Monday, August 13, 2007

Be Fair

As I was scanning the news this morning, I came across this story from the New York Times. The gist of the story is that the University of Michigan-Dearborn has decided to install some footbaths across campus. They decided to do this because they have a rather significant Muslim student population (more than 10%). Part of the five-times-a-day prayer ritual Muslims preform involves the washing of feet. Muslim students had been using sinks, which resulted in puddles on the floor and damaged fixtures. So the University plans to install these footbaths to make things easier for Muslims and to deal with the puddles and damages.

This prompted a degree of outrage from some people in the area, who decried the "Islamification" of the University. They argue that the installation of these footbaths would be an unconstitutional governmental support of a religion. I just have one question for these people: Would you have a problem with a university building a chapel on campus? Because nearly every university I've ever been to has had one. It's usually small and off the side somewhere, but it's there. If the installation of a few footbaths is unconstitutional, what about these chapels? Do you think we should tear them down?

Oh, and one more thing, a few footbaths do not mean the "Islamification" of the university! Quit over-reacting and get on with your lives!

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