Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C., has attracted the criticism of a George Washington University professor, and his reasoning has many pro-religious and conservative commentators fuming.
John Banzhaf, a law professor at GWU, believes that the cross-town university is violating the rights of Muslim students to practice their religion. How, you may be wondering?
By having too many crosses on campus.
BeliefNet quotes an alleged complaint that Banzhaf filed with the Washington D.C. Office of Human Rights. In the document, the website quotes the professor as saying that the Catholic imagery at Catholic University is “offensive” to Islam and that the placement “hinders” Muslim students from praying.
The university said that there have been no formal complaints made by Muslim students.
Doesn’t matter, Banzhaf notes. Catholic University of America “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.”
Banzhaf has been accused in the past of being something of a legal troll, filing complaints on everything from tobacco to obesity.
According to his website, he successfully defended a major legal action, “leading to a requirement that radio and television stations broadcasting cigarette commercials make hundreds of millions of dollars worth of free broadcast time available for antismoking messages.”
The Inquisitr has even reported on his efforts in the past, particularly his attempt to get the FCC to ban the use of the Washington Redskins NFL team name.
Thomas Peters of CatholicVote believes this time Banzhaf is using the law to persecute the Catholic faith.
“Can you imagine a law professor helping Catholic students to sue a Jewish or Muslim school to demand that the schools install crosses, remove their religious symbols, and allow the Catholics to construct a chapel on their property?” he writes.
“Can you imagine the argument being that Jewish and Muslims schools using their religious symbols and following their faith traditions would be described in the legal brief as ‘offensive’?!… Normally I would have confidence that this lawsuit will be deemed without merit, but the way things are going these days, I just can’t be sure anymore. Simply incredible.”
What do you think, readers? Does John Banzhaf have a point? Are too many crosses — even at a place like Catholic University of America — too offensive to Islam to be allowed? Sound off in the comments section.
[Image via Wikipedia Commons]