ACLU to Represent Mayfield, KY Muslims

In Mayfield, Ky a local group of Muslims was recently denied a zoning permit for them to use a spot in a strip mall as a mosque.  Originally the zoning board approved the permit but after public outcry, the decision was revoked.  Another meeting was arranged so the public could comment on record,however when a representative from the Muslim community arrived to make the Muslim community’s case , he was turned away at the door because the room was full of all other locals, many if not all of them opposed to the plan. The permit was denied due to “inadequate parking”, the allocated space for the rented section of the strip mall only had 6 spaces. You can read more about the decision via the local NPR station.

Thankfully the ACLU has taken up the case:

The American Civil Liberties Union and the ACLU of Kentucky have agreed to represent Khadar Ahmed, a resident of Mayfield, Kentucky, who was denied a permit last month by the Mayfield Board of Zoning Adjustment to operate a Muslim worship center in the town’s central business district.

Michael Aldridge, Executive Director of the ACLU of Kentucky [said,] “The fact that Mr. Ahmed was initially granted a permit and then had it taken away without there being any change in circumstances is troubling.”

“Preventing any group from freely practicing their faith is unlawful and contrary to core American values,” said Daniel Mach, Director of the ACLU Program on Freedom of Religion and Belief. “While we remain open to alternative avenues of resolution, governmental actions that have the effect of denying individuals the right to practice their religion must be challenged.”

Hopefully the local Mayfield Government will realize that they made a huge mistake and will do the right thing before they cost themselves and the citizens of Mayfield lots of money in a legal battle.

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Blake Mycoskie founder of TOMS Shoes Speaks at Murray State

Blake Mycoskie is the founder of Tom’s shoes, and he’s been visiting campuses around the country telling the story of TOMS Shoes.  TOMS Shoes is a Shoe Company based in California that started up about 4 years ago after their founder was in Argentina and gave away some shoes for kids in a local village.   After that Blake Mycoskie decide he wanted to keep helping these kids so he came up with the idea to sell 250 pairs of shoes in the US and for each pair sold there he’d give away a pair to kids in a village that didn’t have shoes.

Blake started his company in his apartment and sold 80 shoes to a designer store in LA and then the LA Times published an article about his project and he sold 2200 shoes the day the story ran. Since then TOMS Shoes has grown hugely and is about to give away its 1 millionth pair of shoes to a child who has none.  Blake made mention several times of how his business has grown simply by word of mouth due to people feeling good for buying these shoes.

This leads us to the question if Blake’s idea of buy one give one works with shoes then what else can it work for? Medical Prescriptions? Vaccines? Food? Water?  The possibilities are endless and I hope they all take off like TOMS has, who knows maybe I might try to tackle something like this.

Questions for you…

I have to work with several of our customers who we supply software for. Some of the institutions we supply are overtly religious, and offer “Christ Centered Teachings” from a “Christian World View”.  Many times when working with these customers I must endure them making overtly religious statements to myself, as well as listening to their phone system’s messages that tell all about how Christian they are. Most of the time I’ll simply brush off their annoying messages about living with God, and Blessing me over the holiday’s and such.  Sometimes I get the feeling, that since I don’t return these sentiments, I am fed even more the next time I must deal with them.  They don’t know I’m an atheist but I’m starting to think if they did I might end up getting even more of these “well wishes”.

How do you deal with customers who proselytize to you while at work?

Does your work place have a secular work policy, as in no religion while at work?