Â© 2011Appearing the other night on the Catholic network EWTN, I was asked by Raymond Arroyo what should be done about Muslim students at Catholic University demanding that the school provide them with prayer rooms, from which crucifixes and all other Catholic symbols that they found offensive had been removed.
After a nanosecond I replied, "Kick 'em out!"
Let them go to George Washington, the university on the other side of town.
Indeed, had Muslim students shown so little loyalty to a school that welcomed them, and of whose Catholicism they were aware when they entered, expulsion would have been justified.
Looking further into the matter, that was a rush to judgment.
For it seems that not a single Muslim student at CUA had gone to the District of Columbia Office of Human Rights to file a complaint.
That complaint was the work of John Banzhaf, a professor at GW, perennial litigant and longtime contender for the title of National Pest.
In provocative language, Banzhaf told Fox News, "It shouldn't be too difficult to set aside a small room where Muslims can pray without having to stare up and be looked down upon by a cross of Jesus.
"They do have to pray five times a day, and to be sitting there trying to do Muslim prayers with a big cross looking down or a picture or Jesus or a picture of the pope is not very conducive to their religion."
Banzhaf claimed Muslim students had been offended by a suggestion that they meditate in campus chapels "and at the cathedral that looms over the entire campus â€“ the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception."
Yet it is Banzhaf who appears to be the one with a real problem with Jesus, the shrine and Catholicism, not the Muslim students whose numbers at CUA have doubled in five years.
Moreover, Muslims, while disbelieving that Jesus is the Son of God, regard him as the greatest of the prophets before Muhammad, and they revere Mary, the mother of Jesus.
Banzhaf has also filed a complaint with the Office of Human Rights that Catholic University discriminates against women.
How so? CUA President John Garvey had decided to put men and women students into separate dormitories, a crime against humanity.
The Office of Human rights has said that its investigation of Banzhaf's complaints will require six months.
What does this episode tell us?
That there are anti-Catholic bigots whose stock-in-trade is exploiting civil rights laws to smear the church and her institutions, and drive wedges between Catholics and other faiths.
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