GOP's Herman Cain says planned Tenn. mosque would 'gradually sneak' Islamic law into US
Cain says Tenn. mosque would spread Islamic law
By ERIK SCHELZIG | Associated Press | Jul 14, 2011 9:43 PM CDT
Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain opposes a planned Tennessee mosque that has been the subject of protests and legal challenges.
Cain didn't bring up the controversial facility in a campaign rally on Thursday, but told reporters afterward that he's concerned about the Islamic Center of Murfreesboro.
"It is an infringement and an abuse of our freedom of religion," he said. "And I don't agree with what's happening, because this isn't an innocent mosque."
The new mosque has been the subject of protests and counterprotests in the city about 35 miles southeast of Nashville.
A county judge ruled in May that the mosque construction does not harm the residents who sued to try to stop it, but he allowed them to move forward on claims the county violated an open meetings law in approving it.
Opponents have used the hearings to argue that the mosque is part of a plot to expand Islamic extremism in the U.S. Cain appeared to agree.
"It is another example of why I believe in American laws and American courts," Cain said. "This is just another way to try to gradually sneak Shariah law into our laws, and I absolutely object to that."
Shariah is a set of core principles that most Muslims recognize and a series of rulings from religious scholars. It covers many areas of life and different sects have different versions and interpretations of the code.
Cain previously stirred controversy by saying that he would not want a Muslim bent on killing Americans in his administration.
Stephen Fotopulos, executive director of the Tennessee Immigrant and Refugee Rights Coalition, called Cain's statements about the mosque ill informed.
"The vast majority of Tennesseans believe strongly in our country's founding principles of religious freedom, and support the rights of all Murfreesboro residents to practice their faith without interrogation or persecution," Fotopulos said in a statement.
What is the factual basis for saying that the planned Tennessee mosque would "gradually sneak Shariah law into our laws"? Is there any difference between saying this and 60 years ago saying that blacks are too dumb to be fighter pilots? Any difference between what Cain is saying and 120 years ago saying that freeing black people from slavery would result in the enslavement of whites and the raping of white women? Any difference? Any justification for these kind of statements?