The United States is not Europe! We have a Constitution and a Bill of Rights. We certainly have our share of crazy people, but "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof." The last part of the previous sentence if from the first part of the First Amendment in the Bill of Rights. The Bill of Rights and subsequent Civil Rights Amendments are individual rights that government is not allowed to touch. The reason we have a secular government is because it is not allowed to legislate on religious questions. The legislation against Muslim dress or religious practices in Europe would be unconstitutional in America. Whatever some nut case in Florida—or elsewhere—says, Muslims have a right to practice their religion freely in America. While crazy people may make good headlines, I don't know if the Christians and Jews who defended the Muslims' right to build a mosque near Ground Zero got much play overseas. Diane Sawyer on ABC had a special that gave some basic information on Islam, highlighting its peaceful nature. It was very informative! She also had one on gay rights after that one! She has one on China coming up, but I am not too sure if she is confusing a trade dispute with ethnic prejudice.
It is no secret that their has been and is racial prejudice in America, and people who appear to be different have often faced it. Japanese Americans faced a lot of prejudice during World War II. However, A Japanese American Regiment was the most decorated unit in the American Army in World War II. General Shinseki (of Japanese Ancestry) was chief of staff of the Army.
A Muslim may someday be president of the United States. I don't think it will be too many years before one is a four-star general.
Pervis James Casey
Oct 19 2010 - 5:32pm