No Religious Liberty for Muslims

By Daniel Nardini

Lawndale News Chicago's Bilingual Newspaper - CommentaryIt is a curious irony that the administration of U.S. President Donald Trump is calling for religious liberty from students being able to openly pray in public schools to churches enjoying more religious tax breaks to denying certain health benefits to employees of religiously-owned businesses such as abortion. However, when it comes to followers of Islam, it seems that Muslims are getting the short end of the stick. It is a supreme irony that a very conservative administration would call for mass surveillance of mosques, curtailing the rights of Muslims, creating name lists for all Muslims males, and denying certain individuals the right to live in America because they are Muslim. It seems in Trump’s social view of “religious liberty,” only Christians and Jews are entitled to have complete freedom of worship. Muslims are excluded.

The problem here is that Muslims cannot be denied religious liberty while other enjoy it. This is not how religious liberty works. It is a double standard and serious breach of the U.S. Constitution itself because the state is favoring one religion over another. If the government favors one religion over another, then there is no religious liberty whatsoever. The way I see it, Trump is simply trying to shore up his base among Evangelical Christians who voted heavily in his favor in 2016 and who still support him as we head into another presidential election. It is not even providing religious liberty for other Christian sects who may not favor Trump and the Republican Party. All I can say is that religious liberty has to apply to all religions that exist and flourish in the United States. To favor one over another is in effect to establish a religion as the state religion; a complete violation of the First Amendment of the Constitution. Has the Trump administration become so cynical that they use religious liberty as a cheap campaign ploy for the next election?!

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