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Thursday, May 31, 2012

Tennessee Mosque Lawsuit: Chancellor Robert Corlew should be disbarred

This is a simple matter of religious freedom. Muslims have the same right to worship as they see fit as Baptists and other faiths. This building and this congregation, during its construction, has been the victim of arson and vandalism based on the same type of hatred that led to the 9/11 Attacks, and I find it particularly disgusting that those responsible either don't see that or simply don't care. Also, contractors have been threatened as a result of this, which is sickening.

Quote from ABC: "Imam Osama Bahloul, leader of the Islamic Center of Murfreesboro, said early Wednesday morning. "We did exactly what other churches in the county did. We followed the same process that other churches did. Why did this happen? Some people feel like it is discrimination."

With all due respect, Imam Bahloul, some people feel like it's discrimination because it IS discrimination. I have no doubt you followed the normal procedures in Rutherford County and complied with the law. Given that, what else is there?

Chancellor Corlew threw out the plaintiffs' claim that Islam is not a real religion and not deserving of constitutional protections. Did that not tell him this was a spurious lawsuit based on hatred, not facts? Has Chancellor Corlew not heard of the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act (RLUIPA), which may, and in this case should, negate this ruling? Has he not heard about Strategic Lawsuits Against Public Participation (SLAPP), of which this is a particularly blatant example? Would he have ruled the same way if members of the KKK sued to prevent the building of an AME Zion church or a Christian Methodist Episcopal Church? This congregation was targeted solely based on their religion. Our Founding Fathers thought that was so incredibly important that protection of the same was part of the very first amendment made to our constitution. Not second, not tenth, first. In a just world, Chancellor Corlew would have dismissed this lawsuit and awarded generous attorney's fees to the defendants, if the latter were within his power.

I heard one of the plaintiffs ranting either last night or this morning that allowing the construction of this mosque would be allowing "pure Sharia law." She may as well have worn a sheet with a cross burning in the background. Words cannot adequately express the level of my disgust.

My thoughts and hopes are with Imam Bahloul and his congregation. Islam is not our enemy. Religious extremism of all types is, and sadly, he and his congregation have been the victims of a lot of it. This building would be approximately 53,000 square feet, which, I'm sure, is smaller than some Christian churches in that area. This ruling and the treatment this congregation has suffered are disgusting.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I agree with you 100% and as far as the judge is concerned, not only has he made such egregious mistakes in this front, you should see the blatant dangerous game he is playing with peoples lives when he is sitting for a divorce..complete disregard to any law that I am aware much so that at one point in his past 60 minutes put him on the spot over a complete moronic ruling. My question is how do we the people get our mistakes out of these positions after we realize their shortcomings?