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Lawyer sues over “offensive” Christian images at Catholic University — UPDATED

Deacon Greg Kandra - published on 10/28/11

Those images include things like the cross.

Details:

Crosses in every room at Washingon D.C.’s Catholic University of America are a human rights violation that prevent Muslim students from praying. That’s the complaint to the Washington, D.C. Office of Human Rights filed by a professor from rival George Washington University across town. GWU Law School Professor John Banzhaf takes the Catholic institution to task for acting “probably with malice” against Muslim students in a 60-page complaint that cites ”offensive” Catholic imagery all over the Catholic school, which he says hinder Muslims from praying. Baffled Catholic University officials say they have never received a complaint from any of the schools Muslim students. Banzhaf, who already has a pending lawsuit against the university over ending its policy of allowing mixed-gender dormitories and has a history of filing civil rights suits on such topics as childhood obesity and smoking, filed the complaint alleging that Muslim students are not given their own prayer rooms. He alleges that the university, “does not provide space – as other universities do – for the many daily prayers Muslim students must make, forcing them instead to find temporarily empty classrooms where they are often surrounded by Catholic symbols which are incongruous to their religion,” according to the Tower, Catholic University’s student newspaper. The complaint further objects that Muslims must pray at the school’s chapels “and at the cathedral that looms over the entire campus – the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception.” A spokesperson for the human rights office said they are investigating Banzhaf’s complaint — and the inquiry could take as long as six months.

Read more.

And you can find more, too, at the CUA newspaper The Tower.

UPDATE: The Anchoress has an excellent overview of this story from a variety of angles.  Check it out.

UPDATE II: Rod Dreher puts it succinctly:

Let’s not forget that this whole thing was brought about not by Muslim students, but by a cranky law professor trying to make a name for himself. The web is filling up with outrage stories that Muslims are trying to bully Catholic University into accommodating them by suppressing its own Christian identity. Banzhaf is going to bring all kinds of opprobrium down on innocent Muslims, and contribute to religious discord in this country. Great job, jackass. With friends like you, American Muslims don’t need enemies.
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