[Tuesday], the Missouri House was giving initial approval to a bill that is an audacious attack on religious liberty.
The proposal, House Bill 1512, sponsored by Rep. Paul Curtman, R-Pacific, is a version of the anti-sharia bills that have been passed in other state legislatures and ruled unconstitutional by courts. The sole purpose of such legislation, as Ghazala Hayat of the Islamic Foundation of Greater St. Louis aptly pointed out in a commentary in the Post-Dispatch last year, is to "demean Islam and the thousands of patriotic Missourians who follow the Islamic faith."
If religious freedom were indeed the issue, the non-Muslim religious leaders who rallied in Jefferson City on Tuesday would have jammed the House galleries in support of their Muslim brothers and sisters whose faith truly was under attack...
If Mr. Curtman's silly bill becomes law, and a St. Stanislaus-like dispute should arise involving a mosque instead of a church, a civil court judge could be guided by state law to ignore Muslim law and tradition.
Like Rabbi Waskow's sharia metaphor, the comparison mixes apples and oranges, but the underlying principle is the same. On Tuesday, Missouri Republicans, and the conservative church leaders who back them, rallied for their version of religious liberty while turning a blind eye to the freedom of Missouri Muslims.
They can't have it both ways.
Post-Dispatch Points Out Hypocrisy of GOP's Dumb Anti-Sharia Laws
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