Essay

Practicing or Not Practicing Religious Freedom; a Polemic from a Highly Politcized Liberal American Thinker [Flash Fiction]

There are too many people here in the United States who are entrenched in cultural norms other than those native to our country, and too many of these assuming an authority for their separate religious laws above that of the Constitution of the United States. Let me announce–let it be pronounced loud and clear throughout all the land, a proclamation distinct: Muslim Sharia Law–unmodified and unmitigated–has no place in America at all, certainly not above the Constitution of the United States. I have said this before; I will say it again and again as often as I see the need, and I do see need here in America. I am not saying that all or most Muslims think this way or want this for themselves and others here; that would be contrary to experience. But it would be equally naive to think that no Muslim is fixed within a mentality that supports the supremacy of Sharia Law and Holy Koran above that of the Constitution of the United States.

I have seen too many Muslims, in public spaces, presumptuous enough to assume that we have to make unreasonable accommodations for their conservative religious practices in these public places. There are repeated requests for space accommodations for prayer in places like the Public Library, and it is not the request, but the expectation that it should be honored in secular space, which only indicates to me that there are many Muslims in their everydayness that are not capable or willing to understand the separation of public secular space and ecclesiastic space.

I do say no, and not counter-unreasonably, but Constitutionally, democratically, and with a serious antogonism to any one of a number of cultures that are predominantly muslim, justifying their theocratic reflexes with words and actions that are contrary to living in a pluralistic democracy. Not only is there a lack of comprehension for the separation of Church and State, but a complete disregard for cultural manners and legal parameters for women in our society. Misogyny is apparent in the manner and matter of male prerogatives as I see practiced in too many public forums, right down to wearing Niqabs in Brooklyn, which has more to do with culturally inherited misogyny than it does with upholding prescriptions from Holy Qu’ran, to young Muslim girls taunting western girls for how the latter dress, and the disrespect shown to girls from Arab Muslim men who use whore or prostitute or other provocations in Arabic (according to Egyptian Coptic and Syrian Orthodox Christian friends who speak Arabic). Semi-literate interpretations of Holy Qu’ran abound in the Muslim worldwhich women are not permitted to read in many of these cultures.

No family member, allegedly operating under sanction of Sharia Law, has the right to enforce his culturally determined brand of misogyny. I have said this too before, but let me say now that  Muslim life in itself is not endemically misogynistic, but that there are still too many ethnicities and cultures that call themselves Muslim that are in themselves endemically misogynistic.

Misogyny is not a basic tenet of practicing religious freedom in America. Let us not debase religion, nor ourselves–or even inadvertently try to do so to Holy Qu’ran (attempted but never possible to achieve). We must be clear and never equivocate when basic human rights are concerned, irrespective of the feelings or opinions of men who have chosen to live in the United States, although possessing no desire to respect her laws or her basic tenets of humanity.

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