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August 20, 2007

About Those U of M Footbaths

cropped-seat.jpgI would hope that the "Muslim" footbaths paid for by the university are not just for Muslims, and that Jews and Christians, and anyone else of any other creed, race, or color - may also stop by and wash their feet if they are so inclined. After all, surely the U of M doesn't want to discriminate against Jews, Christians, atheists, etc.....

And, as you might so reasonably inquire, just where is the ACLU on this one. The answer, of course, is quite noticeably silent, as is so aptly pointed out in Sundays' Opinion Journal:

The latest battle of religion in the public square is unfolding in Dearborn, Michigan, a city with one of the highest Muslim populations in the country. At the University of Michigan's local campus, administrators have recently refitted several school bathrooms to include small footbaths in the corner--an accommodation for Muslim students who must perform ritual washing as part of their daily observance. The issue has more than a few of the usual suspects trying to explain their way out of their usual positions on the separation of church and state.

The Detroit chapter of the ACLU has scrambled to find a way to recuse itself from the matter, claiming that the footbaths qualify as secular since they could be used by non-Muslims, and therefore don't cross the group's usual bright church-state line. Further, the ACLU explains, the university's decision to take on the $25,000 expense was motivated primarily "by health and safety" because some students didn't like washing their hands in the sinks after others students had washed their feet. If that hadn't been the case, the group says this religious accommodation would surely have merited greater investigation and criticism.

This is the same ACLU chapter that in 2005 objected to a high-school wrestling coach saying a prayer with his team before meets, calling the action "inherently coercive." And the ACLU of Michigan is already on the defensive for its non-action this time. In a letter explaining its silence regarding university footbaths, the ACLU notes that it "has often come to the defense of other religions when the state has attempted to interfere with their religious expression." The letter even includes a list of cases in which the group has defended Christian clients. Too bad none of the examples prove much of a parallel to the current recusal over state recognition of a religious practice.

Truer to form was the Council on American Islamic Relations, which immediately hollered that objections were all a case of Islamaphobia, and fear that the university was going to become "Islamified." But that's a hard assertion to prove in an America that frequently goes 10 rounds over the sight of a Christmas crèche in the public square. CAIR's invocation of American bigotry has become so reflexive that we wonder if its spinners even bother to rewrite their press releases.

As for Opinion Journal's "opinion" on the subject of University of Michigan's "gesture" to some of its Muslim students, it's likely to surprise you. As for my own opinion, I sort of concur with that of the OJ, only I would strongly suggest that CAIR should pay for it, not the U of M.

On the other hand, I'm trying to think of another religion that has it's representative groups asking for special accomodations and seeking to replace the U.S. constitution with its own laws, forcing America to become the equivalent of being "Jewicized" or "Christianicized," as is the case with the Islamists who seek to Islamicize America.

Looks like they're well on their way toward their objective at the U of M.

As Richard wrote in a previous post at Hyscience in which he quoted Daniel Pipes:

"While Muslim demands to change our history and accomodate their religious sensitivities may seem relatively minor in and of themselves, implying no drastic alterations in existing American arrangements but rather only slight adjustments in our already expansive accommodation of social "diversity," cumulatively, however, by whittling away at the existing order, they would change the country's whole way of life--making Islam a major public presence, ensuring that both the workplace and the educational system accommodate its dictates and strictures, adapting family customs to its code of conduct, winning it a privileged position in American life, and finally imposing its system of law."
As Richard noted in his post, Muslims deserve the same, and no greater, rights and freedoms than all non-Muslims enjoy. However, in no case do they, or any other religious group, deserve more.

Posted by Abdul at August 20, 2007 10:33 AM

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