No. they don’t.
The right to practice or not practice a religion is enshrined in the Constitution.
Here’s Herman: “Our Constitution guarantees the separation of church and state,” Cain said in an interview with Chris Wallace on “Fox News Sunday.” “Islam combines church and state. They’re using the church part of our First Amendment to infuse their morals in that community, and the people of that community do not like it. They disagree with it.”
Don’t any number of American churches, for instance, Christian Reconstructionists, combine those elements, if you accept and it’s a big acceptance, that Islam is how he describes it.
As for infusing their morals into the community. I live in a dry county – enough said; there is plenty of infusion going on right now with the Christian religion.
If you watch Fox News for an hour, you might get his view point that Islam is a combination of church and state, a Sharia time bomb waiting to put all of our women in burkas and all of our men wearing unmarred beards with a little hand chopping for theft thrown in. However, the actual religion of Islam, not the comedic version on Fox, is the religion of more than one and one-half billion people. They range from deep into the South Pacific – Indonesia and Malaysia, all the way across the world to Surinam in South America. They have a wide range of laws and belief systems about those laws. As an attorney, I assure you I have seen nothing that would in any way suggest any attempt to make Sharia law part of American law, further it cannot creep on us anymore than any other set of laws.
Muslims are being painted as part of world wide campaign of subversion. I say to you with complete confidence, that if one and one-half billion followers of Islam were on the warpath, we would know about it. In that kind of conflict our deaths would be in the thousand per day with the toll mounting by the hour. There are estimated to be around twenty thousand members of Al Queda. Those are our principle enemies, they and other small groups angry at American actions in the Middle East. That’s it. There is no evidence that American Muslims are anything but patriots barring the occasional violent individual we can find in every religious sect.
This is the politics of fear, of unreason, of moral cowardice. Please don’t let yourself or anyone you know be led on a “moral” crusade to destroy a threat that does not exist while destroying a critical component of American Democracy. If you cannot build a mosque in America, if popular opinion is enough to stop it, who else’s church can we stop? I know of no church in the United States, – not one – that is not controversial.
They start here by claiming to defend religion while setting a precedent that can limit or eliminate building any church anywhere in the nation.
If we believe in the Bill of Rights, then the mosque should be built. If we believe in toleration of different religions and ideas, the mosque must go up. If we believe in allowing patriotic Americans who happen to have a different faith to exercise their rights, the mosque must go up.
Americans are a great people, this is one of those opportunities to demonstrate that.