Application of the Critical Theory
Civil rights lawsuit against Nation of Islam thrown out
CAMBRIDGE, Massachusetts (AP) -- A lawsuit accusing the Nation of Islam of discrimination for barring women from a public speech by leader Louis Farrakhan was dismissed on Monday.
Judge Regina Quinlan ruled that the First Amendment guarantee of freedom of religion took priority over anti-discrimination laws.
"Freedom of religion and freedom of religious expression, which traditionally will exempt a religion from certain discrimination laws, is applicable here," Quinlan said from the bench.
But Marceline Donaldson, the Cambridge woman who filed the suit, claiming her civil rights were violated, said she was not ready to give up.
"It's unfortunate that you take a case to the court and the court errs. It's got my adrenaline going a little bit and we'll be back," she said.
She sought unspecified damages from Farrakhan, the Nation of Islam, and Muhammad. John Rosenberg, her lawyer, said they were leaning toward appealing the ruling.
Donaldson, who ran an antiques store at the time, closed early to attend the event at Boston's city-owned Strand Theater on March 10, 1994, only to be turned away at the door.
Minister Don Muhammad, head of the Nation of Islam mosque in Boston and one of the defendants in the case, said he was pleased with the decision.
And he said the men-only speech on black-on-black violence had produced positive results.
"I feel vindicated," Muhammad said. "The purpose for the meeting is felt in the streets."
Rosenberg said the case was never about the content of the message being preached, only that the event was in a public building and should have been open to women.
Would this be an example of a "Humanistic Religious Behavior" or an "Authoritarian Religious Behavior"?