Muslims’ civil rights are being violated by the Catholic University of America’s prominent display of crosses and other signs of the Catholic faith, according to a complaint filed with the Washington, D.C., Office of Human Rights.
The instigator in this case is George Washington University GWU Law School Professor John Banzhaf, who says in his 60-page complaint that Catholic University is acting “probably with malice” and that all the Catholic imagery interferes with Muslims’ prayers.
Catholic University officials told BeliefNet they were surprised by the filing because they have never received a complaint from any of the university’s Muslim students.
Banzhaf’s complaint continues on to say that the university does not give Muslims their own prayer room and that they are forced to use rooms with assorted Catholic images.
Banzhaf also has a current lawsuit against the university over ending its co-ed dorms.
The university “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,” according to the complaint.
Banzhaf then goes on to grouse about the cathedral that is the central focus of the campus, the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception.
Patrick O’Reilly of the Cardinal Newman Society said, “He’s using the law for his own discrimination against the Catholic institution and essentially saying Catholic University cannot operate according to Catholic principles.”
This sort of thing seems to be par for the course these days.
Usually it’s the Freedom From Religion Foundation or some other atheist group stirring up this sort of trouble, but Banzhaf is a longtime “public interest” activist lawyer who’s history of lawsuits is all over the map, from smoking to childhood obesity.
But we’re living in an age when Christians are regularly told they can’t pray or practice their faith in public, even to the point of military chaplains being told they can’t invoke Jesus’ name. Considering recent “human rights” rulings against Christian bakers and such just for exercising their own rights, I wouldn’t hold my breath for this complaint to be dismissed.
The human rights office is “investigating” whether the university’s crosses and other Catholic paraphernalia violate Muslim rights. Wonder if they’ll ever get around to investigating whether this sort of religious harassment violates Catholics’ rights?