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 supposedly a non-sectarian "meditation room".
Last week, I visited a Muslim place of worship. A schedule for Islam's five daily prayers was posted at the entrance, near a sign requesting that shoes be removed. Inside, a barrier divided men's and women's prayer space, an arrow informed worshippers of the direction of Mecca, and literature urged women to cover their faces.
Sound like a mosque?
The place I'm describing is the "meditation room" at Normandale Community College, a 9,200-student public institution in Bloomington.
Architectural features have been added to "accommodate" Muslims. Students are directed to follow Muslim practices when they enter the room. The only literature available there is Muslim. There is nothing there that accommodates members of any other faith group. And what's more, attempts by members of other religious traditions to use the facility have been met with acts of bigotry and intolerance from Muslim students.
Confrontations also erupted in the sex-segregated meditation room, according to Lunaas. "Muslim students just took it over. They made people who were not of the Muslim religion feel very uncomfortable, especially if they were female."
One female student tried to use the room when Muslim students were in it, said Lunaas. "She believed she should be treated equally. They were telling her to leave, to take off her shoes, to go to the other side of the divider."
The response of college officials?
[Dean of Student Affairs Ralph] Anderson said that in the incident involving the young woman, "both sides were probably out of line."
Both sides were probably out of line? How, exactly, was the young woman out of line? By trying to make use of a university provided facility? By refusing to follow a religious tradition not her own? While I am sure that there is significantly more to the story than we are told in this commentary piece, it seems pretty clear that refusing to abide by demands that she not use the space as an equal and in a manner that is in accord with her religious tradition is not "out of line". And if Anderson believes the young woman was "out of line" for making a forthright, and perhaps even heated, defense of her right to not be treated as a second-class citizen in a public space on a public college campus where she is a student, I think it is fair to say that the college is out of line in employing him in any capacity.
But then again, perhaps the reality is that we have reached an Orwellian situation where certain animals are more equal than others. And rather than the communist pigs of Animal Farm being more equal than the rest, perhaps at Normandale Community College we are dealing with Muslim pigs seeking to dhimmify the other animals on campus.