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No one, including God, said life was easy

by effenheimer at 02:48 PM on May 31, 2003

Remember that kid in “American Beauty” who said “Sometimes there’s so much beauty in the world I feel like I can’t take it – like my heart’s going to cave in,” do you? I feel just like that except “Sometimes there’s so much stupidity in the world I feel like I can’t take it – like my heads gonna pop clean off and explode in a cloud of pink mist.”
A Muslim woman in Florida, Sultaana Freeman, is suing the state of Florida because they revoked her driver’s license. They revoked her driver’s license because in her photo she was veiled head to toe in a burka and refused to replace the picture with one showing her face. The only thing visible is about a two-inch strip across the eyes.
Freeman’s argument is that the state is violating her right to religious freedom because a photograph of her naked face would violate the Quran ... according to her interpretation. Of course, according to some interpretations of the Quran, Freeman shouldn’t be driving a car in the first place so ...
I am also guessing that in some parts of the world where more extreme forms of Islam are practiced, women don’t have access to the courts either and are supposed to let their fathers and husbands do their fighting for them, but religion is all about cherry picking I suppose.
This is not a violation of religious freedom so much as it is a conflict of interest and that is all on Freeman. Many people have some pretty wacky ideas stemming from their religious beliefs. Can we be honest about that? Polygamy, statutory rape, pre-arranged marriages, no buttons, no electricity, blood sacrifice, levitation and so on. Many beliefs come into conflict with the larger culture and the state. The United States has gone back and forth on religious tolerance. We used to burn “witches,” we’ve outlawed long hair and earrings for men, we dogged Mormons for years and killed Ghost Dancers.
Today, we are pretty accommodating no matter what school prayer advocates say. We can believe whatever we want, we just can’ always do it anywhere we want. If you want to believe the world rests on the back of an enormous elephant riding the back of an even bigger turtle swimming in an infinite sea then go for it.
God is great and he may well have created the universe but the roadways are clearly created by and under the dominion of man. If the law says you have to have a picture I.D. to operate a car on publicly funded roads then that’s it and I think God supports that.
If you can’t abide by that, then your religion is what is keeping you from driving, not the state. If you believe something isn’t quite right with that, then it isn’t the state that’s wrong, but your religious doctrine. Q.E.D.

comments (6)

I hear you. Been following that case too. Pretty sure she is toast in her lawsuit. But I can relate in an odd way because I didn't want my picture on the Net for entirely different reasons. The people who visit here didn't like the burqa shot, so it had to go.

You're right though, having a driver's license is a privilege not a right. And with privileges come sacrifice. Unless she's really a dog, that is. Then leave the veil on.

by anna at May 31, 2003 4:03 PM

I totally agree with you Eff-being licensed to drive is a privilege, not a right and has nothing to do with religion. I heard that the ACLU is supporting her, which is really disappointing.

Anna-why did you not want to have your picture on the site?

by Shannon at June 1, 2003 6:20 PM

'cause then everyone would have known right off that (s)he was actually (m)Anna, of course.

by JC at June 2, 2003 3:15 PM


oh, funny day on badsam.

by Linz at June 2, 2003 4:48 PM

Because I am afraid it will wind up on some naked body circulating across the Web. BTW, the chick did lose her case. They got swift justice down there in FLA, unlike CA. Are they ever planning on dealing w/ Robert Blake or even arresting Phil Spector?

by anna at June 6, 2003 6:12 PM

i am an ACLU supporter and I do understand why they take these cases but once in a while, I wish they would pass a few of these turds up in favor of something a bit more worth while. I think this chick, this american born woman, is trying to make a big deal out of nothing. its more of a protest. there has not been any other reported case of a muslim woman in the same position so obviously they either decided not to drive or had the picture taken with only women around or by the consent of the husband. and still, every time i've seen this woman now, her husband is by her side and SHE is doing all the talking. how damn traditional is this family if she is blabbling her big american mouth while her husband looks like a punk ass bitch sitting next to her keeping quiet?

by eff at June 9, 2003 7:58 PM

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