the UK.)
Perhaps we should ask them to name it the Al-Barack-Hussein-Obama mosque.
By the way, I'd like to open a Christian church in Mecca. Would that be OK?
Road to Mecca
click for larger version
The Black Stone. The holiest relic in Islam, supposedly embedded
by Abraham in the wall of the Ka'ba
by Abraham in the wall of the Ka'ba
Crowds head to the "Stoning of Satan" ritual in Mina, near Mecca
*Actually, local governments routinely deny permits for churches based on land use/zoning, and sometimes based on just about any reason they can drum up. I have personally had this happen to a church that a group of us were planning in the mid-1990's on a large piece of essentially rural private land in Riverside County, California. This land was to be donated to us by the owner, if we would build a church on it. We wanted to put up a steel-and-membrane arched temporary structure, identical to the types the military uses as mess halls and for sheltering aircraft in places as diverse as the Arctic and the Mideast. Even though other churches have used similar structures, and industrial companies in the county were already using them, the county initially stated that we could not do it due to wind, earthquake, and hail concerns. We had the building company talk to them and explain that there was no legal argument that could be made against the building type. So the county ratcheted up their campaign against us. They told us the zoning of light industrial/retail would permit a church, but it was not "preferred", so could be denied. We'd have to have a hearing. Then they told us we would not be allowed to use the water main on the property -- we had to use one a half a mile away and pay hundreds of thousands of dollars to bring it across an interstate highway. (I bet that a grocery store or a restaurant on the same site would be allowed to use the water main.) Then we were told we were not allowed to have traffic access from our parking lot to the main road -- and then we were not allowed access to the side road either, ostensibly for traffic safety reasons. We could have access a half mile up the side road, but then we would have to buy that property too and build a parking lot road from there to our property. We could redesign the little two lane rural intersection instead, and install a traffic light and ramps, but it would cost millions. Plus it wasn't in the county's plan, so we would have to get an amendment -- which would take 1-2 years. And we would have to hire a traffic consultant from their list of consultants. So we were basically denied a water source and motor vehicle access to the property. Even if we were able to meet these demands (which we could not with our very limited funding), we were advised that there were dozens of other roadblocks to navigate. We heard from other churches (with similar problems) that the guy in charge of county planning simply didn't want any more churches, period. The rumor was that he was against Christianity in general. We had maybe about $100k in our pot. It was looking like the cheapest we could do it, if we could negotiate access through the other property, would likely approach a million dollars -- even though the land was donated and the fully-fixtured building would only cost $80k. We gave up.