Sunday, August 05, 2007

Off Topic: A Double Standard Conceived in Fear

A One News Now article entitled Muslims benefiting from double standard, says Christian law firm, reveals a disturbing, but not not very surprising, trend in America. Muslims are being accomodated by public school and university officials who have agreed to policies facilitating Islamic prayers and other religious practices. This has happened despite multiple U.S. Supreme Court rulings forbidding schools from adopting these same policies toward Christian groups asking for similar accomodations.

Before proceeding further I want to note that this post is not an attempt to align Christians with the victim mentality operating within the United States. I have reservations about legal interpretations of the establishment clause. I also think misinterpretations of that clause have led to unwise public policies toward religion- particularly Christianity. However there are substantive problems with institutionalizing a legal double standard. It makes a mockery of equal protection for one. It is not in the interest of any society to foster policies that favor one group at the expense of others.

Motives are of particular interest. Liberalism rejoices in diversity. Nothing wrong with that in isolation but if it is truly a constitutional violation for Christians to use public school facilities for religious purposes, then how could it also not be a constitutional violation for Muslims to do the same? The logic of the dual policy approach is so flawed it begs for an explanation.

There are many in America, and Europe too for that matter, who fear Islam. Their fear motivates them to push for policies of accomodation even at the expense of violating their own legal and moral principles. The type of accomodation depicted in the linked article is not a demonstration of understanding or tolerance. Rather it flows from cowardice and nothing good will come of that.


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