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I Am Not a Muslim. I Am Not a Public Sector Worker.

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WISCONSIN PROTESTS

I am not a Muslim. And I am not a public sector worker.

In fact, most Americans are not Muslim. And most Americans do not work for our government.

So, like any minority, they're easy to pick on.

Who's gonna mind?

Thomas Jefferson and James Monroe would. It was Jefferson who said the Constitution needed a bill of rights; and it was Monroe who wrote it.

"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievance"

It's all right there. Even NPR and free press. Guiding principles of a nation founded explicitly to promise religious freedom and diversity and to help workers escape the un-checked tyranny of monarchy or monarchy-like corporations.

That original Tea Party? Colonists were protesting that, without their say-so, a tax was being levied on them to bail out the British East India Corporation. They spoke out, they peaceably assembled, they petitioned Government for a redress of grievance -- the same American tradition carried on by public school teachers and firefighters protesting in Wisconsin today. Protesting, just like the first Americans, not because they want to destroy the country but because they want to make it better.

The same reason the vast majority of American Muslims call this nation their home. Not only because they seek the religious freedom promised by the Bill of Rights but because they believe in the uniquely American idea that what forges a nation isn't skin color or religion or even national origin but a shared love of opportunity and a commitment to make that opportunity as equally accessible as possible.

Stripping public workers of their right to peaceably assemble as a union and conducting Congressional hearings that tarnish all American Muslims as potential extremists is fundamentally and obscenely un-America.

I am not a Muslim. And I am not a public sector worker. But I am an American and I stand with Jefferson, Monroe and all my countrymen and women who have come after them seeking and sustaining freedom and justice.