I have historically considered Islam to be a (false) religion. I believed by and large that American Muslims were peaceful folk who just wanted to practice their religion as the First Amendment allows. But I am currently re-assessing that position.
I am now trying to figure out if Islam is a religion, a political movement, or both. I even got a Koran to try to figure it out, but I find it difficult to read. I always feel like I need a shower after reading it.
What set me off to thinking about this was a couple of surveys of American Muslims that crossed my desk in the last six months or so. Roughly half think the U.S. should have Sharia Law, and an alarming number believe it is appropriate to kill Christians, Jews and other infidels. I want more data before I change my position. In the meantime, Islam is a religion. I don’t even know how it could legally become not a religion under the First Amendment.
In a local court case in my state of Tennessee a few years ago, an attorney representing residents who were trying to block construction of a mosque, tried to argue that Islam is not a religion protected under the First Amendment. Besides the fact that even considering such an argument such as that in a local court was absurd, I thought the attorney was beyond crazy. But did he have a point?
The bottom line is that Islam is a religion that enjoys the same protection as Presbyterians, Catholics, Jews and everyone else. That’s not going to change anytime soon, if ever.
Then along comes Donald Trump.
He wants to prevent all Muslims from entering the country. Not just Muslim terrorists. Not just people from certain areas. But all Muslims. From anywhere.
I guess Lutherans are OK.
So how in the world does Trump figure he’ll do this? Stop people who look Muslim? Make everyone who is trying to enter the country take a test? What questions would be on that test?
It’s easy for anyone to deny being a Muslim, so you couldn’t verify that someone is a Muslim. That leaves trying to verfy the non-Muslims. How do you do that? Not everyone even has religion in their life. Would you have separate tests for Christians, Jews, Hindus, et al?
Trump says his block on Muslims would be temporary. How temporary? This smacks of FDR rounding up Japanese-Americans and locking them up in internment camps during World War II. There is no use for Trump’s hate in 21st century America.
The problem is Trump always paints with a two-inch brush. He is too shallow to be able to break out a fine brush and fill in the details. How does he plan on implementing his crazy ideas? How would he deport 11+ million illegal aliens? If he uses tariffs to cut off free trade, how expensive will stuff cost? Stuff purchased every day by the poor, middle class and everyone else? Everyone will be paying higher sales taxes due to the higher cost of goods.
I don’t know if Trump is a racist, but he’s damn sure a bigot.