As Americans are getting ready for the 4-yearly power pageant (AKA Presidential Elections), the entire world gets an entertaining several months as Americans put on the ultimate reality show – primaries.
Even though I am not an American and don’t get a vote, I love following US politics and always have candidates that I’m rooting for, much like many Israelis root for various English soccer teams.
One of the GOP candidates who initially impressed me but may have just lost my support is Herman Cain. In the early debates he struck me as about the only rational speaker, however his approach to religious freedom seems to be seriously misguided with reports that he said that communities 'Have the Right' to Ban Mosques.
Cain was quotes as saying:
"Let's go back to the fundamental issue that the people are basically saying that they are objecting to, … They are objecting to the fact that Islam is both religion and (a) set of laws, Shariah law. That's the difference between any one of our other traditional religions where it's just about religious purposes.
I’m not sure what Cain defines as “traditional religions”, but I can think of at least one other established religion widely practiced in the US which defines itself as “both a religion and a set of laws”.
Hint – the religion is widely practiced in Israel, and the set of laws is not called Shariah, rather it’s Halacha.
The US is correctly concerned about Islamic extremism, but if a GOP candidate defines the all aspects of Islam unacceptable to the point that he feels that mosques could be banned anywhere, than as a religious Jew, I am very concerned about the direction the world’s uni-power is headed.
I hope that Cain issues a clarification. In the mean time, I’m headed back to the list of GOP candidates to see if there is anyone else worth rooting for.