U.S. Senate candidate Sharron Angle who is running for the seat in Nevada announced last week at a rally of tea party supporters that Muslims were trying to take over this country.
This response was prompted when a reporter for the American Press asked, “I keep hearing about Muslims wanting to take over the United States … on a TV program just last night, I saw that they are taking over a city in Michigan and the residents of the city, they want them out. They want them out. So, I want to hear your thoughts about that.”
Angle was quoted as responding, “My thoughts are these, first of all, Dearborn, Michigan, and Frankford, Texas are on American soil, and under constitutional law. Not Sharia law. And I don’t know how that happened in the United States. It seems to me there is something fundamentally wrong with allowing a foreign system of law to even take hold in any municipality or government situation in our United States.”
While Dearborn does have a large Muslim community, it’s unclear why Frankford was mentioned.
As if her point wasn’t made clear enough, Angle continued on to draw a comparison between the September 11 terrorist attacks with the Nazi Holocaust by saying, “There was, in Auschwitz, I think it was Auschwitz, it was at least a prisoner of war camp, where the Catholic Church owned some property and they were going to build a church there. They had every right to do it but they stepped aside and said, no, we are going to allow the Jewish people to make a monument because they lost lives. They had a responsibility to be sensitive to what had happened there and it is exactly the same thing as 9/11. Ground zero, we have a responsibility to be sensitive to the loss of a nation, to the loss of families, to the loss of life that happened there.”
First of all, what Angle is talking about is a Roman Catholic convent at Auschwitz that was moved by the Pope in 1993 due to Jewish protests. Second, since when is killing about 3,000 Americans in a terrorist attack is on the same level as killing four or more million Jews in a Holocaust? Not that this writer is trying to diminish the attacks on September 11, but there is no clear parallel here. The Holocaust was a meticulous attempt to kill a religion by gassing them, starving them, working them to death, starving them, or burning them alive by clearly degrading them to something that’s less than human and taking away all of their civil liberties. The attacks on September 11 were perpetuated by Muslim terrorists (not all Muslims, as some conspiracy theorists might believe) who wanted to kill Americans, which, believe it or not, included Muslims and did not single out any specific religion. So exactly what parallel is there between these two events that make them even comparable?
Ibrahim Hooper, who is a spokesman for the Council on American-Islamic Relations, had this to say about Angle’s statement: “This seems to be an example of incoherent bigotry. It is pretty clear that she has something against Islam and Muslims but she is so incoherent you don’t know what she stands for. The proper response would have been, ‘American Muslims are citizens like anyone else. They are free to practice their faith,’ not seeming to agree that Muslims are somehow seeking to take over.”
Indeed, it seems that Angle doesn’t care in the least bit about the part of the First Amendment that guarantees Americans the freedom of religion. She is a self-admitted faith-based politician who doesn’t believe there should be a separation between church and state. Well, that’s great, but whose church is going to join with the state? The Muslim church? The Jewish church? Of course not. It’s her church. What if an American is not Catholic? Or not Christian? It’s not OK for Muslims to impose their religious rule in a small, southern town few people have heard of, but it’s perfectly OK for Angle to impose her religion on a whole nation of people who supposedly have the freedom of religion. Well, when put like that it makes perfect sense!
Not to mention that Angle didn’t stop to get all the facts before making this claim. The whole rumor started when members of an anti-Islam group were arrested at an Arab cultural fest in June because a Christian volunteer complained about harassment. “She took it as face value and maligned the city of Dearborn and I consider that totally irresponsible,” Dearborn Mayor Jack O’Reilly said. “If she wants to come here, I will take her on a tour. I will show her we follow the Constitution just as well as anyone else.”
So while some may agree with the Muslim takeover (and that’s a separate point in and of itself), there seem to have been some miscommunication over exactly what was happening in Dearborn.
Where do you stand on this? Do you agree with Angle’s comments?