A Muslim perspective on the Masterpiece Cakeshop case

(RNS) – American Muslims not merely have a stake found in the results of the

Masterpiece Cakeshop Ltd. v. Colorado Human Rights Commission but must take a moral stand on it as well.

The case, which was argued prior to the Supreme Courtroom on Tuesday (Dec. 5), pits freedom of religious beliefs and expression against nondiscrimination regulations. At the center of the case is normally a Colorado bakery owner who in 2012 refused to market a marriage cake to a gay few because of his spiritual conviction that doing so would support gay relationship rights and violate his spiritual beliefs.

The case prior to the Supreme Courtroom considers a “constitutional exemption” – giving the baker permission to violate circumstances anti-discrimination law because not doing so would violate his rights guaranteed him by the First Amendment.

In Tuesday’s arguments, U.S. Solicitor Standard Noel J. Francisco – supporting the baker’s circumstance – offered the analogy of an African-American artist, who he said shouldn’t be compelled to sculpt a cross that would be used by the Ku Klux Klan.

Taking another perspective, Justice Stephen G. Breyer said the court didn’t want to “undermine every single civil rights laws,” while Justice Anthony Kennedy suggested a baker posting an indicator that declared he will not bake wedding ceremony cakes for gay lovers could possibly be “an affront to the gay network.”

For American Muslims – or any other spiritual community, for that matter – this court case will established a legal precedent that could allow any firm that delivers services to the general public to deny those services to particular individuals for any number of reasons based on religious belief.

This interpretation of religious freedom could transform our nation from one where rights are respected and uniformly protected beneath the law to 1 where subgroups are determined for discrimination, isolation and exclusion by those that interpret their religion as the one which calls for differential treatment of others based on their identity, viewpoint or way of life.

In the 1960s, a SC restaurant owner argued that his spiritual beliefs intended he could refuse to serve black customers. In the 1970s and 1980s, academic institutions claimed that they must be permitted to pay women significantly less than males based on the fact that men ought to be the brain of the household. In every these circumstances, the courts ruled that spiritual views do not entitle anybody to discriminate.

As American Muslims, we fully understand that civil legal rights and spiritual freedom are both important to our identities. Muslims continue to face issues in regions of employment, housing and open public accommodations.

Nondiscrimination laws ensure that the state will not take sides with regards to religious beliefs by favoring one spiritual custom over another, and these regulations promote spiritual pluralism by prohibiting religion-based discrimination by exclusive actors. Without these protections, businesses would be legally permitted to discriminate against us and other minorities.

From an Islamic perspective, religion isn’t serving its purpose if human dignity is compromised. Religiously motivated discrimination moves against the Islamic concepts of tolerance and safeguard of individual rights.

While generally there are Muslims who, like some Christians, look at their faith as having a very clear and restricting look at of sexual behavior and identity, Islam will not permit someone to discriminate in providing providers to individuals because they believe or behave in ways counter to one’s knowledge of Islamic teachings. Muslim professionals, for example, cannot and would not even consider denying provider to a person because she or he drinks alcohol, eats pork, commits adultery or has premarital sex.

American Muslims understand that in Islam, the government’s purpose isn’t to impose certain spiritual practices and beliefs on citizens, nor to choose which practices fall within spiritual freedom. Good governance in Islam establishes and protects equality beneath the law and can never determine a “correct” religion versus “wrong” religious beliefs. Current events provide a lot of examples as to why authorities imposition of a particular religious look at does grievous injury to a culture. And there is no shortage of criticism by American Muslims of violations of individual rights in the Muslim environment beneath the guise of spiritual purity.

Impositions of religious sights are considered aberrations of the Islamic belief found in God’s benevolence and the divine dignity inherent atlanta divorce attorneys human being.

American Muslims understand that religious liberty ought to be interpreted with techniques that are equality-enhancing, not equality-denying, and that in order for America’s values of freedom and equality to prevail, our spiritual freedoms cannot arrive at the price tag on another’s civil liberty.

While the court appears to be divided on this case (with Justice Anthony M. Kennedy likely to cast the selecting vote), the perspective for American Muslims ought to be obvious: The Masterpiece Cakeshop plaintiffs have got twisted this is of religious freedom. They have attacked individual dignity. Both in God’s environment and in the United States, a person’s identity cannot be a justification for harassment, harm or discrimination.

(Ilhan Cagri is the senior coverage fellow for spiritual freedom at the Muslim General public Affairs Council.)

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