Two-faced hypocrisy of Republican religious freedom
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The Syrian refugee crisis has become political cannon fodder for a supposed clash between Muslim and western values.

Donald TrumpDonald TrumpUkraine's president compares UN to 'a retired superhero' Collins to endorse LePage in Maine governor comeback bid Heller won't say if Biden won election MORE and American conservative media organizations like the Daily Caller have claimed that the existence of Islam. They claim that our society’s liberal political correctness threatens to impose its set of values on Europe and America.

Time and again, though, whenever they take offense from other religions, the right has demonstrated that their notion of religious freedom and political correctness, have been built upon conservative lies and identity politics.

This past week, the Daily Caller’s, Jacob Bojesson, has gone so far as to cite a source that contradicts his Islamophobic point.

His August 4th story had a headline which read, “Water Park In France Bans Non-Muslim Outfits,” referred to a waterpark in Marseille, France.

This ban will only occur on September 10th, from 10 AM until 6 PM. Why? Because the pool owners had no involvement in the ban. 

Smile13, a private organization created to foster friendship among Muslim women, reserved the pool for a private event for its members. It asked its members to wear burqinis, which is a full-body, open-faced swimming suit, when attending.

Let’s be clear here: a one-day private event, that the public has no interest or ability in attending, paid for by a private religious organization aimed at fostering friendship, whose members can withdraw at any point in time has been branded as a “ban."

The presence of Islam has been taken as an imposition of its beliefs. The conservative media’s vilification of Islam is stretching into the presidential election, with Trump himself saying that he’d consider firing TSA agents wearing hijabs. 

At the same time, Republicans in Florida and other states have employed the ruse of “religious freedom” to vote against protecting LGBTQ populations from workplace discrimination. When questioned, they continue to claim media attacks occur because it is “politically incorrect” to support Christianity.

There is no other way to describe Trump-era conservative principles on religious freedom and “political correctness” as anything other than patently hypocritical.

Today’s Republican platform pledge “to defend the religious beliefs” is set to defend Christians’ discrimination against LGBTQ and Muslim citizens, without tolerating the slightest Muslim fashion faux pas. Truly, just as it is “politically incorrect” to liberals for conservatives to discriminate against minorities, it is politically incorrect to conservatives for liberals to fight for minorities’ right to exist.

They’ve ironically played into ISIS’s hands by taking offense at the very sight of a subgroup of Muslims that express themselves through their clothing and portraying Islam as incompatible with the West.

Any hope of resolving the War on Terror and preserving our republic demands that we uphold the values that protect citizens of all colors and creeds.

But Trump-era conservatives are only interested in propping up their religious beliefs without regard for how they impact others’ lives. They have no concern for the rights of all citizens. They are not leading an intellectual movement, but rather a movement for their ethno-religious politics.
Alexander Hamilton and Thomas Jefferson would have called their shameless fight today nothing less than a sloppy endeavor for a tyranny of the majority.

Anhvinh Doanvo is a 2016 finalist for the US Department of State’s Graduate Thomas R. Pickering Foreign Affairs Fellowship and an MSPPM candidate at Carnegie Mellon University. His research has focused on a broad array of domestic and foreign policy issues, especially including counterterrorism strategy for CENTCOM against Boko Haram.


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