Mosque removed as Florida voting site

Mosque removed as Florida voting site
SHARE ...
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  


An Islamic Center in Boca Raton was removed as a voting location in Florida after about 50 people complained that they did not want to vote in a Muslim building. Ironically, the Mosque is one of the few being used for voting in Florida while Christian churches and some synagogues represent the majority of voting locations not just in Florida but in precincts around the country

By Ray Hanania

Ray Hanania covering Chicago City Hall (1976-1992)

Ray Hanania
covering Chicago
City Hall
(1976-1992)

Imagine what would happen if I complained that I did not want to be forced to cast a vote in a polling place located in a Christian Church. Or, the names I would be called if the location I didn’t want to vote in was a Jewish Synagogue.

Yet this week, in another example of the depths of the racist hatred that is ingrained in the American way of life, a clerk in a wealthy Florida county surrendered to complaints from about 50 people who said they were upset that they were being forced to cast their ballots in an Islamic house of worship, a mosque.

Palm Beach County Supervisor of Elections Susan Bucher’s office confirmed that the Islamic Center of Boca Raton, 3480 NW 5th Avenue in Palm Beach County in Florida had been identified as a voting location, or polling place, but was removed from the list as a result of the complaints that also include threats of violence. Click here to view a list of Palm Beach County polling places.

It raises an important question in a country that claims to separate Church and State, government and religion, in order to protect all religions from discrimination. Is there a hypocrisy in America when it comes to some religions?

The answer is yes.

Christian Churches are often selected as voting locations in voting districts around the country. In fact, next to schools and government buildings, Christian Churches are 3rd among the most popular locations used as polling or voting stations.

The Arab Daily News

↑ Grab this Headline Animator

Prayer room at the Islamic Center of Boca Raton, Florida. https://www.icbr.org/

Prayer room at the Islamic Center of Boca Raton, Florida. https://www.icbr.org/

So why not a Mosque? If a Christian Church can be used as a polling place, why can’t a mosque be used as a polling place?

More importantly, if voting in a mosque is objectionable, why should American voters be allowed to continue to vote in any religious center, Christian, Jewish or Muslim? In fact, the decision to exclude the Islamic Center of Boca Raton as a voting center should also be the basis to exclude all churches as voting locations. There should be no exceptions.

And if that causes problems for voters, maybe voters in other parts of Boca Raton who want to vote in a Church should step up tot he plate and complain publicly about the discrimination against Muslims and Mosques. Otherwise, shut down all polling places in all religious centers.

If 50 morons can force a county to de-list a mosque as a polling place, where are the thousands of people saying that the county should put a polling place in a mosque? Or, at least complaining that removing the voting station from the mosque is an act of discrimination that violates fundamental principles of equal rights?

What we really need to do is remove all polling places from all religious institutions. Everyone of them. We should also ensure that polling places are not placed in properties that advocate any kind of controversial view.

Where would be acceptable polling places? Government buildings. How about Grocery stores? Why not grocery stores instead of churches, synagogues or mosques? Removing polling places from churches would end this controversy once and for all and reinforce the assertion that America abides by its claim of a separation of church and state.

Why is prejudice permitted in the selection of government-run voting locations? Muslim American pay their taxes just like Christian Americans and Jewish Americans. Why are Muslims discriminated against and why are officials so quick to surrender to racism and bigotry against Muslims and other non-Christians?

It’s wrong.

But the Arab World and the Islamic World should wake up and recognize that America’s claims of freedom and Democracy are flawed. Civil rights and equality are defined by stereotypes and discrimination. Racism is a major part of America.

People like me continue to expose this flaw because the more it is acknowledged, the sooner we can correct it. True Democracy should be blind to a person’s religious beliefs or national heritage. But in America, like in many other countries, it is not.

As an aside, several congressmen and congresswomen who have been notoriously anti-Arab and especially anti-Palestinians, have spoken out against the discrimination against Muslims. Why? Because most Muslims are not Arab. The majority of Muslims are non-Arab. Only 22 percent of Muslims in the World are of Arab heritage. The majority are Asian, Pakistani, Indian and Afghani.

So when you hear politicians who with one hand fuel racism and hatred against Arabs pretend to be compassionate and supportive of religious freedom, the truth is they are only contributing to the corruption of American morality and the decadence of American society.

The Arab Daily News

↑ Grab this Headline Animator

rayhanania


SHARE ...
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  

The Arab Daily News

↑ Grab this Headline Animator

Leave a Reply