A pair of stories in the news today highlight the increasing influence of Islam in America today:
–Mazen Ashabi, Barack Obama’s Muslim Affairs coordinator has resigned after it was revealed that he briefly served on the board of Allied Assets Advisors Fund with Jamal Said, the imam of a Chicago fundamentalist mosque. Said has ties to both Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood. Certainly Mr. Ashabi is guilty of no wrong-doing and did the right thing here, both morally and politically. However, this serves as another example of the vast trans-national web of companies, groups, and individuals that make-up modern fundamentalist Islam.
-Meanwhile, the union at the Tyson Chicken plant in Nashville has traded Labor Day for eid al-fitr, the holiday the marks the end of Rammadan. Apparently muslims make up over half of the plant’s workforce and thus carry great weight in the union. A former employee notes that there is also a special prayer room that has been constructed in the plant. The holiday does not apply to non-union members. Still, the incident reveals a troublesome case of muslims taking over an institution to make demands on a private company. I’m a firm believer in the freedom of practice of religion; however, when demands start being made, lines begin to blur between the toleration of free practice and intimidation to embrace a particular faith’s practice.
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