Friday, July 27, 2007

What! Religion in Schools? I'm Outraged! Oh, It's Okay; It's Only Islam.

The issue is preferential treatment, displaying an aggressive and uninterrupted disdain for Christianity while accommodating (even promoting) other religions. In this case, it's Islam.

The University of Michigan at Dearborn is planning to build foot baths for Muslim students who wash their feet before prayer. An elementary school in San Diego created an extra recess period for Muslim pupils to pray. At George Mason University in Fairfax, Va., Muslim students using a "meditation space" laid out Muslim prayer rugs and separated men and women in accordance with their Islamic beliefs.

Critics see a double standard and an organized attempt to push public conformance with Islamic law.
"What (school officials) are doing … is to give Muslim students religious benefits that they do not give any other religion right now," says Richard Thompson, president and chief counsel at the Thomas More Law Center, an advocacy group for Christians.

But then, the USA Today report goes on to assure the reader that Barry Lynn of Americans United for the Separation of Church and State isn't really too bothered by this unfairness. Ditto for the American Civil Liberties Union. The ACLU's take? "Overt religious symbols like crucifixes are not legal, but whether Muslim foot baths and prayer rugs fall into that category is not clear." Of course not. Lynn and the ACLU only get in a dither when it is Christianity that is being tolerated.