“No More Mosques, Period”

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Bryan Fischer, the public face of the right-wing American Family Association, wants to make something abundantly clear:

“Permits should not be granted to build even one more mosque in the United States of America, let alone the monstrosity planned for Ground Zero. This is for one simple reason: each Islamic mosque is dedicated to the overthrow of the American government.”

As evidence for this claim, Fischer cites a flyer distributed by the Muslim Brotherhood in 1991, which is sort of like drawing broad conclusions about all Christians from a flyer distributed by…well, the American Family Association.

Nevertheless, Fischer persists in committing his mortal sins against logic and constitutional jurisprudence:

Because of this subversive ideology, Muslims cannot claim religious freedom protections under the First Amendment. They are currently using First Amendment freedoms to make plans to destroy the First Amendment altogether. There is no such thing as freedom of religion in Islam, and it is sheer and utter folly for Americans to delude themselves into thinking otherwise…

…American Muslims are being radicalized every single day in American mosques. We are sowing the seeds of our own destruction by allowing these improvised explosive devices to be established in community after community.

If a mosque was willing to publicly renounce the Koran and its 109 verses that call for the death of infidels, renounce Allah and his messenger Mohammed, publicly condemn Osama bin Laden, Hamas, and Abdelbaset al Megrahi (the Lockerbie bomber), maybe then they could be allowed to build their buildings. But then they wouldn’t be Muslims at that point, now would they?

I have to admit, I thought this new “Muslims don’t rate First Amendment freedom” meme was a joke when it surfaced last week in Tennessee. But apparently it’s going national.

A quick word on the source. Last year, MoJo‘s Nick Baumann documented how Fischer and the AFA lobbied to bar Muslims from serving in the military. A few months after that, I documented how Fischer said a Sea World trainer who was killed by a whale had it coming, for arcane biblical reasons. From that post, here’s everything you need to know about the folks who want to criminalize Islam:

Fischer—who moved to the AFA last year from the Idaho Values Alliance, and who is ironically dubbed a “friend of life” on his AFA bio—has never been the smartest parishioner in the pew, whether it’s arguing that gay judges can’t be fair or that the US military should ban Muslims.

But this is a new low, one that the AFA should probably distance itself from pretty quickly. The organization states one of its goals as “promoting the Christian ethic of decency.” As a Christian—a subscriber to a rather rigorous and considered scriptural tradition—I find nothing decent in Bryan Fischer’s tirade. Except that his position on killing animals fits pretty decently with this faux-faith organization’s position on killing convicts, too.

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THE BIG PICTURE

You expect the big picture, and it's our job at Mother Jones to give it to you. And right now, so many of the troubles we face are the making not of a virus, but of the quest for profit, political or economic (and not just from the man in the White House who could have offered leadership and comfort but instead gave us bleach).

In "News Is Just Like Waste Management," we unpack what the coronavirus crisis has meant for journalism, including Mother Jones’, and how we can rise to the challenge. If you're able to, this is a critical moment to support our nonprofit journalism with a donation: We've scoured our budget and made the cuts we can without impairing our mission, and we hope to raise $400,000 from our community of online readers to help keep our big reporting projects going because this extraordinary pandemic-plus-election year is no time to pull back.

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