Muslim students at CUA are raising the bar for sheer chutzpah. A law professor at George Washington University, a Mr. John Banzhaf, has filed charges with the District of Colombia Office of Human Rights (OHR) claiming the Muslim students are being discriminated against because CUA:
“does not provide space – as other universities do – for the many daily prayers Muslim students must make, forcing them instead to find temporarily empty classrooms where they are often surrounded by Catholic symbols which are incongruous to their religion
Cry. Me. A. River.
CUA is the Catholic University of America. It only makes sense that the place would be festooned with various symbols, art, artifacts, and other items that Catholics find meaningful to their faith and helpful in propagating that faith.
The investigation alleges that Muslim students “must perform their prayers surrounded by symbols of Catholicism – e.g., a wooden crucifix, paintings of Jesus, pictures of priests and theologians which many Muslim students find inappropriate.”
Banzhaf said some Muslim students were particularly offended because they had to meditate in the school’s chapels “and at the cathedral that looms over the entire campus – the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception.”
“It shouldn’t be too difficult somewhere on the campus for the university to set aside a small room where Muslims can pray without having to stare up and be looked down upon by a cross of Jesus,” he told Fox News.
I imagine that there might be a closet somewhere that doesn’t have a crucifix hanging on the wall, but knowing Catholics, I wouldn’t bet the ranch on that. As for the Basilica, do they really expect to be able to get away from the absolute center of the school? I’m pretty sure it would be difficult to move it.
I also suppose it might be difficult to be spiritually moved in such a place.
Nope. Not feelin’ the awesome grandeur of God.
Back to our story:
“Denying Muslim students the opportunity for form a student group on campus could hardly be based upon any fundamental Catholic doctrine since Georgetown University not only has such a Muslim student group, but also provides its Muslim students with a separate prayer room and even a Muslim chaplain,” said Banzhaf in that press release.
Maybe they should go to Georgetown, although I have no idea why Georgetown is providing Muslim chaplains.
“It may not be illegal, but it suggests they are acting improperly and probably with malice,” he said. “They do have to pray five times a day, they have to look around for empty classrooms and to be sitting there trying to do Muslim prayers with a big cross looking down or a picture of Jesus or a picture of the Pope is not very conductive to their religion.”
Then why the filing of charges? If they are sufficiently devout in their belief, what matter would it be that the art in the room, as long as it is not pornographic or otherwise obscene, relates to something non-Muslim? This gets to the nut of the issue:
“It’s just not something that we view as an activity that we want to sponsor because we’re a Catholic institution rather than Muslim,” [university president John Garvey] said.
The real problem here is Banzhaf. He’s a crusading lefty nutter lawyer who’s always on the lookout for some cause over which to instigate controversy. He’s already got a complaint filed against CUA for violating wimmins rights by having single-sex residence halls.