May 22, 2019

Americans Are Uncomfortable with Public Religion

“”Think about it,” Fox News host Jeanine Pirro asked viewers of her Saturday night show: Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) “wears a hijab, which, according to the Quran, 33:59, tells women to cover so they won’t get molested. Is her adherence to this Islamic doctrine indicative of her adherence to Sharia law, which in itself is antithetical to the United States Constitution?”

Pirro’s remarks drew prompt uproar, including among her colleagues at Fox. The network issued a statement of emphatic condemnation, and Pirro herself shared a weaselly non-apology. “I’ve seen a lot of comments about my opening statement from Saturday night’s show and I did not call Rep. Omar un-American,” she said. “My intention was to ask a question and start a debate, but of course because one is Muslim does not mean you don’t support the Constitution.”

The implication of conflict between Islam and the Constitution was indisputably part of Pirro’s original rant, but she’s right she never made the claim explicit. Her suggestion was a little narrower: Anyone who is devoutly Muslim enough to wear a hijab probably isn’t a good American. Be Muslim, sure, Pirro’s words allow, but keep it out of sight. If you’re bringing it into the public square — if you’re making us remember it every time we look at you — well, that’s a little much.”

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