The Christian right in the United States calls foul to every and any perceived religious discrimination they can conjure up. From crosses and commandments being removed from federal land, to healthcare and the Affordable Care Act requiring birth control.
However, the funny thing about the Christian right is, they believe religious freedoms only apply to them and they have zero problem discriminating against any other religion, especially if that religion is Islam.
What is more ironic though is their low level of understanding of the worlds religions and will persecute non-muslims, just as Sikhs and muslims.
This is exactly what happened in the bible belt state of Mississippi, where the Department of Transportation pulled over and arrested a Sikh bus driver, Jagjeet Singh for the crime of having a flat tire.
The ACLU reports:
After being pulled over for a flat tire, Jagjeet was harassed and called a “terrorist” by Mississippi Department of Transportation (DOT) officers and falsely arrested for refusing to remove an article of the Sikh faith.
But that was just the beginning of the injury to Jagjeet’s faith and rights.
As an observant Sikh, Jagjeet Singh wears a turban at all times as a reminder and public declaration of his connection to God. But Judge Aubrey Rimes decided that the American justice system didn’t need to respect Jagjeet or his religion when he ordered that Jagjeet be removed from the courtroom and said he wouldn’t let Jagjeet return until he removed “that rag” from his head.
Freedom of religion is a two way street in this country. It is the freedom to practice any religion, or even to not have a religion and have those rights protected by the federal government.
The actions of the Mississippi DOT is unacceptable, xenophobic and racist.
From the ACLU:
The UNITED SIKHS have filed a complaint on Jagjeet’s behalf about Judge Rimes with the Department of Justice. But we can’t let the DOT officers off the hook for their reprehensible actions. Let’s send a message to Commissioner King and Director McGrath of the Mississippi DOT that the America we live in respects all persons and religions.
Demand that the Mississippi DOT investigate and discipline the officers for their blatant and unacceptable religious discrimination.
Do not let states like Mississippi dictate what religions have constitutional protection and what ones do not. Sign the ACLU petition today and make your voice heard.