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Shariah or Secularism: What would the Founders do?

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By Abdullah

We are often told of the shinning example that Secular Democracy has given the world in the embodiment of the American Republic; but is this the example that the Founders would have wished for civilized world? Though Americans tout the principles of a government void of religion, these principles are easily caste aside when it comes to someone of a non-christian sect assuming his rightful place in office. Many may be familiar with Keith Ellison the first Muslim elected to congress, and how he wished to swear on the Qur’an instead of the Bible. While a logical person would be pleased with the decision that he would swear on a book that actually means a great deal to him instead of a book that holds no real religious significance, this was not the case for many Americans. In the blink of an eye Americans went from Champions of Secularism to the enforcers of the Religious Reich! The more read the more confounded I became at the situation until it just all fell into place. Americans were not opposed to religion in its totality, but rather just Islam! Jews such as Madeleine Kunin and Debbie Wasserman Schultzhave been allowed to swear on torah’s and Jewish prayer books yet there was no outcry! President Johnson was sworn in on a Catholic missal and President John Quincy Adams did not even use a Bible he used a law book! It is the American sentiment that Muslims are excluded from the nation’s politics. Sadly Americans do not realize that the founders of their nation would not consider this sentiment to be American. Thomas Jefferson praised the laws of religious tolerance passed in Virginia and specifically mentioned Islam as a reason this law was needed to insure they were allowed to participate in office. But does this tolerance mean a voiding of religion all together, would the founders want our children to be void of religion? I think perhaps the sentiment is best summed up by a Signer of the Declaration of Independence, attendee of the Continental Congress and Friend of Thomas Jefferson, Physician Benjamin Rush. Benjamin rush stated that he would ““rather see the opinions of Confucius or Mohammed inculcated upon our youth than see them grow up wholly devoid of a system of religious principles.”

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