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  1. #1
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    Default Do Crosses at Catholic University Violate “Human Rights” of Muslims?

    The Washington, D.C. Office of Human Rights confirmed that it is investigating allegations that Catholic University violated the human rights of Muslim students by not allowing them to form a Muslim student group and by not providing them rooms without Christian symbols for their daily prayers.

    The investigation alleges that Muslim students “must perform their prayers surrounded by symbols of Catholicism – e.g., a wooden crucifix, paintings of Jesus, pictures of priests and theologians which many Muslim students find inappropriate.”

    A spokesperson for the Office of Human Rights told Fox News they had received a 60-page complaint against the private university. The investigation, they said, could take as long a six months.

    The complaint was filed by John Banzhaf, an attorney and professor at George Washington University Law School. Banzhaf has been involved in previous litigation against the school involving the same-sex residence halls. He also alleged in his complaint involving Muslim students that women at the university were being discriminated against.

    Banzhaf said some Muslim students were particularly offended because they had to meditate in the school’s chapels “and at the cathedral that looms over the entire campus – the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception.”

    “It shouldn’t be too difficult somewhere on the campus for the university 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,” he told Fox News.

    A spokesman for Catholic University released a statement to Fox News indicating they had not seen any legal filings — but would respond once they do.

    “Our faithfulness to our Catholic tradition has also made us a welcome home to students of other religions,” said Victor Nakas, associate vice president for public affairs. “No students have registered complaints about the exercise of their religions on our campus.”

    In a 2010 interview with National Public Radio, university president John Garvey acknowledged that they don’t set aside prayer rooms for Muslim students.

    “We make classrooms available, or our chapels are places where they can pray,” he told NPR. “We don’t offer Halal meat, although there are always meals that conform to Halal regulations, that allow students to do what they want.”

    Banzhaf said that it is technically not illegal for Catholic University to refuse to provide rooms devoid of religious icons.

    “It may not be illegal, but it suggests they are acting improperly and probably with malice,” he said. “They do have to pray five times a day, they have to look around for empty classrooms and to be sitting there trying to do Muslim prayers with a big cross looking down or a picture of Jesus or a picture of the Pope is not very conductive to their religion.”

    As for the creation of a Muslim student group, Banzhaf said the university has an association of Jewish students – so why not a Muslim group?

    “I think they are entitled as a matter of law to be able to form a Muslim student association and to have the same privileges as associations,” he said. “I think that most of them would much prefer to have a place to pray – that they are not surrounded by various Catholic symbols – a place that is more conductive to their religious beliefs than being surrounded by pictures of Popes.”

    Garvey, in his 2010 interview with NPR, addressed that issue.

    “It’s just not something that we view as an activity that we want to sponsor because we’re a Catholic institution rather than Muslim,” he said.

    Patrick Reilly, the president of the Cardinal Newman Society, an organization that promotes Catholic identity among Catholic schools, seemed stunned by the complaint.

    “I don’t know what the attorney wants them to do – if he wants them to actually move the Basilica or if the Muslim students can find someplace where they don’t have to look at it,” he told Fox News.

    Catholic University, he said, is a Catholic institution.

    “One wouldn’t expect a Jewish institution to be responsible for providing liturgical opportunities for other faiths and I wouldn’t expect a Catholic institution to do that,” he said.

    “This attorney is really turning civil rights on its head,” he 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.”
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  2. #2
    Summer Nights in Cabo SNIC's Avatar
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    The college I am going to is a Christian college. That is not why I chose the school but rather they offer the degree I want in the time that I want to finish it.

    Just so happens most of my professors pray at the beginning of each class. Should anyone attending be mad? I don't think so. When they signed up, they new they were attending a Christian college.

    I think people need to either be tolerant of an establishment's rules and traditions when they join up, or they just need to find another place to do their thing.
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  3. #3
    Atomic Punk LLFHS's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by h*bunter View Post
    The Washington, D.C. Office of Human Rights confirmed that it is investigating allegations that Catholic University violated the human rights of Muslim students by not allowing them to form a Muslim student group and by not providing them rooms without Christian symbols for their daily prayers.

    This is like going to Spearmint Rhino and complaining about the nipples.
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  4. #4
    carpe damn diem billy007's Avatar
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    This is absurd. "Uh, do you think Catholic University could be less, I don't know, Catholic?"

  5. #5
    Forum Frontman It's Mike's Avatar
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    this is a weird story, they're in a university, are you telling me there's not another room they could have booked for their prayers? Why give them the chapel? No shit there is gonna be Catholic symbols in the f-ing chapel. There's more to this story to be sure. I'm thinking that the young republican party wasn't given the chapel as their meeting space.

  6. #6
    ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ Number 47's Avatar
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    Earth would be such a nice place to live without all that silly religion stuff.

  7. #7
    Atomic Punk LLFHS's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Number 47 View Post
    Earth would be such a nice place to live without all that silly religion stuff.
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    Eruption nicholas_kudochop's Avatar
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    Gee... how about Muslims NOT go to Catholic college in the first place? If they choose to, they should be smart enough to know they're going to a CATHOLIC school and they're probably going to be offended. Same thing goes for Catholics going to a Muslim school.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by SNIC

    I think people need to either be tolerant of an establishment's rules and traditions when they join up, or they just need to find another place to do their thing.
    +

    Quote Originally Posted by nicholas_kudochop View Post

    Gee... how about Muslims NOT go to Catholic college in the first place?
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  10. #10
    Emperor of VHLinks.com Brett's Avatar
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    Um this is ridiculously stupid. Don't go there then, it's a Catholic college.
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  11. #11
    Atomic Punk LLFHS's Avatar
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    I was planning to go to Sizzler and ask what vegan dishes they had. I hope they will not cook anything I want on anything that has had meat prepared on or near it. In fact, I will insist they sterilize the entire kitchen before making my meal.

    I'm prepared to sue if not.
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  12. #12
    Gird your loins Daisy Hill's Avatar
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    I don't think so, but trying to force a Catholic institution to remove crosses WOULD be a violation of their civil rights....Catholics hold their church imagery very dear

    let the muslim students find another place to pray off campus if the campus that they chose does not meet their needs.

    or matriculate themselves over to another school...it's not like Catholic University is the only school in town

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  13. #13
    Forum Frontman It's Mike's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Daisy Hill View Post
    I don't think so, but trying to force a Catholic institution to remove crosses WOULD be a violation of their civil rights....Catholics hold their church imagery very dear

    let the muslim students find another place to pray off campus if the campus that they chose does not meet their needs.

    or matriculate themselves over to another school...it's not like Catholic University is the only school in town
    Daisy,

    but they're not asking for them to take them down. This is an issue of the school not providing a meeting room (besides the chapel) for Muslim prayers. It's perfectly possible that a room just isn't available (except the chapel) but i'm doubting this is the case.

    It's also possible that this is a group of a few kids just looking to cause shit when they could just as easily book a meeting place in the school library for prayers. Not nearly enough info in this article. But as a Catholic who went to Catholic school for most of his life, I can you tell you that not all the students are Catholic, and not every room has a cross in it.

    I really think there's no reason for cases like this to be dealt with in house. No reason for this shit to get to the courts.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Number 47 View Post
    Earth would be such a nice place to live without all that silly religion stuff.
    This.

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  15. #15
    Atomic Punk Dave's Dreidel's Avatar
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    Default

    I am not tolerant of Muslims.

    It's a fucking CATHOLIC University. Holy shit, there are crosses there? I had no idea!

    Fuck'em.
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