First Amendment Optional: Cal Thomas' Plan for Regulating Religion



I know better than to let the neo-fascist op-ed stylings of syndicated columnist Cal Thomas elevate my civil libertarian blood pressure, but his column today (Tennessean page 19A, not online) is off the charts. Working from a position of (justifiable) outrage at the recent carnage in Mumbai, Thomas fashions a remedy that effectively ditches the First and Fourteenth Amendments:

All non-Western immigrants to Britain and America should be told before their arrival that our intention is to Westernize them. They must learn English, study and embrace the history of their host nation and, if they are Muslim, they will be allowed to worship only in existing mosques. No new ones should be built. Existing mosques must be monitored to make sure that hate is not taught and aggressive behavior toward their host countries is not promoted. If such behavior and speech are detected, the mosques should be closed and the imams arrested or deported.
Thomas doesn't say whether he'd apply his regime of repression, arrest, and deportation to culture-war hate speech that routinely emanates from non-Islamic pulpits. Surely the editorial page of The Tennesssean can find more thoughtful syndicated conservative commentary than this drivel.

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