Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Muslim Foot Baths Finally Getting Noticed

As of 1:30 today the online poll at the Detroit News Online was running 92.56% to 2.84% against Michigan universities providing foot baths to encourage Muslim prayer rituals.

And to think Detroit’s newspapers had been ignoring this (until today) because it wasn’t controversial--or even news. I’d say comments running 93 to 3 against qualify as controversial. (“College's foot bath plans spark backlash").

DU has been talking about this for weeks. ("UM-Dearborn Teaches How One Foot Washes the Other"; Oh, That Wudu That You Do").

According to the Detroit News, over at Eastern Michigan University they’ve already built foot baths in the student union. EMU student union director Glenna Frank Miller said no one there raised any objections.

Ms. Frank Miller’s remarks are instructive:

"This concept of the foot-wash was coming up fairly regularly for student groups who might want to do a meeting or prayer group in the student center," she said. "It's been a lovely touch of appreciation for a prayer ritual that's just a little different than what most of us are used to."

A lovely touch of appreciation for a prayer ritual?

I have to assume Ms. Frank Miller is not a student of the history of "prayer rituals" in public schools, and their progressive legal banishment from classrooms and campuses since 1960 or so.

And the local ACLU thinks it's prefectly all right, too, "'arguing the foot baths are secular since non-Muslims could use them', said spokeswoman Rana Elmir."

When was the last time your local public school or college shelled out dough to show "a lovely touch of appreciation," let alone toleration, for the prayer rituals of Christians, Jews, or any other religious practitioners? Or even toleration for their religious symbols being displayed on campus?

Never, you say?

Then c'mon to Dearborn. We've got our own way of doing things here.

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