|Islamic mosque & minaret
[source: American Family Association]
The American Family Association is all outraged over the fact that the US Department of State is handing out “nearly $6 million of American tax dollars” (as if there were any other sort of government money?) in order to “rebuild Muslim mosques around the world”. And they want you to get angry, too!
According to the Associated Press, the Obama administration will give away nearly $6 million of American tax dollars to restore 63 historic and cultural sites, including Islamic mosques and minarets, in 55 nations. See the State Department document here.
This is an outrage! Our country is broke. And can you imagine what the ACLU and others on the secular left would say if these monies had been spent to repair Christian churches? They would be screaming “separation of church and state!” Funding Islam on foreign soil with American taxpayer money? Not a whimper. [original emphasis]
Ooomigod, Obama is financing Islam!!! What about separation of church and state? Why is the Obama administration focusing its attention on helping those dirty terrorist Moslems and not good, upstanding Christians instead? Where’s the outrage of all those secular libruls???
Well … actually, three little points the AFA appears to have neglected to inform you about …
A) If one would read the actual source document (PDF, ~100 KB) for the AFA’s claims, they would notice that these funds (“rewards” totaling US$5,959,811, to be precise) are actually being used to preserve and maintain a wide range of structures and artifacts, from mosques to palaces to historic canals to even documentation on tribal music and other sorts of records bearing great archival significance. These span across the globe and all world religions, with no particular focus on Islam or any other.
B) These relics were chosen because of their historical and/or cultural importance, not their religious nature(s). This is clearly not a governmental endorsement of any one or more religion(s), so the Establishment Clause simply doesn’t apply as it’s not an issue of separation of church and state.
C) Contrary to the AFA’s claims about how the “secular left” would be outraged if this money were used to repair Christian churches, this is, in fact, the case with numerous Christian documents, houses of worship and other artifacts being sent restoration funds. The reason the ACLU and “secular left” aren’t hollering over this is because they aren’t the legally illiterate reactionaries whom the religious-Right loves to portray them as. Methinks such would be a case of psychological projection.
Nice try at fear-mongering about those dirty, rotten Muzlimz, AFA, but as usual, your demagogy fails in light of the evidence.