Well, there David Barton goes again, promoting prejudice against Muslim Americans. The topic of Barton’s Internet radio program on Wednesday: “Los Angeles Resolutions Are Being Passed Giving Muslims Special Favor.”
In December the Los Angeles City Council passed a resolution to “oppose Islamaphobia and repudiate random acts of violence against Muslim Americans.” The resolution noted a “nationwide increase in acts of violence, discrimination and hostility directed at Muslim Americans on the basis of their religious identity.” In fact, the resolution explains, anti-Muslim groups in various states have ignored protections for religious liberty by trying to stop the construction of mosques, and dozens of Islamic houses of worship have been vandalized. Some have even been targeted by arsonists. So LA City Council members decided that they wanted to put their city — with a population that speaks 224 languages and includes 600 religious sects — on the record in support of religious liberty for Americans of all faiths:
“[T]he City of Los Angeles’ commitment to pluralism and to the free exercise of religion are the cornerstone of American values that have helped produce one of the most ethnically and religiously diverse and vibrant cities in the world.”
But David Barton — who has argued that the Constitution doesn’t, in fact, protect religious liberty for people of all faiths — seems to have a problem with the city council’s stand.
That’s really no surprise. The president of the right-wing organization WallBuilders, which argues that separation of church and state is a myth, has been a major purveyor of anti-Muslim fear-mongering in recent years. After the 2006 elections, for example, he suggested that perhaps the newly elected Muslim congressman from Minnesota — and all other Muslims, we suppose — should be judged based on the actions of Muslim terrorists and other extremists who hate America. Barton has also used his Internet radio program to help others promote anti-Muslim bigotry — see, for example, here and here.
So now Barton is targeting the Los Angeles City Council for taking a stand against the very bigotry he is aiding. Well, doesn’t that beat all. And remember: ideologues on the State Board of Education gave him a prominent role in revising — and politicizing — social studies curriculum standards for our children’s public schools.