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Friday, May 16, 2008

Land of the Free?

Q: When is a freedom, not a freedom?

A: Apparently when it is ‘religious freedom’ in the USA.

I was shocked to learn of an attempt to in the USA to pass a bill that would require all Moslems to have to carry an identity card, identifying them as Moslem. What the hell?

Hmmmm can anyone else see the resemblance here to Nazi Germany requiring Jews to wear prominent yellow stars at all times?

Then again I probably shouldn’t be surprised. This is after all the country with a sizeable and influential lobby pushing for the retention of the far out-dated ‘right’ to bear arms.

Now to some practicalities. How would you go about identifying the Moslems ‘required’ to carry such an identification card?

Ummmm excuse me – could all Moslems please put up your hand so we can give you identity cards to keep track of the potential terrorists. Thank you for your co-operation and have a nice day y’all.

Yeah – that’s really going to address the problem of international terrorism

I am reminded of a scene from Monty Python’s Life of Brian that went something like this. A Roman guard is checking people in a line of condemned prisoners.



‘Off to the right please. Next – crucifixion?’

‘Nah – I’m to be set free on a desert island.’

‘Alright – off to the left please.’

‘I was only joking – it’s really crucifixion.’

So what’s going to happen now if the proponents of this movement get their way? I can see spot checks at airports as part of going through customs becoming the way of the future.

‘Moslem terrorist or freedom-loving American?’

’Thank you – off to the left please.’

‘Ha ha – just kidding. I’m really an American-hating Moslem terrorist here to blow up a few national monuments.’

‘Oh thank you – if you’ll just take this identify card, off to the left and have a nice day.’

Here’s something of a reality check:

1. Not all Moslems are terrorists.

2. Not all terrorists are Moslem – does Bader-Meinhoff mean anything to anyone for example?

3. Terrorists can be of any creed or faith and are extremists – they are in the considerable minority.

Next reality check – I don’t recall any moves to have Christians or Caucasians generally carry special identify cards after the right-wing terrorist attacks with the Okalahoma bombing some years back. Terrorism on American soil by American extremists. You can’t have it both ways folks – unless schizophrenic hypocrisy is your thing.

Do these clowns really think that picking on a particular group will eliminate terrorism? Are they really so naïve to think such a move will in any real way help to combat the terrorists? On the contrary it will work to the extremists’ advantage by driving more people into their camp as a result of such victimisation.

The sort of people pushing such a movement will be sure to be to quickly identify themselves as freedom-loving Americans, holding the constitution dear. So why would they support such a short-sighted, intolerant and foolish notion that contradicts one of the basic freedoms, not just of the USA, but of most of the Western world – religious freedom.

Land of the Free indeed.

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