The Constitution prohibits the establishment of religion, that is, picking one Christian denomination and making it the official church of the United States. An “established” religion enjoys special favors and special legal protections that no other faith enjoys. People of non-established faiths are subject to punishment from authorities. From my vantage point, Islam has now become the defacto, established religion of the U.S. Muslims enjoy protections and privileges that Christians do not.
For instance, last August 25, Iranian immigrant Pastor Ramin Parsa was in the Mall of America when two Somali Muslim women approached him, intrigued by his Iranian accent. They asked him where he was from, and whether he was a Muslim. Pastor Parsa explained that while he used to be a Muslim, he was no longer, and began to explain why. The conversation was friendly, and the two Muslim women were engaged.
As Ramin put it in his own words, “the conversation led to whether I’m a Muslim or not and I said I use to be a Muslim but I converted to Christianity. They asked me why? What happened? Why did you change? I told them after I heard that Jesus died for me and rose again, I gave my heart to Him.”
But another Muslim woman who was passing by overheard Pastor Parsa utter the blasphemous words “Jesus Christ” and flew into a rage, ordering the two Muslimas to stop listening to Ramin. She then hunted down some mall cops, and complained that a Christian man was “harassing” two Muslim women. The cops came over, busted up the quiet, personal and friendly conversation and brought it to an abrupt end.
The two Muslim women, however, kicked up a bit of a fuss, complaining to the mall cops that Ramin was not harassing them and that they were enjoying their conversation with him and wanted to continue it. But the Dirty Harry wannabes told Ramin that he was not allowed to discuss “religion” anywhere in the mall. When he told the mall cops that he was a pastor, “They told me,” said Ramin, “We’ve arrested pastors before, It was something normal for them, they were used to it.”
Ramin and his two companions repaired to a nearby Starbucks. When they came out, they found a posse of mall cops waiting. They told him to either leave the mall or he would be arrested. A bewildered Ramin asked, “What have I done now?” At that point he was handcuffed, hustled down into the bowels of the mall, cuffed by both hands to a bolted-down steel chair, and interrogated for two hours. He was not allowed water, food, or even access to a bathroom for hours. You may be forgiven for thinking this sounds more like the KGB and Russia than a mall in America.
Ramin was never told why he’d been detained, was not allowed to call anyone, and was never informed of any rights he might have.
“They began to file a report and they wanted to take my picture. I said, ‘You cannot take my picture — you arrested me wrongfully,’” said Ramin. “They said, ‘Then you’re going to stay here longer.’”
Hours later the real cops showed up, took him to a downtown jail, got his mugshot and fingerprints without reading him his Miranda rights, and charged him with “illegal soliciting” and “criminal trespass.” He had to dig $78 out of his own wallet to post bail at two in the morning.
It took Ramin seven months to get clear of the criminal charges against him. All charges against him were finally dropped on March 7. It might not be his last day in court – he’s got a great case against the mall for “unlawful imprisonment,” and I for one hope he pursues it.
It’s worth noting that when he converted to Christ in Iran, he was interrogated and tortured for his apostasy. Said Ramin, “I wouldn’t imagine something like this would happen in America.”
He added, “I came to the U.S. as a political and religious — as a Christian — refugee. These things might happen in other countries, oppressive dictatorships, but not in America.”
When he became a Christ-follower in Iran, he fled to Turkey for two years, where he got arrested for passing Bibles. He finally made it to America. “With tears in my eyes, I was so thankful to be in America, where I can express myself, nobody can stop me or oppress me for my faith… and then this happened to me,” Parsa said.
“It seems like the only people who can be bullied are the Christians,” Parsa said, noting that if the constant mockery aimed at Christians were to be redirected toward Muslims, “it would be an outrage.” He wondered why the LGBT activists do not request same-sex wedding cakes from Muslim bakeries. “In Muslim countries, they kill the gays. They throw them off the building. I saw with my own eyes, people being executed.”
“Christians are being persecuted and bullied, and nobody says anything to defend them.”
Parsa returned to Minnesota for his court hearing, and spoke at the Minnesota Capitol during a prayer rally held in support of him. “I’ve been through this before in other countries,” he said during the rally. “The only thing that made me sad is that it happened in America, a nation I love with all my heart. This should not be happening in this country.”
Jeannine Pirro was thrown under the train by Fox News this week for daring to speak the truth about Islam. I and numerous others have been suspended by Twitter for telling the truth about Islam. Islam is now the only religion in America that cannot be criticized except under threat of punishment, exactly what happens in the 57 Muslim countries around the world.
We do have a de facto established religion in America, and it’s not Christianity. Its name is Islam.
(Unless otherwise noted, the opinions expressed are the author’s and do not necessarily reflect the views of the American Family Association or American Family Radio.)
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