Minnesota: The Muslim Frontline

Is it me, or is Minnesota some kind of flashpoint for Muslim conflict? There were the Muslim taxi drivers refusing to carry alcohol, there were the six Muslim imams booted off a U.S. Airways flight, there was the charter school allegedly teaching Islam and now we’ve got Muslim tortilla workers fired for dress code violations.

Freedom of religion is turning into a frontline battle in Minnesota. What I find so perplexing is the double standard Muslims seem to face. Once upon a time Christians were in the same boat.

So far the Star Trib article covering the tortilla caper has 536 comments (though I urge you not read them—a newspaper article with comments is kind of stupid; it’s not quite the same as a personal blog entry). The infuriating comment the Star Trib highlights is bad enough:

Immigrate = Assimilate
“I don’t understand why recent immigrants have refused to embrace the American way of life. Why did you come here if you don’t want to change any of your behaviors? When my relatives came here, they learned to speak English and embraced the norms of American society. You can still love and respect your culture, but to live in American means to be an Americann.”

I’ve always understood being American to mean we have the freedom to live the way we want, not being forced to embrace a certain lifestyle. These kind of ‘Immigrate=Assimilate’ arguments always frustrated me. The initial immigrants to the U.S. (i.e., colonists) hardly assimilated with the natives—they just conquered them. The Native Americans were always the ones learning multiple languages and serving as translators while the Europeans sat idly by with their sole language. Times apparently don’t change.

And apparently we’ve forgotten the lack of assimilation of our forefathers. The church my mom and grandparents grew up in was founded by German immigrants and held German services well into the 20th century, long after everyone got off the boat.

I think the U.S. is quickly reaching a point where the dominant culture is no longer white, Anglo-Saxon, Protestant males, and it’s freaking some people out. Welcome to the minority.

3 thoughts on “Minnesota: The Muslim Frontline”

  1. Kevin, I have appreciated that you have sort of followed this stream of stories.

    I really liked your comment about how the ‘Immigrate=Assimilate’ doesn’t hold so well when we apply it to the colonists.

    I am slightly torn on the tortilla factory issue. I do believe that an employer has the right to maintain dress code policies and that employees have the right to decide to not work at places whose policies they do not like. On the other hand, if I owned a tortilla factory myself, I would totally let Muslims wear what they felt comfortable in (so long as it was safe and didn’t break laws). This is sort of a toughy.

  2. Thanks, Jesse. It is kind of a weird string of issues.

    I’m not even trying to weigh in on the tortilla issue specifically. It’s hard to tell what really happened from the media reports, it’s more of a he said/she said thing. Pretty complicated.

  3. while you contend you aren’t trying to weigh in on the issue, you clearly make your point that you are on the side of the Muslims…

    the reality is, in every single aspect of life, not just in America, everywhere Muslims emmigrate to, they force their way of life on non-Muslims…this is what they are taught, that Islam is superior, and that to change any aspect of their life would be contrary to Islamic beliefs…

    there are numerous websites documenting the daily lawsuits by Muslims in every state in the US, not just MN, for even the most trivial of things…

    look – you want to work, abide by the dress code…plain and simple

    if you knew more about Islam and how it treats non-muslims you’d have a much better understanding of their resistance to assimilation and their desire to replace the Constitution with sharia law…

    really should read up on the totality of events before glossing over a subject

    fyi – it’s not a new trend…500+ years ago today muslims conquered Constantinople…the jihad continues now in America

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