This is about an article sent to me by reader Susan at the end of last week. I didn’t get to it right away and then my cable was out, and it is just as well I didn’t post it earlier because it is a perfect example of what we just learned in Janet Levy’s excellent review in American Thinker this morning. This is precisely what she describes as the M.O. for how the Islamic doctrine of Al Hijra is practiced. If you didn’t see it, read Janet’s piece and read my previous post on Mark Steyn too, then come back and learn how Islamic accommodation is being practiced in a state that has been welcoming Muslim immigrants of all stripes for some time now.
From the Portland Press Herald:
PORTLAND — The Maine Civil Liberties Union has filed a federal lawsuit against Portland, claiming the city violated the rights of a group of Afghan Muslims who want to use a building on Washington Avenue as a mosque.
According to the lawsuit filed Thursday in U.S. District Court, Portland denied the use of 978 Washington Ave. as a “church or other place of worship” under its zoning ordinances.
The one-third-acre property, formerly the Dick Waterhouse TV repair shop, is zoned commercial. Conditional uses for religious purposes are permitted in that zone, but city rules require that such properties be at least an acre. In addition, the city found that the property doesn’t have enough parking spots to get a variance.
The MCLU argued in its filing that federal laws protecting religious rights supersede local zoning. The plaintiffs are the Portland Masjid and Islamic Center, the building’s owner, Sadri Shir, and her husband, Nawad Shir, of Cape Elizabeth.
“The city of Portland is sacrificing constitutional principle for bureaucratic rule,” the MCLU’s executive director, Shenna Bellows, said in a prepared statement. “You shouldn’t need a permit to pray.”
This concept of whether religion trumps environmental and public safety concerns is one I wondered about in the Walkersville, MD case where a Muslim group was stopped from building a conference center because it would violate the zoning. That case is in court too, but I don’t know on what grounds exactly it was filed, maybe the same grounds.
So, if the MCLU should win its argument, it would mean that any Muslim religious facility (any religion?) would take precedence over any zoning law, right? I wonder how the leftwing environmentalists will take that news since, up till now, most are on the same side as those promoting Muslim immigration. Looks to me like there will have to be a day of reckoning for professional environmentalists on immigration generally.
Back to the Maine story. The drumbeat picks up as Ramadan approaches which is just what we told you would happen with the meatpackers and religious accommodation in those plants that hire extensively from the Somali community.
The Muslim holy month of Ramadan begins Aug. 21, and the plaintiffs would like to gather in the building on Washington Avenue for their observances, said Zachary Heiden, legal director for the MCLU.
Heiden said he wants to know whether the city would allow his clients use of the building during Ramadan. If it doesn’t, he said, the MCLU will consider asking for an emergency court injunction to allow it.
And then get this! Muslim Afghanis cannot worship with Muslim Somalis!
There are perhaps several hundred Afghan Muslims in the Portland area, he said. Although there are two small prayer center-type mosques in the area, they are used primarily by the Somali community, Heiden noted in the filing, which is “linguistically and culturally dissimilar from the Afghani community.”
I was going to post a couple of the 148 comments this article generated, but this is getting too long. One of those was a commenter from Lewiston who said the Somalis disapprove of dogs. That is because dogs are just like pigs, feces and dead bodies—dirty in Islam. Trying to find something humorous here I’ll harken back to a post yesterday. Shariah law forbids dogs and bras. Is this what we are welcoming to Maine and America.
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