Huffington Post reports: Reps. Keith Ellison (D-Minn.) and André Carson (D-Ind.) sent a letter to Attorney General Loretta Lynch on Thursday requesting a Justice Department investigation on whether armed protests outside a mosque in Phoenix violated the worshippers’ First Amendment-guaranteed freedom to practice religion.
“The decision to bring assault weapons to the mosque demonstrates intent to create a hostile environment to intimidate worshipers, a clear attempt to infringe on the First Amendment rights of the worshipers [sic],” the letter reads.
Last Friday, a biker gang of about 250 armed protesters, carrying assault rifles, pistols, American flags and depictions of the Prophet Muhammad assembled outside of the Islamic Community Center of Phoenix. The mosque had previously been attended by the two gunmen from Phoenix who opened gunfire on an anti-Islam event featuring a controversial “Draw Muhammad” contest in Garland, Texas, in May.
“True Islam is terrorism,” Ritzheimer told CNN last week.
Ellison and Carson, the only two Muslims in Congress, allege that the armed protests could also be a violation of the Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances Act, a bill passed in 1994. The law, they note, outlaws “‘attempts to injure, intimidate or interfere with any person lawfully exercising or seeking to exercise the First Amendment right of religious freedom at a place of religious worship.'” [Continue reading…]