Article Op-Ed

Kennesaw: What America Is Not about (or Is It?)

Kennesaw: What America Is Not about (or Is It?)

Author Amir Mia by

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Photo Credit: Bigmike33x

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Recently, the city of Kennesaw denied a request by its Muslim residents to rent space in a retail shopping center  for 24 months until a permanent location is found.

The vote was 4-1 against the petition. The one council member who voted in favor was forced to accept police protection because of threats against her family and her children.

Debra Willams, one of the City Council Members said this about denying the petition: “I believe it’s a retail space. It’s as plain and simple as that.” Yet, she and other city council members did not feel this way when just a few months ago, she voted to unanimously approve Redeemed Christian Fellowship Church when it wanted a space in another retail center. Ironically, that retail center is described by a realtor as the “Perfect spot for a strip mall, coffee shop, restaurant or any business that needs the 12,000 traffic count that passes this building every weekday.”

According to Marietta Daily Journal, one of the protesters, a local resident,  was protesting against the Mosque because he wanted to “protect the Christian community”. To me, it is a sad day when we allow a strip club (just down the street near the proposed location) to operate, but not a Mosque because this Kennesaw resident has allowed himself to be swayed by the message of the few insane and misguided people that clearly violate the teachings of Islam. Besides listening to the media, I wonder if this Kennesaw resident actually has ever spoken to a Muslim.  I wonder if  this Kennesaw resident knows that the Quran has a whole chapter dedicated to Mary and Jesus, both of whom are held in the highest regard in the Islam.

To me, the 4-1 vote against the request by the Muslims comes as no surprise. I am no history or constitutional expert, but I do know that my country is a democratic republic. A Republic is representative government ruled by law (the United States Constitution) and a Democracy is government ruled by the majority. This majority can choose to interpret the law in a way and apply and ignore portions of the law as convenient.

Thomas Jefferson famously said that “A democracy is nothing more than mob rule, where fifty-one percent of the people may take away the rights of the other forty-nine.” But he also said “We in America do not have government by the majority. We have government by the majority who participate.”  My informed opinion is that only a very limited number of Muslims participate in the government process.  Until this changes, we Muslims should get used to getting the short end of the stick. This is not the first Mosque that has been denied the right to exist, and definitely not the last.

If you are a Muslim and are getting angry at this situation - I urge you to pause and reflect on what you have done to diffuse the nightmare PR situation Muslims are facing? Is it fair to let a handful of individuals and organizations to tackle this problem while you and I treating this as someone else’s problem?

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