Catholic University’s Cross to Bear

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A self-described legal activist has recently filed a complaint with the Washington D.C. Office of Human Rights against the Catholic University of America. He is John Banzhaf, a public interest law professor at George Washington University Law School. Banzhaf’s complaint alleges that Catholic University, a private religious academic institution, is illegally discriminating against its Muslim students by not giving them their own prayer rooms and thus requiring them to pray in rooms adorned with “offensive” Catholic imagery.

The complaint 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.” Moreover, it alleges that for no valid reason the university does not officially sanction a Muslim student group.

Banzhaf told Fox News:

It shouldn’t be too difficult to set aside a small room where Muslims can pray without having to stare up and be looked down upon by a cross of Jesus.

They do have to pray five times a day and to be sitting there trying to do Muslim prayers with a big cross looking down or a picture of Jesus or a picture of the Pope  is not very conductive to their religion.

Banzhaf said that news of a surge during the last several years in Muslim enrollment at Catholic University, reported by the Washington Post in 2010, piqued his curiosity. He decided to look into the university’s treatment of its Muslim students, which he found wanting.

Banzhaf decided to undertake his lawfare jihad against Catholic University on his own initiative, not on behalf of any Muslim students requesting his help. In fact, as it turns out, no Muslim student at Catholic University has registered a complaint with the university about their inability to exercise their religious faith on campus, according to the university’s president. Banzhaf does not deny this, but he proceeded with filing his complaint anyway.

Banzhaf would have been thrown out of federal court if he had chosen that forum to bring his lawsuit, because he lacked standing. That is because he is not filing his complaint as a lawyer representing aggrieved Muslim students at Catholic University, but rather in the capacity of the plaintiff challenging alleged discrimination against Muslim students at a university with which he has no connection.

Thus, Banzhaf chose the path of least resistance. He filed his complaint with the D.C. Office of Human Rights pursuant to the District of Columbia Human Rights Act, one of the strictest anti-discrimination laws in the country. Any person may file with the Office of Human Rights a complaint of a violation of the provisions of the D.C. law, including a complaint of general discrimination, unrelated to a specific person or instance.

Banzhaf’s complaint of illegal discrimination against Catholic University’s Muslim students is meritless. And it is on top of another complaint he brought against the same religious university for its decision to eliminate all co-ed dorms on campus, which seems at variance with his professed concern for Muslim sensibilities.

Yet Catholic University has to waste money responding in writing to the charges, which the D.C. Office of Human Rights will waste taxpayers’ money investigating. Instead, the charges should be dismissed out of hand. Moreover, if found to be as frivolous as they appear to be, all legal costs incurred by Catholic University in defending against the charges should be paid by the public interest professor out of his own pocket.

There is no constitutional or federal law prohibiting a private religious university from operating according to its religious beliefs on ecclesiastical matters and to display its religious icons as it sees fit. In fact, any attempt by the government at any level – federal, state or local – to interfere would very likely constitute an unconstitutional abridgement of the rights of the university under the First Amendment’s protection of the free exercise of religion.

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  • PatriotX

    I’m surprised the ACLU is not in on this. Banzhaf is typical of the type of legal Islamic jihad I’ve commented on before. One of the problems is our nation’s handling of the Constitution. Lefties only use it or make it an issue when it benefits their agenda.

    • intrcptr2

      Actually Banzhaf is way out in front on this one. I recognized the name, so I double-checked; he has made his name, if not his career, through lawfare.
      He was the point man for the entire second-hand smoke campaign, and also has performed his litiguous magic on the issue of sex-segregated restrooms.

      He has, I would argue, taught the Leftist and Muslim communities everything they know about twisting liberal law to their own ends, usually in direct opposition to both popular will and legislative intents.
      Frankly, I despise him, and would enjoy nothing more than spitting in his face.

      This stunt is utterly beyond the pale. Here in Philly we had a similar situation a few months ago concerning a cheesesteak shop whose owner put up a sign which upset certain types…

      After the papers got a hold of the story, it went nowhere.

  • Rifleman

    It's typical of muslims to say they are being oppressed as they try to oppress someone.

    He seems to be trying to determine just how stupid Americans are with his objection to the college doing away with coed dorms, and his objection to pictures and symbols of Christ, when muslims claim he is a muslim prophet when it suits them. His faith and his moon god must be awfully weak if he can't pray in the presence of a picture Christ or the Catholic Pope.

  • Amused

    Uh ..Catholic University …..muslim prayer rooms ? …what's next ? remove all crucifixes ?
    Hmmmmm, ok …but only after Islamic schools allow christian prayer chapels with crucifixes .
    No wait ! just the mention of that would cause riots and possible loss of life and prioperty !
    And by who ? Those intolerant muslims who demanbd we be tolerant of their intolerance .

  • Amused

    If muslim students are finding the crucifixes in a CATHOLIC PRIVATE UNIVERSITY "offensive " , perhaps the very NAME of that school , should be removed and the school renamed , since Catholic= Christian = The Cross . Following their twisted perverted logic , the very name Catholic should "revolt " them ?
    Maybe they should try that in a Yeshiva University ?

  • PatriotX

    I’m a Christian and you know, statues of Buddha or mentioning of Muhammad will not affect how I pray. Why is this an issue?

    Could it be that the cross is a reminder of someone who died for yet even them?….hmmmm….,just speculating. To be oppressed by your own concience is a whole different animal from being oppressed by man made laws or rules.

    • Howard Reed

      That is the huge difference between us (Christians) and them (Muslims). We do not find symbols of their faith offensive as they do ours. What is offensive to the point of confrontation with these 'devil's disciples' is that they use our system of justice and democracy to incrementally establish their caliphate. Over my dead body. Our way of life is worth dying for, or as General Patton would say, "We have to kill more of them than they do of us."

      The Turban Torpedo

  • Big Irish

    why are muslims enrolled in a christian university?…..can someone please answer this?

    • Duperpipo

      Easy to answer…they are trying to infiltrate in order to then claim oppression. This guy beat them to the point.

    • intrcptr2

      Because they recognize that Muslim schools are inferior?

      Quick question for my cyberfriends; how many Muslim universities are there in the US?
      Since they helped fight the revolution!, I would expect they have a long and glorious history of providing comprehensive education like the Quakers, Methodists, Baptists, Catholics, Presbyterians, Mormons!, etc.

      HEY!!! Wait a minute. Do you see that? Amish. The Amish have no universities. They must be terrorists too…

  • oldtimer

    Expel them! Should have never been accepted into a Catholic school in the first place. Typical, of the muslims, destroy from within. Use the countries laws against it. The court should throw this case out! And others frivilous cases that just cost the taxpayers money and tie up the system.

  • Brian Donegal

    A leftwinger howls discrimination when the alleged “victims” say there is none. Another manufactured controversy, another barefaced lie from a lefty. When will it end?

  • Eric G

    It would be fitting to see the Muslims, who apparently enjoy the benefits of Catholic University or they wouldn't be there, file a lawsuit against Mr. Banzhaf for putting them in the middle of a controversy that didn't previously exist.

  • StephenD

    Eric G. has a point. But we'll never see such actions. It is telling that during all the years and 20,000+ terrorist attacks since 9/11 that we don't hear nary a word against these atrocities from the so called "Moderate Muslims" in America. I certainly don't expect them to speak out against something as mundane as this issue.

  • waterwillows

    If muslims find the symbols of Christians offensive, then they should at least be intelligent enough to realize that the tables can be turned.
    That would make all muslim symbols offensive to non muslims and open the door to finally begin the steps to get rid of them. There is a certain irony that muslims did this to themselves. This we could use to our own advantage with a few smart lawyers.

  • Larry

    In 2007 Islam and Judaism's holiest holidays overlapped for 10 days. Muslims racked up 397 dead bodies in 94 terrorist attacks across 10 countries during this time…While the Jews worked on their 159th Nobel Prize. That is some accomplishment for Islam's "Religion of Peace".

  • xlent

    why are muslims enrolled in a christian university?…..can someone please answer this? ….. For the same reason they are in all the West, to take over, "kill steal and destroy," sound familiar?

    • Howard Reed

      Not so fast. To their credit they have not complained about their surroundings as well they shouldn't since they chose that particular university to further their education. This is the work of a lone 'devil's disciple' among many trying to destroy our 'one nation under God' concept.

      The Turban Torpedo

  • Ghostwriter

    If the Muslim students have no complaints,why is this idiot doing this? I hope the court does the right thing and throw this suit out.

  • Howard Reed

    Hello America,

    The good news is that in the end the Holy Trinity wins. Satan's disciples are doing nothing more than harrassing to wear their opponents down. What are Muslim's doing at a Catholic university anyway? It is to their credit though that they did not file a complaint. This is the work of a 'devil's disciple', working in concert with godless lefties in this country to remove God from society. As long as there are dedicated followers of Christ around to fight the good fight until we leave for a better place, we will fight the good fight in the name of a Judaic/Christian nation. Allah AKA Satan be damned.

    The Turban Torpedo

  • Stuart Parsons

    Why do they need a special prayer room ? Muslims in Europe are quite happy to carry out their payer duties to Muhammad's mythical Allah in the streets.

  • zionista

    This is like vegetarians suing McDonalds! What chutzpah the muslims have

  • Anamah

    I find John Banzhaf as a "bites pica lawsuits" who lives from accusing others to get a shyster shyster sucking negligible advantage. A social parasite who try to irritate to build confrontational relations. It would be good to get rid of. It be nice to make a case against to make him pay for his responsibilities. Justice must be served and this guy is an obsessive psychopath. Get out!!!…

  • Dispozadaburka

    "A medieval French representation of Baphomet, the "devil" or foreign god the Templars were accused of worshiping. His name derives from medieval Christian forms of the name Mohammed, which became Mafomat in Spanish, Bafpomet in Provencal. Sculptur4e at Saint-Merri church, Paris) Secret Societies edited by Norman MacKenzie

  • doctorspa

    Why doesn't someone file a complaint against the Islamic mosques for not letting the men and women pray together?

  • Arnie

    American institutions of all stripes are being targeted by Islamic takeover but targeting Catholic university is to complemented on their boldness. Muslims are doing the "long march" through the institutions like the commies propogandized. They are taking the trotskyist/communist playbook and actually using it, using it very quickly. America needs to wake up to the long term peril inside its own gates that seeks to destroy from the inside out all without firing a shot. Political correctness will kill the God honoring freedoms this country was birthed into. If we dont do anything, this cancer will kill us.

  • nonmuslim

    ALL religion except Islam has problem. I am a hindu and this though would have never come up in my mind. NON MUSLIM WAKE UP BEFORE IT IS TOOOOOOO LATE.