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  Originally the zoning board approved the permit but after public outcry, the decision was revoked.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.


Pat Robertson is a douche…

I was flicking through the tv last night and saw this story about people protesting a mosque going up in an old Burlington Coat Factory, in NYC.  The reason this is news you might ask?  The mosque is going in two-blocks from the site of the World Trade Center.

Since this was a CBN Broadcast any opposing viewpoint never even made it into the piece. The only side of the opposing view was a shot of the man trying to build the mosque, Feisal Abdul Rauf,who (according to a quick google search) works on fostering better understanding between the West and the Muslim community. Looks like these protesters want none of that.

This is what ole Pat had to say after the report finished,

“I feel it is an abomination to build a Muslim sign of Triumph at the ruins of the grave site of 3000 brave Americans.   I just think it’s something that’s terrible. I think it’s something that shouldn’t be done and I think Mayor Bloomberg should have better sense; that he and the city council of New York should say no.”

Like it or not Pat the same freedom that lets you spout your nonsense on air like this applies to *shock* other people too.  Those same freedoms that let you keep worship how you want and where you want also apply to Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists, Sikhs, Jews, Pagans, and non-believers.  Just because you think your way is the best doesn’t give you the right to take away other’s freedoms.  And until you understand that you’ll always be a douche Pat.

While I haven’t really heard much on the man behind the mosque, I do happen to think having a mosque so close to the site of the WTC disaster would do some good.  Fostering a better understanding between Non-Muslim Americans and Muslims is something we all could benefit from.  And while I’m not particularly fond of any religion, and criticize anything that is morally unacceptable (looking at you Islam & Christianity), I think learning about what defines people can help us lead to a healthy dialogue.   I for one hope they get the mosque and Muslim Community Center up and going soon, it would make a wonderful trip to complement a visit to the WTC Memorial that’s due to open 9/11/2011.

What do you think? Is putting this up near the former WTC a good idea or bad one?