Oh yeah, it's just about parking:
Islam is suddenly on trial in a booming Nashville suburb, where opponents of a new mosque have spent six days in court trying to link it to what they claim is a conspiracy to take over America by imposing restrictive religious rule.
The hearing is supposed to be about whether Rutherford County officials violated Tennessee's open meetings law when they approved the mosque's site plan.
Instead, plaintiff's attorney Joe Brandon Jr. has used it as a forum to question whether the world's second-biggest faith even qualifies as a religion, and to push a theory that American Muslims want to replace the Constitution with extremist Islamic law. "Do you want to know about a direct connection between the Islamic Center and Shariah law, a.k.a. terrorism?" Brandon asked one witness in a typical line of questioning.
At one point, he asked whether Rutherford County Commissioner Gary Farley supported hanging a whip in his house as a warning to his wife and then beating her with it, something Brandon claimed was part of "Shariah religion."
The commissioner protested that he would never beat his wife.
County attorney Jim Cope objected to the question, saying, "This is a circus."
The magistrate conducting the trial is allowing all of this prejudicial, irrelevant testimony in because -- the article speculates -- there is no jury and the judge has the power to simply strike irrelevant evidence in the end and rule based on the relevant facts. If this is true, he's giving the plaintiffs leeway to prove their case so they can't even plausibly claim they haven't had their day in court.
The less-cheerful scenario is that the magistrate really believes the testimony of Frank Gaffney that "Shariah, and by extension the new mosque, poses a threat to America" is actually relevant.
Concerns over the loyalty of ethnic Japanese seemed to stem as much from racial prejudice than evidence of actual malfeasance. Major Karl Bendetsen and Lieutenant General John L. DeWitt, head of the Western Command, each questioned Japanese American loyalty. DeWitt, who administered the internment program, repeatedly told newspapers that "A Jap's a Jap" and testified to Congress,
I don't want any of them [persons of Japanese ancestry] here. They are a dangerous element. There is no way to determine their loyalty... It makes no difference whether he is an American citizen, he is still a Japanese. American citizenship does not necessarily determine loyalty... But we must worry about the Japanese all the time until he is wiped off the map.
DeWitt also sought approval to conduct search and seizure operations aimed at preventing alien Japanese from making radio transmissions to Japanese ships. The Justice Department declined, stating that there was no probable cause to support DeWitt's assertion, as the FBI concluded that there was no security threat. On January 2, the Joint Immigration Committee of the California Legislature sent a manifesto to California newspapers which attacked "the ethnic Japanese," whom it alleged were "totally unassimilable." This manifesto further argued that all people of Japanese heritage were loyal subjects of the Emperor of Japan; Japanese language schools, furthermore, according to the manifesto, were bastions of racism which advanced doctrines of Japanese racial superiority.
[Citations omitted.] So strong was the belief that people of Japanese descent were inherently disloyal, that infants in orphanages who had even "one drop of Japanese blood" were sent to orphanages in the concentration camps.
It's all there: The "we're not racists, they are", the Juan Williams-level belief that "they" are inherently disloyal and unassimilable, the equivalent of "Madrassa" hysteria, the eliminationist rhetoric. The people who hate and fear American Muslims today are the direct inheritors of those who hated and feared Japanese Americans.