December 17, 2007

Declining Into Dhimmitude

Let's say that a public college started segregating non-restroom facilities by gender, giving women less resources than men. Add to that the dissemination of literature that instructed women to keep their mouths shut, as public speech by women offends. Top it off with diatribes that demands the shunning of Jews and Christians, and one might see the lawsuit appearing quickly in the rear-view mirror. However, in Minneapolis' Normandale College, it's just another concession to radical Muslims (via Power Line):

A row of chest-high barriers splits the room into sex-segregated sections. In the smaller, enclosed area for women sits a pile of shawls and head-coverings. Literature titled "Hijaab [covering] and Modesty" was prominently placed there, instructing women on proper Islamic behavior.

They should cover their faces and stay at home, it said, and their speech should not "be such that it is heard."

"Enter into Islaam completely and accept all the rulings of Islaam," the tract read in part. "It should not be that you accept what entertains your desires and leave what opposes your desires; this is from the manners of the Jews."

"[T]he Jews and the Christians" are described as "the enemies of Allaah's religion." The document adds: "Remember that you will never succeed while you follow these people."

A poster on the room's door advertised a local lecture on "marriage from an Islamic perspective," with "useful tips for marital harmony from the Prophet's ... life." Other fliers invited students to join the Normandale Islamic Forum, or participate in Ramadan celebrations.

One thing was missing from the meditation room: evidence of any faith but Islam. No Bible, no crucifix, no Torah.

The previous meditation room got closed due to construction, and Normandale apparently decided that the only needs of its student body revolved around Islam. Ralph Anderson, dean of student affairs, declared to Katherine Kersten that the room can be used by anyone -- anyone who wants to meditate among these rather inflexible demands. In fact, a female student got chased out of the room for refusing to take off her shoes and respecting the male-female dividing line erected by the Muslims, with the school's apparent blessing.

How apparent? When Kersten asked Anderson about the incident, he declared that "both sides were probably out of line." Huh? If Anderson insists that the room is open to everyone, why should it have any kind of gender restriction on its use? In fact, why does anyone need to remove shoes to enter? Those restrictions apply in a Muslim mosque, not an American public college facility outside of locker rooms and restrooms.

Returning to the literature in the room, Anderson says he'd remove it if he found it there. Amazingly, the school has heard of these allegations but doesn't see the need to investigate them. Had someone passed around fliers denigrating Muslims as "enemies of the US", the school would have had fits, and the national news media would have dutifully covered it as anti-Muslim hysteria. In this case, however, Anderson apparently lacks the testicular fortitude to enter into that room that's "open to everyone" to see whether the allegations have any truth to them -- probably because he knows he'll have to do something about it if they do.

Muslims should have the use of the meditation room, but so should everyone else. Real multiculturalism means accommodation, not exclusion, and this room exemplifies the latter. Normandale should find an administrator who understands the difference and has the courage to stand up for all students at the college -- and to stand up to one faction determined to impose its bigotry on everyone else.


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» Whatever Happened To Separation Of Mosque And State? from Rhymes With Right
We've got public colleges and universities installing special Muslim footbaths and other accommodations that would never be given to Christians, Jews, or other religious groups. Now we've got one school that has effectively created a mosque in what is ... [Read More]