What Are D.C. Police Doing Enforcing Shariah Law?
There are precious little differences between the sit-in cases of the 1960s and the Muslim sit-in cases. We knew, in the 1960s, that the Equal Protection Clause forbids discrimination based on color. We know now that the Equal Protection Clause forbids discrimination based on gender. We know that the lunch counters were open to anyone who wanted to eat, except blacks, or blacks had to sit at a special section. We know that the mosque is open to anyone who wants to worship God, except that women must sit at special places -- sort of like “back of the bus.”
And we know that the discrimination based on race or sex could not exist without the help of the local police. The question is why the D.C. police -- who have real crime to worry about -- are spending their time and taxpayer dollars to enforce sharia law.
Our First Amendment protects the right of people to believe whatever they want to believe. But there are limits to how they can act on their beliefs. For example, a religion may believe that racial segregation is God’s way. They can believe that, but the state cannot aid that belief by, for example, giving federally subsidized loans to colleges that discriminate on the basis of race. The people of Washington, D.C., should not be enforcing shariah law.