Freedom of Religion vs. Religious Phobia

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By Ghassan Karam

Utopias are perfect societal structures that are goals to be attained. They are dreams that will never be fulfilled whether they are based on Plato’s Republic or Thomas Mores’ ideal economy. These are dreams that provide us with targets to aim for but that we will not attain. If a utopia is to be achieved then that would be the end of history, a stage of perfect homogeneity and no conflict.

No world society is at that stage, although some have argued that certain states are closer to the end of history than others. Democracy can be looked upon in the above light,  a conception that is to be approached asymptotically and so obviously never reached. That is true of all societies and all states , including the experiment that we know as the United States.  We all know of many severe challenges that the US system is constantly struggling with such as the relatively major income inequality, the presidential electoral system, the role of money in all elections and the corporate influence in shaping the legislative process. It is clear that given such challenges the resulting democracy is nowhere close to perfect but yet it can be argued that in many areas such as the principles of separation of church and government in addition to the tremendous seriousness given to the issue of what is commonly known as  “first freedom” make it very difficult , even impossible, to violate the principle of freedom of religion as spelled out in the first amendment: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances. “

A democratic system might not be perfectly equitable or perfectly just but it cannot afford to violate personal freedom of expression and religion. There ought to be no room whatsoever in the public square for religious affairs since these are best viewed as issues of personal faith. I have every reason to believe that the United States looks upon this issue with the utmost seriousness it deserves and will not knowingly violate any persons’ right to worship whoever she wants anyway she desires provided that such an exercise does not impinge on any other persons rights.

The controversy regarding the issue of the construction of a mosque close to ground zero in New York City must be seen within the above parameters.  Ideally this means that any individual or group of people should have the right to practice their faith anywhere they want as long as that does not impinge on the rights of others.  No one in Manhattan has said that the group of Moslems does not have the right to worship or to build a mosque; the only objections raised are based on the appropriateness of the location. The Mayor of the city, Mr., Bloomberg, has given his unqualified support for the construction of the Islamic center where it is proposed since it meets all the zoning requirements and I believe that the center would be built where proposed.

If for any reason the planned Islamic center is relocated then that unlikely event would be a reflection of Islam phobia and not a violation of the seminal constitutional principle embodied by the first amendment.  Fellow Muslims will still be free to pray and build their houses of worship but not in that particular location which will be a tragedy but not a constitutional catastrophe.

If it ever comes to that , which I doubt that it will, then the most obvious question that should be raised by Arabs and Moslems alike is Why did so many of the well educated and  enlightened United States citizens develop an Islam phobia but not a Buddhist phobia or a Hindu phobia? Is there something that we can do as a community to allay these fears, as unreasonable as they might seem? Could it be that when so many terror attacks were carried in the name of Islam that not enough was done to denounce these attacks? Could it be that the small groups of fundamentalists have been allowed to hijack Islam without any major rebuttals from the mainstream Islamic power structure? But above all are there many Arab countries that can truly object to religious discrimination by pointing out to religious freedoms in their countries?

The controversy in lower Manhattan does not rise to the level of being a violation of the first amendment. The Islamic center should be built as proposed but if for one reason or another a zoning justification is found to move it to a different location then Islam phobia would be the reason.

If that is to transpire then it would be the duty of every US citizen to analyze in a detached manner the unfairness and the injustice of such a selective judgment. May this controversy also lead to serious soul searching in the Arab countries also? We need to recognize that when we place severe restrictions on the religious practice of non Moslems in our countries and when we prohibit the building of non Islamic houses of worship or place restrictions on the use of religious symbols then we would have abandoned the right to criticize others when their acts infringe on the rights of our fellow religionists. In a perfect world there should be no restrictions on anyone to believe or not believe but in an imperfect world we need to find out the reason for popular phobias.

The above was written for  the inaugural issue of Islam Comment.

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Comments

60 responses to “Freedom of Religion vs. Religious Phobia”

  1. ghassan habeebi that diagram is missing the druze maynG. where’s the druze star that shows the 5 tenets? 🙂

    i love that mural. thats my dream to see all people walking with signs like that plus i’m muslim, i’m christian, i’m durzi, i’m lebanese..etc

    anyway, nice article ghassan. ya3teek il 3afyi.

    1. Druze? huh? What’s that? LOL

      http://www.cadmeia,com

    2. Hey Tony,

      They are not the 5 tenets, they are the 5 limits:). Our tenets are 7. I’m sure you know that but I just wanted to make the correction.

      Have a good day.

      1. i actualy am humbled to always be willing to learn. i am trying hard to read the hikmeh book in arabic sa its a slow but very very interesting read. very philosophical for sure.

        i will ask mt da re the 7 tenets and thank you for enlightening me my friend.

        i honestly didnt know that and i’m never afraid to ask to learn.

        have an awesome day.

      2. i actualy am humbled to always be willing to learn. i am trying hard to read the hikmeh book in arabic sa its a slow but very very interesting read. very philosophical for sure.

        i will ask mt da re the 7 tenets and thank you for enlightening me my friend.

        i honestly didnt know that and i’m never afraid to ask to learn.

        have an awesome day.

      3. i will ask my dad……

      4. i will ask my dad……

    3. Ghassan Karam Avatar
      Ghassan Karam

      Tony A,

      I am glad that you noticed that the Druze symbol was missing. I imagine that a possible explanation is that the world thinks of Druze as being an off shoot of Islam?

    4. Ghassan Karam Avatar
      Ghassan Karam

      Tony A,

      I am glad that you noticed that the Druze symbol was missing. I imagine that a possible explanation is that the world thinks of Druze as being an off shoot of Islam?

      1. ghassan my brother, i actuality much of the world has never heard of the druze philosophy due to its secrecy.

        the druze in general dont discuss the protocol till the children are older. the children are actually allowed to be children without immersing them in the ideology.

        the reason being is cos the druzes’ survival is based on secrecy.

        we should in actuality only disucss our philosophy if asked and we also practice the rule of acceptance of others’ faiths.

        just a thought but i’m not tryig to convert anybody even though thats impossible and neither am i saying that the druze are great.

        maybe i am but i cant speak for everybody lol .:)

      2. ghassan my brother, i actuality much of the world has never heard of the druze philosophy due to its secrecy.

        the druze in general dont discuss the protocol till the children are older. the children are actually allowed to be children without immersing them in the ideology.

        the reason being is cos the druzes’ survival is based on secrecy.

        we should in actuality only disucss our philosophy if asked and we also practice the rule of acceptance of others’ faiths.

        just a thought but i’m not tryig to convert anybody even though thats impossible and neither am i saying that the druze are great.

        maybe i am but i cant speak for everybody lol .:)

      3. in actuality……

      4. in actuality……

  2. ghassan habeebi that diagram is missing the druze maynG. where’s the druze star that shows the 5 tenets? 🙂

    i love that mural. thats my dream to see all people walking with signs like that plus i’m muslim, i’m christian, i’m durzi, i’m lebanese..etc

    anyway, nice article ghassan. ya3teek il 3afyi.

  3. Fadi Abboud Avatar
    Fadi Abboud

    extremely well thought out and written article.

  4. Fadi Abboud Avatar
    Fadi Abboud

    extremely well thought out and written article.

  5. prophet Avatar

    Great article. Many questions to be answered.

    Whether this mosque is built at that site or not, many of the questions you raised will remain to be answered. If it is built as planned, it would mean that the Islam phobia wasn’t successful this time. But It can be successful in the future or in another state.

    As to why and how the Islamic phobia was developed?

    The barbaric September Eleven event and its catastrophic damage was the single most damaging event that set back all the hard work Muslim and Arab Americans had done.

    There are much more complicated reasons and causes that worked hand in hand with the 9/11 event to brought that phopia out in the open. Good examples:

    -Accumulation of historic events

    -Cultural misunderstandings,

    -Failure of Muslim Leadership to properly, and constantly denounce violence.

    -Lack of efforts by Muslim and Arabic courtiers to present a true image of Islam.

    -Violence of extremist groups.

    -American media and its simplistic understanding of Islam.

    -Organized and state sponsored brand of Islam, allowed the whole Muslim religion to be hijacked by a very tiny violent minority.

    – Lack of definition of terrorism, and lack of distinction between terrorism on one hand and resistance and freedom fighting on the other hand…

    -The presidency of Bush and his doctrine of “Either you’re with us, or you’re with the terrorists”

    -Lack of efforts by Arabic and Muslim media to properly present Islam.

    -Israeli Arab conflict and the double standard of American media coverage of this conflict.

    These are only few of the reasons that nurtured this Islam phobia.

  6. prophet Avatar

    Great article. Many questions to be answered.

    Whether this mosque is built at that site or not, many of the questions you raised will remain to be answered. If it is built as planned, it would mean that the Islam phobia wasn’t successful this time. But It can be successful in the future or in another state.

    As to why and how the Islamic phobia was developed?

    The barbaric September Eleven event and its catastrophic damage was the single most damaging event that set back all the hard work Muslim and Arab Americans had done.

    There are much more complicated reasons and causes that worked hand in hand with the 9/11 event to brought that phopia out in the open. Good examples:

    -Accumulation of historic events

    -Cultural misunderstandings,

    -Failure of Muslim Leadership to properly, and constantly denounce violence.

    -Lack of efforts by Muslim and Arabic courtiers to present a true image of Islam.

    -Violence of extremist groups.

    -American media and its simplistic understanding of Islam.

    -Organized and state sponsored brand of Islam, allowed the whole Muslim religion to be hijacked by a very tiny violent minority.

    – Lack of definition of terrorism, and lack of distinction between terrorism on one hand and resistance and freedom fighting on the other hand…

    -The presidency of Bush and his doctrine of “Either you’re with us, or you’re with the terrorists”

    -Lack of efforts by Arabic and Muslim media to properly present Islam.

    -Israeli Arab conflict and the double standard of American media coverage of this conflict.

    These are only few of the reasons that nurtured this Islam phobia.

    1. Ghassan Karam Avatar
      Ghassan Karam

      Prophet,

      There are many factors that have contributed to this phenomenon and I am convinced that it will not go away any time soon unless we look seriously into the reasons that have nurtured this. As you state the possible reasons are many.

      1. prophet Avatar

        Ghassan,

        No doubts, the reasons are many, I just listed a few good examples before I scratch my head .Good article though.

      2. prophet Avatar

        Ghassan,

        No doubts, the reasons are many, I just listed a few good examples before I scratch my head .Good article though.

  7. moustapha Avatar
    moustapha

    All I can say is..

    through out the US history there has been a phobia towards a race or religion or political ideology somewhere/somehow.

    Native Americans, Russians, Japanese, Communists, Black, Hispanic,…

    Now is our time.

  8. moustapha Avatar
    moustapha

    All I can say is..

    through out the US history there has been a phobia towards a race or religion or political ideology somewhere/somehow.

    Native Americans, Russians, Japanese, Communists, Black, Hispanic,…

    Now is our time.

    1. Ghassan Karam Avatar
      Ghassan Karam

      Moustapha,

      I don’t want to sound as if I am splitting hairs but I do not agree with your general characterization.

      There has not been a general wide spread religious phobia in the US prior to the current situation; The Japanese was an overreaction that did not last long but even during the internment it was not a question of a phobia per se as much as a lack of trust under the circumstances ; I am not sure that the fear of the communists was irrational especially during the 50’s and 60’s when the competition between the two could have become deadly.

      The moslem phobia, if it exists is a fear that Islam is on a mission to conquer the world by force and not through a competition between ideas.It is the fear that Islam poses an existential danger by not accepting the other. In that respect it is a phobia that goes way beyond the conflict with Hispanic immigrants and Black super nationalists; it is a fear on par with that of communism in the 50’s- 60’s.

      1. Ghassan,

        I find your post insightful. Keep up the good work. This can jounalism is the right remedy for a young democratic nation like lebanon. Reason+fact+reason+fact lead to the right conclusion not emotion and insult. True debate can actually help move forward certainly not backward…

        Peace

      2. Ghassan,

        I find your post insightful. Keep up the good work. This can jounalism is the right remedy for a young democratic nation like lebanon. Reason+fact+reason+fact lead to the right conclusion not emotion and insult. True debate can actually help move forward certainly not backward…

        Peace

    2. Ghassan Karam Avatar
      Ghassan Karam

      Moustapha,

      I don’t want to sound as if I am splitting hairs but I do not agree with your general characterization.

      There has not been a general wide spread religious phobia in the US prior to the current situation; The Japanese was an overreaction that did not last long but even during the internment it was not a question of a phobia per se as much as a lack of trust under the circumstances ; I am not sure that the fear of the communists was irrational especially during the 50’s and 60’s when the competition between the two could have become deadly.

      The moslem phobia, if it exists is a fear that Islam is on a mission to conquer the world by force and not through a competition between ideas.It is the fear that Islam poses an existential danger by not accepting the other. In that respect it is a phobia that goes way beyond the conflict with Hispanic immigrants and Black super nationalists; it is a fear on par with that of communism in the 50’s- 60’s.

  9. prophet Avatar

    Mustapha, You are right, We got the Gold here,lol

  10. prophet Avatar

    Mustapha, You are right, We got the Gold here,lol

  11. Excellent and a much needed article Mr. Karam. Thank you

  12. Excellent and a much needed article Mr. Karam. Thank you

  13. phaedrus Avatar

    ı have doubts about democracy, although you(writer) see it as a road to perfect world, or utopia.

    ı have the same feelings with N.Choamsky against democracy as it serves just for people or capital firms that have the power over the rest of the world.

    maybe democracy should be wished among people who are coming from different cultures, religions or languages but have to live together like in Lebanon!

    ı think it is better and enough for democracy.

    thanks.

  14. phaedrus Avatar

    ı have doubts about democracy, although you(writer) see it as a road to perfect world, or utopia.

    ı have the same feelings with N.Choamsky against democracy as it serves just for people or capital firms that have the power over the rest of the world.

    maybe democracy should be wished among people who are coming from different cultures, religions or languages but have to live together like in Lebanon!

    ı think it is better and enough for democracy.

    thanks.

    1. PROPHET Avatar

      Phaedrus, Democracy isn’t necessarily a road to perfection. It’s just a political from of government that people choose to run and manage their affairs. Whether it is derived through election or referendum, it is derived from the people and for the people.

      It is agreed upon by the greatest majority of people that democracy is by far, the best form of government. The idea of equality and freedom is very attractive to human beings. Democracy is based on a set of principles that, among other things, equate citizens in their rights, and responsibilities.

      At worst, democratic system is the best from of government practiced in our modern times. Until, there is a more efficient system; democracy will be the system that most societies seek to live by.

      The application of democracy has never been perfect, and never will be, since humans by their nature can never be perfect.

    2. Ghassan Karam Avatar
      Ghassan Karam

      Phaedrus,

      May I humbly suggest that you go ahead and read or listen to Chomsky again. Your interpretation is mistaken, I am afraid. Noam Chomsky , an anarchist, is the ultimate believer in liberty and freedom, in democracy. He disagrees with Madison and others because of the flawed democracy that they support but he is a strong believer in the idea of democracy.

    3. Ghassan Karam Avatar
      Ghassan Karam

      Phaedrus,

      May I humbly suggest that you go ahead and read or listen to Chomsky again. Your interpretation is mistaken, I am afraid. Noam Chomsky , an anarchist, is the ultimate believer in liberty and freedom, in democracy. He disagrees with Madison and others because of the flawed democracy that they support but he is a strong believer in the idea of democracy.

  15. I agree with you Ghassan.People should be free to believe and practice what they believe!People should accept and respect other s beliefs and there should be no restrictions!!!I agree that the phobia comes from the fact that ¨terror attacks were carried in the name of Islam¨!One can understand this fear!So many attacks have been committed in the name of religion unfortunately!

  16. I agree with you Ghassan.People should be free to believe and practice what they believe!People should accept and respect other s beliefs and there should be no restrictions!!!I agree that the phobia comes from the fact that ¨terror attacks were carried in the name of Islam¨!One can understand this fear!So many attacks have been committed in the name of religion unfortunately!

    1. Ghassan Karam Avatar
      Ghassan Karam

      FAUZIA,

      So many wars and so much hatred and so much misery have been inflicted on humanity in the name of religion that some believe that that the human race would fare much better without this divisive concept of religion.

      Try telling a religious person that it is we who have created God in our image and not the reverse. You will be accused of blasphemy.

      That is why in my view, freedom of religion is crucial, as long as it is not brought to the public square.

    2. Ghassan Karam Avatar
      Ghassan Karam

      FAUZIA,

      So many wars and so much hatred and so much misery have been inflicted on humanity in the name of religion that some believe that that the human race would fare much better without this divisive concept of religion.

      Try telling a religious person that it is we who have created God in our image and not the reverse. You will be accused of blasphemy.

      That is why in my view, freedom of religion is crucial, as long as it is not brought to the public square.

  17. Dear Mr Karam

    Although I like your article I beg to differ with you..

    Pope John Paul dissuaded a group of Catholic nuns from building a convent near Achuitz when a group of surviving Jews that were there and witnessed the holocaust protested. The Pope said ‘you have every right to build the convent but it is not the right thing to do’.. If our dear good Muslims that mean well and look for harmony amongst all in NY or the entire U.S can’t accept that good people that are not Islamphobic do not support the ‘mosque project’.. Calling it under any name then there lies the problem…

    The inability to understand the other sides’ genuine feeling and psyche and show pure courtesy is at the heart of the problem, a sort of supremacy concept in the mind of the project builder’s. Is it not true what one clever Egyptian I forgot his name now said ‘ not all Moslems are terrorists but it seems that every terrorist act lately has been perpetrated by a Moslem’

    My advise start cleaning the Moslem’s image with a nice high profile case such as this by accepting that there is a true controversy and move down the street somewhere – most people against the Mosque will change their mind and say ‘well, they’re not bad after all.. They understand’. Mind you there are over 200 mosque in NY alone. And in agreement with you Karam, Arab govermements are quiet for a good reason… religious tolerance isn’t a subject they enjoy.. Even amongst different Muslim derivatives. Some Muslims I know don’t support it..it is bad taste even if it is legal..that’s my 2 cents..

    All the best

  18. Dear Mr Karam

    Although I like your article I beg to differ with you..

    Pope John Paul dissuaded a group of Catholic nuns from building a convent near Achuitz when a group of surviving Jews that were there and witnessed the holocaust protested. The Pope said ‘you have every right to build the convent but it is not the right thing to do’.. If our dear good Muslims that mean well and look for harmony amongst all in NY or the entire U.S can’t accept that good people that are not Islamphobic do not support the ‘mosque project’.. Calling it under any name then there lies the problem…

    The inability to understand the other sides’ genuine feeling and psyche and show pure courtesy is at the heart of the problem, a sort of supremacy concept in the mind of the project builder’s. Is it not true what one clever Egyptian I forgot his name now said ‘ not all Moslems are terrorists but it seems that every terrorist act lately has been perpetrated by a Moslem’

    My advise start cleaning the Moslem’s image with a nice high profile case such as this by accepting that there is a true controversy and move down the street somewhere – most people against the Mosque will change their mind and say ‘well, they’re not bad after all.. They understand’. Mind you there are over 200 mosque in NY alone. And in agreement with you Karam, Arab govermements are quiet for a good reason… religious tolerance isn’t a subject they enjoy.. Even amongst different Muslim derivatives. Some Muslims I know don’t support it..it is bad taste even if it is legal..that’s my 2 cents..

    All the best

  19. Ghassan Karam Avatar
    Ghassan Karam

    Robert,

    I don’t know whether you know NYC or not but if you do then you already know that there is a mosque in that place. What is being proposed is to acquire the whole building and build an Islamic center with a swiming pool, library, lecture hall etc… Actually the idea is to mimic the 92nd street Y.

    There are many people who share your belief that if many people think that this is the wrong place then no harm is done by moving it say 4-5 blocks. On a purely personal level I do not believe in this since so many of the people that have transformed this issue into a major controversy are neither New Yorkers nor do they understand the dynamics of Manhattan. Sarah Palin has no clue when she talks about hallowed grounds neither does Newt for that matter.

    Yet the important thing is to learn from each such opportunity. I am of the opinion that this dialogue, although shrill at times, will eventually be constructive and wil help bridge the gap between the two ideas.

  20. Ghassan Karam Avatar
    Ghassan Karam

    Robert,

    I don’t know whether you know NYC or not but if you do then you already know that there is a mosque in that place. What is being proposed is to acquire the whole building and build an Islamic center with a swiming pool, library, lecture hall etc… Actually the idea is to mimic the 92nd street Y.

    There are many people who share your belief that if many people think that this is the wrong place then no harm is done by moving it say 4-5 blocks. On a purely personal level I do not believe in this since so many of the people that have transformed this issue into a major controversy are neither New Yorkers nor do they understand the dynamics of Manhattan. Sarah Palin has no clue when she talks about hallowed grounds neither does Newt for that matter.

    Yet the important thing is to learn from each such opportunity. I am of the opinion that this dialogue, although shrill at times, will eventually be constructive and wil help bridge the gap between the two ideas.

  21. Ghassan Karam Avatar
    Ghassan Karam

    Sebouh,

    Although Marx and many other intellectuals argue that religion is an irrational act we just cannot pretend that religion does not exist. It does exist and is in control of the daily lives of billions.

    Could it be that many of these believers are rationally irrational ?Could it be that they are applying pACALS’ WAGER?

  22. Ghassan Karam Avatar
    Ghassan Karam

    Sebouh,

    Although Marx and many other intellectuals argue that religion is an irrational act we just cannot pretend that religion does not exist. It does exist and is in control of the daily lives of billions.

    Could it be that many of these believers are rationally irrational ?Could it be that they are applying pACALS’ WAGER?

  23. Good read Ghassan.

    The founding fathers of the USA are rolling in their graves.

    Property Rights are the gem of the constitution, and having government tell you what you can or cannot build on your own property, because of religious reasons, is a complete disregard of the rights the constitution offers each individual.

    By the way the constitution of the USA does not impose a democracy, but rather a Republic.

    In a democracy it’s mob rule, where 51 % of voters can decide the fate of the 49% opposition. That is like 2 wolves and a sheep voting on what’s for dinner.

    A republic protects the rights of minorities.

  24. Good read Ghassan.

    The founding fathers of the USA are rolling in their graves.

    Property Rights are the gem of the constitution, and having government tell you what you can or cannot build on your own property, because of religious reasons, is a complete disregard of the rights the constitution offers each individual.

    By the way the constitution of the USA does not impose a democracy, but rather a Republic.

    In a democracy it’s mob rule, where 51 % of voters can decide the fate of the 49% opposition. That is like 2 wolves and a sheep voting on what’s for dinner.

    A republic protects the rights of minorities.

  25. Something very ironic and fishy.

    The co-owner of Fox news, which has been a main news agency attempting to link the “ground Zero mosque” with islamist radicals, funded the ground zero mosque!?!?!?

  26. Something very ironic and fishy.

    The co-owner of Fox news, which has been a main news agency attempting to link the “ground Zero mosque” with islamist radicals, funded the ground zero mosque!?!?!?

  27. phaedrus Avatar

    prophet: you say like,

    “It is agreed upon by the greatest majority of people that democracy is by far, the best form of government.”

    ı will give you a quotation from B.Russell: “aggreeing upon a belief by everyone doesnt show its truthnesss!as a matter of fact if people’s idiocy considered, a general belief’s absurdity is more obvious than a belief which is more rational.”

  28. phaedrus Avatar

    prophet: you say like,

    “It is agreed upon by the greatest majority of people that democracy is by far, the best form of government.”

    ı will give you a quotation from B.Russell: “aggreeing upon a belief by everyone doesnt show its truthnesss!as a matter of fact if people’s idiocy considered, a general belief’s absurdity is more obvious than a belief which is more rational.”

  29. prophet Avatar

    phaedrus,

    A chinese proverb says; He who strikes the first blow, admits He’s lost the argument.

    G.K Chesterton said:

    “The thing I hate about argument is that it always interupts a discussion ”

    SO I’ll CONTINUE WITH MY DISCUSSION.

  30. prophet Avatar

    phaedrus,

    A chinese proverb says; He who strikes the first blow, admits He’s lost the argument.

    G.K Chesterton said:

    “The thing I hate about argument is that it always interupts a discussion ”

    SO I’ll CONTINUE WITH MY DISCUSSION.

  31. Very good article, many questions to be answered.

  32. Very good article, many questions to be answered.

  33. wilypagan Avatar
    wilypagan

    Right on Ghassan!

    In the majority opinion of Wallace versus Jaffree (83-812, 1985), Supreme Court Justice John P. Stevens wrote, “The individual freedom of conscience protected by the First Amendment embraces the right to select any religious faith or none at all.” Freedom of conscience thus guarantees that the right to freedom of religion includes the right to freedom from religion.

  34. wilypagan Avatar
    wilypagan

    Right on Ghassan!

    In the majority opinion of Wallace versus Jaffree (83-812, 1985), Supreme Court Justice John P. Stevens wrote, “The individual freedom of conscience protected by the First Amendment embraces the right to select any religious faith or none at all.” Freedom of conscience thus guarantees that the right to freedom of religion includes the right to freedom from religion.

  35. religion is very imoprtant to evreyone i guess but i do belive if you belive in god you should belive in your heart and not in your outside apperence i do belive thats people who belive in there apperence are there just to provoke othere and protend thats they are better we do have to accepte each other no matter what religion or color you are but unfortunatly humain made to accepte no one but himself

  36. religion is very imoprtant to evreyone i guess but i do belive if you belive in god you should belive in your heart and not in your outside apperence i do belive thats people who belive in there apperence are there just to provoke othere and protend thats they are better we do have to accepte each other no matter what religion or color you are but unfortunatly humain made to accepte no one but himself

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