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Herman Cain Doubles Down On His Anti-Muslim Bigotry

It was bad enough when Herman Cain said he wouldn’t hire a Muslim, a position he later modified to suggest that he’d make any Muslim job applicant to his Administration take some special loyalty oath. Now, during a campaign stop in Tennessee, Cain said that a proposed mosque in Murfreesboro would be an affront to religious liberty:

Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain opposes a planned Tennessee mosque that has been the subject of protests and legal challenges.

Cain didn’t bring up the controversial facility in a campaign rally on Thursday, but told reporters afterward that he’s concerned about the Islamic Center of Murfreesboro.

“It is an infringement and an abuse of our freedom of religion,” he said. “And I don’t agree with what’s happening, because this isn’t an innocent mosque.”

Cain’s evidence that it “isn’t an innocent mosque” ? That old bugaboo, Sharia:

Opponents have used the hearings to argue that the mosque is part of a plot to expand Islamic extremism in the U.S. Cain appeared to agree.

“It is another example of why I believe in American laws and American courts,” Cain said. “This is just another way to try to gradually sneak Shariah law into our laws, and I absolutely object to that.”

I’ve written about this Murfreesboro mosque before. It first became an item of national controversy when a Republican candidate for Lt. Governor came out against it, then the issue got swept up in last summer’s obsession with the proposed construction of an Islamic Community Center at the site of a former Burlington Coat Factory near Ground Zero in New York City. In August of last year there was a suspicious fire at the construction site where the mosque is being built. And now, for some reason, Cain has decided to inject himself into this story.
Adam Serwer comments:

As with Cain’s unconstitutional religious test however, the problem for him and other mosque opponents is not sharia law. It’s U.S. law. There are both federal and state laws on the books that prevent local zoning laws from being used to block construction of religious institutions, which is why opponents argue that Islam isn’t a religion. At both the federal and the state level, those bills were the work of Republicans — it just didn’t occur to them at the time that “religious freedom” applied to Muslims. The judge, not surprisingly, agreed that Islam is a religion and let construction go forward.

(…)

The reason why Cain keeps getting asked about his anti-Muslim views is that no other 2012 GOPer has matched his extensive use of anti-Muslim rhetoric to win over the Islamophobic wing of the Republican base. Cain may not be doing too well in the polls, but if there’s an anti-Muslim primary underway, he is the clear frontrunner. With people like Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum in the race, that’s no small achievement, although I’m not sure it’s one to be proud of.

It’s nothing to be proud of. Actually, Herman Cain should be ashamed of himself.

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About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May, 2010 and also writes at Below The Beltway. Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook

Comments

  1. Chad S says:

    “The problem with the 1st amendment is that people are saying things that I dislike!”

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 1

  2. legion says:

    Yes, the old “exercising freedom is abusing freedom” argument. Ranks right up there with the “Chewbacca defense”.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  3. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Herman Cain should be ashamed of himself.

    Maybe, but don’t you expect too much from an idiot?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 4

  4. M. Bouffant says:

    “It is another example of why I believe in American laws and American courts,” Cain said. “This is just another way to try to gradually sneak Shariah law into our laws, and I absolutely object to that.”

    When does Cain start calling for an “American” religion?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 2

  5. sam says:

    Cain:

    “It is an infringement and an abuse of our freedom of religion,” he said. “And I don’t agree with what’s happening, because this isn’t an innocent mosque.”

    Effing priceless.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 1

  6. JohnMcC says:

    In all the fuss that Repubs have created banning non-American, ‘religious’ laws there is very little realization that there actually are several independent justice systems in America that have operated for years. The various tribes of Native American have their judicial systems. The rabbinical council has a Jewish judicial system called ‘Beth Din’.

    The nut cases trying to save us from Mooslims are threatening wonderful American communities’ rights to practice their traditional prerogative. Idiots!!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 2