Wednesday, August 31, 2011
By Cal Thomas
No religion can claim superiority over safety and security. On Tuesday, Rye Playland, an amusement park near New York City temporarily shut down after an altercation erupted with a Muslim group over the park's headgear policy.
Muslim women in a tour group at Playland were reportedly denied access to several rides because they were wearing hijabs – their traditional headscarves, according to FoxNews.com.
The park's deputy commissioner said, "Our headgear policy is designed to protect the safety of patrons and safety is our first concern...This policy was repeatedly articulated to the tour operator, but unfortunately the message did not reach some of the members of his group."
Since the regulations at Playland were established before this incident with Muslim women and their head scarfs, no one can credibly claim they are being used to discriminate against Muslims, especially since park officials claim to have "painstakingly" told the Muslims about the ban.
Because some of them attempted to board the rides anyway, it can't help but raise a question about whether this was another attempt to force us to lower our guard against those Muslims who mean us harm.
As we have seen at airports and other venues, Muslim activists have deliberately tried to create incidents against the government in order to avoid searches and questions about their behavior and conversations.
I'm not saying this was a coordinated effort at Rye Playland to achieve such ends, just that it fits a pattern of what we have seen since 9/11.
Respect is a two-way street. Muslims have more rights in America than in the countries from which many of them come. If Americans visit those countries they are expected to abide by the laws and religious rules. A similar amount of respect and adherence to our laws and rules should also be expected.
Cal Thomas is America's most widely syndicated newspaper columnist.
Posted by Ben Franklin at 2:56 PM