Idaho Republicans Don’t Believe in Religious Liberty, At Least Not for Everyone

Written by SK Ashby

The Bonneville County Republican party in Idaho distributed a newsletter on Monday of this week calling on lawmakers and law enforcement to investigate Muslims who have apparently 'infiltrated' the state.

In the newsletter, an article entitled “Islam in Idaho” warns that Muslims are “infiltrating” the state. It claims Muslims have been taught to “be ready to rise up and kill” non-Muslims and to be “two-faced,” in order to deceive people into believing their intentions are good.

The article called on newsletter readers to “demand that our lawmakers and law enforcers pay attention and ascertain whether or not there is a potential threat.”

“Please, don’t wait until something bad happens,” the article later said.

Freedom of religion is all Muslims are asking for. They aren't asking to discriminate against gay people like their Christian counterparts are. They aren't trying to draw attention to themselves by publicly refusing to serve pizza to gay couples. They didn't take their case against birth control to the Supreme Court. They just want to be left alone.

Should we investigate Christians before something bad happens?

It was no accident that Senator Ted Cruz left Muslims out of his recent remarks when he claimed Christian, Catholic, and Jewish faith leaders were being persecuted.

The popular conservative notion of "religious freedom" or "religious liberty" does not apply to Muslims or other belief systems because it has nothing to do with actual rights, freedom or liberty. It's a license to discriminate.

When someone asserts that Islamophobia has nothing to do with race or racism, remember incidents like this. There is a significant number Arab Christians in the world, including a large number inside Israel, who would be mistaken for Muslims here in the United States simply because of their skin color or ethnicity. Sikhs are also often mistaken for Muslims for the same reason and have been the victims of numerous hate crimes. Even Indian Hindus are often mistaken for Muslims for the same reason.