In the face of a fresh round of disturbing attacks against Muslims and Muslim immigrants (or people perceived to be) across our nation, we need to re-affirm some core principles.
First, non-citizens and people of all faiths have constitutionally guaranteed rights and civil liberties in the United States, and these rights and liberties must be upheld and protected.
Second, all immigrants, whether permanent residents, asylum-seekers, refugees, or undocumented immigrants are all deserving of the same dignity as everyone else in our society. They play a vital role in all aspects of our communities and our economies, and they have made this nation great. No one should be discriminated against by the state, by employers, by public accommodations, or by their fellow residents because of their lack of citizenship. No one should be physically attacked or threatened because of their religion (or for any other reason, of course).
Third, we should strive to promote full integration, socially and legally, for all non-citizens in our nation at every opportunity, rather than seeking to exclude or partition people because of their origins. This mission we undertake for the stability of our communities, as well as to meet our moral obligation to our fellow men, women, and children – wherever they were born and whatever brought them to our shores.
First they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out, because I was not a Jew. But it was really convenient, because then when they came for me… sort of… I mean… they made my life slightly less convenient, I could say HEY, ISN’T THIS EXACTLY LIKE WHEN YOU CAME FOR THE JEWS
If you believe God is a higher and more binding authority than the U.S. Supreme Court, why would you insist on holding a government job?
Read more Microns from Arsenal For Democracy
Beliefs on the origin of jobs break down along the same political lines as beliefs on the origin of life. Most people think jobs emerge from a complex, organic process, involving demand, supply, and capital, but some on the far right ascribe their creation to an intelligent designer: an all-mighty, mostly mythical “job creator” who must receive regular tribute.
A New York-based Indian civil rights activist questions Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s “deafening silence on activist assassinations” in an op-ed for Al Jazeera America.
Modi has remained silent about the recent spate of assassinations, attacks and threats from an umbrella of far-right forces, including Sanatana Prabhat, Bajrang Dal, Abhinav Bharat and other paramilitary groups implicated in organized massacres or terrorist bombings. Attacks against Christians and Muslims have increased. Violence against Dalits [untouchables] and women is also on the rise, stoked by a political culture of cruel disregard for the marginalized. This alarming current of far-right fundamentalism has crept into India’s cultural and political spheres more quickly and dangerously than even its critics had feared.
These religious-right forces have been glorifying Nathuram Godse, Mohandas Gandhi’s killer and an RSS member, and even plan to build a temple in Godse’s name. If allowed to go unchallenged, this hateful ideology — manifested in assassinations, the desecration of churches and the intimidation of secular activists and minorities — will shatter the dream of a free, pluralistic and democratic India.
It is, of course, not terribly surprising that this non-response would come from the administration of Prime Minister Modi, whose international claim to fame before taking the helm of India’s government last year was his alleged role in genocidal incitement against Muslims during the February 2002 riots in the state of Gujarat, when he was Chief Minister there. Although investigations in India have never officially tied him to causing the fatal mass violence that followed, he certainly didn’t do much to prevent or stop it. His ruling BJP has long stoked tensions against non-Hindus (and neighboring Pakistan) to drive its voter turnout, although that was not the main factor in their decisive 2014 victory over the corrupt and incompetent Congress Party.
Second-term-post-midterms Barack Obama is gettin’ ’em.
U.S. President Barack Obama had a pointed message for a congregate of fellow Christians at the National Prayer Breakfast on Thursday after international media reported on the grisly killing of a Jordanian pilot by ISIS militants.
Obama warned them against their so-called “high horse” behavior regarding religious extremism.
He said: “Humanity has been grappling with these questions throughout human history, advising them “lest we get on our high horse and think this is unique to some other place, remember that during the Crusades and the Inquisition, people committed terrible deeds in the name of Christ.”
He also reminded the group that in the United States slavery was justified in the name of religion.
“In our home country, slavery and Jim Crow all too often was justified in the name of Christ.”
Christian Conservatives are furious that he dared to say a bunch of true things out loud. This is precisely the kind of situation the phrase “holier-than-thou” was invented to cover.
While it’s not entirely without precedent, there was a significant shift nonetheless by senior leaders of the LDS Church today, as they called for the Utah legislature to pass anti-discrimination legislation (a bill was recently proposed again) to protect LGBT residents. Additionally, they called for passage of similar Federal-level protections. Salt Lake Tribune:
Top leaders of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints called Tuesday for passage of laws granting statewide protections against housing and employment discrimination for gay and lesbian Utahns — as long as those measures safeguard religious freedom.
“We call on local, state and the federal government,” Oaks said in a news release, “to serve all of their people by passing legislation that protects vital religious freedoms for individuals, families, churches and other faith groups while also protecting the rights of our LGBT citizens in such areas as housing, employment and public accommodation in hotels, restaurants and transportation — protections which are not available in many parts of the country.”
Endorsement of same-sex civil marriage remained off the table, however, despite the U.S. Supreme Court’s de facto legalization of it in Utah back in July 2014.
Additionally, the Church did not appear to shift their overall doctrine that being gay is against the faith. They simply aligned themselves with the growing moderate wing of the state’s political sphere, which had called for basic legal protections against discrimination.
It remains to be seen if the more extreme side will yield to the new pronouncement.