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27 Mich. J. Race & L. 223 (2021-2022)
A Religious Double Standard: Post-9/11 Challenges to Muslims' Religious Land Use

handle is hein.journals/mjrl27 and id is 231 raw text is: A RELIGIOUS DOUBLE STANDARD: POST-9/11
Asma T. Uddin
Muslims in the United States face real limits on their religious
freedom. Numerous influential individuals and organizations even posit
that Islam is not a religion and that, therefore, Muslims do not have rights
to religious freedom. The claim is that Islam is a political ideology that is
intent on taking over the country and subverting Americans' constitutional
rights. This narrative has gained momentum since the attacks of September
11, 2001 and continues to be amplified and disseminated by a well-funded
cadre of anti-Muslim agitators. One area where its effects can be seen
clearly is in religious land use, where a concerted effort to deprive Muslims
of basic rights frustrates the aims and principles of the Religious Land Use
and Institutionalized Persons Act (RLUIPA).'
Many politicians and other leaders have publicly claimed that Islam
is something other than a religion and that Muslims are not protected by
religious freedom guarantees under U.S. law. For example, Jody Hice,
U.S. Representative from Georgia's 10th District, once argued: Most
people think Islam is a religion, it's not. It's a totalitarian way of life with
a religious component.2 Based on this assessment, Hice argued that
[Islam] is a complete geo-political structure and, as such, does not deserve
First Amendment protection.3
Similarly, John Bennett, a Republican lawmaker in the Oklahoma
state legislature, said in 2014, . . . Islam is not even a religion. It's a social
political system that uses a deity to advance its agenda of global conquest.4
Former Florida congressmen, Allen West, has said Islam is a totalitarian
theocratic political ideology; it is not a religion. It has not been a religion
1. 42 U.S.C. 2000cc(a) (2006).
2. Jane C. Timm, GOP Candidate Jody Hice in 2011: Most People Think Islam Is a
Religion, It's Not, MSNBC (une 24, 2014), http://www.msnbc.com/msnbc/gop-jody-
3. Id.
4. Chris Branch, State Rep. John Bennett Stands by Anti-Islam Comments: Islam Is Not Even
A Religion, THE HUFFINGTON POST (Sep. 22, 2014), https://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014


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