Michigan Uni's 'Lovely Touch of Appreciation for Prayer Rituals' of Muslims Only
19 Jun, 2007
- Whoa! Pat Robertson? Separation of Church and State! Footbaths? Is somebody messing with Jefferson’s wall of separation? Yes, someone is and it’s getting to be an old story. This time the culprit is the University of Michigan at Dearborn. They need the footbaths, they say, because their Muslim students have been washing their feet in the sinks. Gosh! Don’t they have sinks at home? Of course, but Muslims have to pray five times a day and they have to wash their bodies, including their feet, before praying or the prayers don’t count. Wow! Christians and Buddhists don’t realize how lucky they are! They can dash off a prayer on the way to the mall or in a crowded classroom before an exam. Sergeant Alvin York, wallowing in mud and dirty as a hog, prayed to God and then went out and shot Germans. It seems to work…why fool with a good system?
Hal Downs, President of the Michigan chapter of Americans United for the Separation of Church and State says the University has a problem—a Separation of Church and State problem. “It’s public money they’re using to pay for this,” he said. “It’s one of those issues that we’re going to be facing more and more in this community.” (The footbaths—or washing stations—will be included in two new bathrooms scheduled for construction in August at the Fairlane Center and University Center buildings. And Jerry Falwell is scarcely in his grave!)
A spokesperson for the University said no taxpayer’s money would be spent. The $25,000 would come from fees students pay for building maintenance. Let’s see—it’s a public building, student fees are being used to maintain public buildings and the fees are not taxes. This is quite a loophole!
The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) blamed Islamaphobia for the ensuing backlash. “This whole think came to light through some right wing Islama-phobic bloggers that want to promulgate the idea that the university is being Islama-fied,” said Dawud Walid, chapter President.
The American Civil Liberties Union says the footbaths have nothing to do with religion—they will be secular footbaths. Anybody can use them—non-Muslims can use them. Sure, and Muslims can use Holy Water fonts, but don’t expect to see them anywhere at UM-Dearborn. And unless Rooster Cogburn needs to water Old Paint in one heck-of-a-hurry no non-Muslim will be using the footbaths and if one should there could be Hell to pay.
But UM-Dearborn was only playing follow-the-leader. Muslim footbaths were installed months ago at Eastern Michigan University and there have been no complaints. Glenna Frank Miller, a spokesperson for Eastern, is quite enthusiastic. “This concept of the foot-wash was coming up fairly regularly for student groups who might want to do a meeting or prayer group in the student center,” she said. “It’s been a lovely touch of appreciation for a prayer ritual that’s just a little different than most of us are used to.”
Prayer ritual? Wha-cha talkin’ about, Willis? CAIR calls the protests Islamaphobic; the ACLU says the footbaths are secular; and UM-Dearborn says no tax money will be used but Ms Miller calls it “a lovely touch of appreciation for a prayer ritual?” Everyone but the ACLU seems to think religion is involved!
Was the request for the footbaths brought to the attention of the Student Government? Was it discussed? What did Rickey and Wally say? Or was it a deal made in the dead of night while the student body slept? The concept was coming up fairly regularly for student groups said Ms Miller. Which student groups…the Muslim Student Association (MSA)? MSA has a chapter at Eastern—maybe a whole book. And they have little respect for the Separation of Church and State. MSA members have raised money for Hamas and Hezbollah, have led demonstrations at Israeli consulates calling for “Death to Israel” and “Death to the Jews,’ have invited neo-Nazis and anti-Semites to speak on college campuses, opposed the Patriot Act, opposed the Free Muslims March Against Terrorism and have had members deported for working with groups with ties to al-Qaeda. Asan Akbar, the lout who tossed a live grenade into a tent filled with sleeping soldier in Kuwait, was a member of the Muslim Student Association before joining the Army. He killed two and wounded fifteen of his ‘buddies.” Fine fellow.
“It’s been a lovely touch of appreciation.” Wasn’t Jefferson’s wall supposed to prevent just that type of mindless, maudlin nonsense? What if a Hindu student, say Dinesh the Ascetic, said he couldn’t relax accept on a bed of nails, would Eastern Michigan call Tim the Tool-man Taylor? Yes—as long as it wasn’t Holy Water or the Ten Commandments. With the educational bureaucracy’s growing hostility toward Christianity, it is more important than ever before to maintain a Separation of Church and State. The Islamic camel has a large nose. The footbaths must go. If Muslim students insist on washing their feet on campus, they can backpack privately purchased portable footbaths. No one will object. Many wonderful models are available. Take a look at these fine products:
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