Friday, November 04, 2011

Why Does the Crucifix "Provoke" Muslims?

The same "provocation," a crucifix, that prompted Muslim students in the United States to complain about "human rights" abuses at a private Catholic university, prompted Muslims in Egypt to murder a man.

First, the American incident: 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 – such as a wooden crucifix, paintings of Jesus, pictures of priests and theologians which many Muslim students find inappropriate."

Representing the lawsuit is John F. Banzhaf III, a George Washington University professor, whose website boasts that his "enemies" call him a "Legal-Terrorist" and "the Osama bin Laden of Torts." He asserts that Muslim students are "particularly offended" because they have to "meditate" at the school's chapels and cathedral, where they pray while "having to stare up and be looked down upon by a cross of Jesus."

Of course, as a private Christian institution, even Banzhaf admits "that it is technically not illegal for Catholic University to refuse to provide rooms devoid of religious icons." Still, according to this so-called "Legal-Terrorist," that CUA is not submitting to Muslim demands "suggests they are acting improperly and probably with malice."

The reader is left to decide who really is acting "with malice": a private institution operating under private -- in this case, Christian -- principles, or Muslims, who are free to attend non-Christian institutions, "offended" by Christian symbols?

Banzhaf further tried to denigrate CUA by boasting of how neighboring Georgetown University, a nominally "Christian" university, "provides its Muslim students with a separate prayer room and even a Muslim chaplain" -- as if it is not well known that Georgetown's Arab and Islam departments receive much largesse by way of donations from the radical Wahhabis of Saudi Arabia -- who, incidentally, refuse to permit churches, or even a Bible; or, in Mecca and Medina, even people -- whom they call-"Infidels" -- just because they are not Muslim. If that is not apartheid, what is?

Notable, too, is why Muslim students are seeking to create Islamic havens (or enclaves): As one of them put it, "Arab [code for "Muslim"] and American students have a difficult time befriending each other because people naturally gravitate towards others with similar backgrounds and interests." This is, rather, a product of Islam's own doctrine of wala' wa bara', which commands Muslims to be loyal to each other, but to completely disassociate themselves from "infidels."

Conversely, consider Muslim behavior toward Christian symbols, specifically the crucifix, where Muslims are the majority and thus in charge.

It was just revealed that a Christian student in Egypt who refused to obey his Muslim teacher's orders to cover up his cross was strangled and beaten to death by the teacher and fellow students. When the headmaster was informed of the attack, he ignored it and "continued to sip his tea." As usual, Egyptian media, insisting the conflict was "non-sectarian," covered it up.

In the words of the prominent Egyptian columnist Farida El-Shobashy, writing in the independent newspaper Masry Youm: "I was shaken to the bones when I read the news that a teacher forced a student to take off the crucifix he wore, and when the Christian student stood firm for his rights, the teacher quarreled with him, joined by some of the students; he was beastly assaulted until his last breath left him."

Further, the Maspero massacre, in which the Egyptian military killed dozens of demonstrating Christians—including running live Christians over with armored-vehicles—was a product of anti-Christian sentiment: Muslims insisted that a Coptic church be stripped of its dome and cross, so it would not resemble a church; as a Muslim elder put it, "the Cross provokes us and our children." When Christians refused to budge, Muslims destroyed the church. This is what Christians were protesting when the Egyptian military mowed them down to cries of "Allahu Akbar" ["Allah is Greater"].

Where Islam is weak, Muslims, spearheaded by Islamist organizations like Council on American Islamic Relations [CAIR], employ stealth, "terrorist-lawyers," and calls for "human rights" to demand respect for their "human rights;" where Islam is strong or dominant, Muslims simply take action into their own hands to violate the human rights of others. In both cases, the motivation is the same: to suppress all things "infidel" until, in the words of the Quran (2:193), "idolatry is no more and Allah's religion reigns supreme."

This article was written by Raymond Ibrahim on November 2, 2011.  Raymond Ibrahim, an Islam and Middle East specialist, is a Shillman Fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom Center and an Associate Fellow at the Middle East Forum.

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