Not that it’s worth putting much stock in the discriminatory political philosophizing of a presidential candidate that no one has heard of, but Herman Cain, the former Godfather’s Pizza CEO and a candidate for the Republican presidential nomination, said something really stupid yesterday about municipal ability to ban mosques. The Associated Press reports:
Asked if his view could lead any community to stand up in opposition to a proposed mosque, Cain replied, “They could say that.” He pointed to opposition to the planned mosque in Murfreesboro, Tenn., as an example.
“Let’s go back to the fundamental issue that the people are basically saying that they are objecting to,” Cain said. “They are objecting to the fact that Islam is both religion and (a) set of laws, Shariah law. That’s the difference between any one of our other traditional religions where it’s just about religious purposes.
“The people in the community know best. And I happen to side with the people in the community.”
Except that there is a big difference between permitting the construction of mosques and keeping Sharia law out of American courts. And banning new mosques is certainly not the least restrictive means to go about keeping keeping Sharia law out. It just seems punitive. I don’t have much else to say, because I feel like I’d be insulting your intelligence if I explained why communities cannot constitutionally ban mosques.