Is forbidding mosques endangering religious freedom in America?

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by Thom Hartmann

From the east coast to the west coast, right-wing critics are engaging in open hostility to the construction of mosques. Conservatives — whipped up by Sarah Palin — are rallying against the construction of a mosque near the Ground Zero site in New York because, as Rupert Murdoch's New York Post put it, “where there are mosques, there are Muslims, and where there are Muslims, there are problems.” In Murfreesboro, Tennessee, protesters are going after a proposed mosque. “In Islam, a mosque means, ‘We have conquered this country.'" Also, the planned construction of a mosque in Southern California is facing opposition from local conservatives, with some ominously warning of confrontation. For many right-wingers, this isn't really an issue of 9/11 or anything like that - it's at attempt by one religion (Christianity) to prevent the spread of a competing religion (Islam). That's why the spread of moderate Islamic mosques is so agressively opposed by Christianists - those who incorrectly believe America's founders set this nation up as a Christian nation - because moderate Islam is growing in America and does actually represent a threat to Christianists. Americans need to see this for what it is - a dominant religion afraid of competition for followers and their dollars. Building moderate Muslim mosques in America has nothing to do with 9/11, and could, in fact, actually be a powerful factor in helping that religion purge itself of its own Timothy McVeigh's.

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