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The US Constitution

Reader comment on item: U.S. Improvising on Security Five Years After 9/11

Submitted by John R (United States), Sep 10, 2006 at 20:05

possibly dangerous Islamists

Should be: Possibly dangerous Muslims.

signaling that the American government sees the "nationality" of radical Islam to be incompatible with American citizenship

It should be the following:
sees the Muslims' religious beliefs to be incompatible with American citizenship.
That is really what it is and that is what I believe most view it as. Certainly many already on this board does, which is correct. It's not nationality. It's religion.

The problem is there is this particular, very much respected yet in current times peachy and in current times a rigor from the consitution. Our constitution's declaration on religion ----

Its purpose is to secure religious liberty in the individual by prohibiting any invasions there by civil authority." 178 It bars "governmental regulation of religious beliefs as such," 179 prohibiting misuse of secular governmental programs "to impede the observance of one or all religions or . . . to discriminate invidiously between religions . . . even though the burden may be characterized as being only indirect." 180 Freedom of conscience is the basis of the free exercise clause, and government may not penalize or discriminate against an individual or a group of individuals because of their religious views…..

Should we treat Islam like the way we treat other religions such as Chrisitinity and Judaism? The Constitution unflinchingly says not to discriminate based on religion. Whatever rights and restrictions we put on Chritianity and Judaism, we should put as well on Islam because not to do so would be undercutting what our country stands for, our foundation, our constitution. Not respecting Islam would then be not respecting the constitution which then obviosly be in violation of American citizenship. We have to see Islam as a religion, it is a religion like Chritianity and Judaism, it falls under that category, therefore we cannot discriminate it. This particular nugget of the consitution gets in the way.

John R

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