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Consider some less-talked-about signs of accommodation: Minneapolis Community and Technical College is poised to become the state's first public school to install a foot-washing basin to help the school's 500 Muslim students perform pre-prayer rituals. "We want to be welcoming," MCTC President Phil Davis said, noting a student was hurt trying to wash in a regular sink.
bignaf wrote:if so, your salient point does not contradict mine. my point was that there are changes in the makeup of the muslim population, resulting in more problems relating to observance.
Jefferson was a champion of religious tolerance. His 1777 Draft of a Bill for Religious Freedom states…
…that our civil rights have no dependance on our religious opinions, any more than our opinions in physics or geometry; that therefore the proscribing any citizen as unworthy the public confidence by laying upon him an incapacity of being called to offices of trust and emolument, unless he profess or renounce this or that religious opinion, is depriving him injuriously of those privileges and advantages to which, in common with his fellow citizens, he has a natural right.
This is the kind of no-brainer legislation that every member of Congress should vigorously support. Yet House Democrats reacted to King’s proposal as if he’d thrown a bomb into the House chamber itself.
According to witnesses in the gallery and on the floor, Speaker Nancy Pelosi displayed a classic deer-in-the headlights look as the Democratic leadership went into a huddle - plainly eager, not to embrace this common-sense measure, but to sidetrack it.
Meanwhile, Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.), the chairman of the Homeland Security Committee, took the floor to oppose King’s motion - and to defend the lawsuit against John Does. “We should be tolerant,” he argued; people shouldn’t be singled out because they “look different.”
In fact, the flying imams triggered concerns by a variety of unusual actions, as well as words that roused the concern of another Arabic-speaking passenger. Witnesses say that House members started booing Thompson.
Finally, a member of the leadership realized how this would look to Americans watching on C-SPAN: Rep. Rahm Emanuel (D-Ill.) was seen staring at Thompson and repeatedly drawing his hand across his throat - an urgent signal to get off the floor.
The task force's eventual objectives on American campuses include the following, according to the website: permanent Muslim prayer spaces, ritual washing facilities, separate food and housing for Muslim students, separate hours at athletic facilities for Muslim women, paid imams or religious counselors, and campus observance of Muslim holidays. The task force is already hailing "pioneering" successes. At Syracuse University in New York, for example, "Eid al Fitr is now an official university holiday," says an article featured on the website. "The entire university campus shuts down to mark the end of Ramadan." At Henry Ford Community College in Dearborn, Mich., "halal" food -- ritually slaughtered and permissible under Islamic law -- is marked by green stickers in the cafeteria and "staff are well-trained in handling practices."
At Georgetown University, Muslim women can live apart in housing that enables them to "sleep in an Islamic setting," as the website puts it. According to a student at the time the policy was adopted, the university housing office initially opposed the idea, on grounds that all freshman should have the experience of "living in dorms and dealing with different kinds of people." That might sound appealing, Muslim students told a reporter in an article featured on the website. But in their view, the reporter wrote, "learning to live with 'different kinds of people' " actually "causes more harm than good" for Muslims, because it requires them to live in an environment that "distracts them from their desire to become better Muslims, and even draw[s] weaker Muslims away from Islam."
Selma in Sandy Eggo wrote:I find I'm getting less and less tolerant of other people inflicting their religious beliefs on me. Cabbies that won't transport some fares (and, according to that posted link of Shap's, put some passengers out of the cab short of their destination!), pharmacists who won't dispense some medications, grocery checkers who won't check some groceries.
Dang it, if you won't do part of the job, you're not qualified to hold the job. In every single job I've ever had, the ability to do the job was a job qualification, and refusal to perform the duties of the job was cause for termination. Employers must make reasonable accomodation for their employees' religious beliefs, it's true, but in my opinion that reasonable accomodation would be more on the order of arranging the weekly schedule to accomodate various religious services, as much as possible.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) was among those who denounced yesterday's Supreme Court ruling upholding the Federal Partial Birth Abortion Act. Commenting on the decision, Reid said "A lot of us wish that Alito weren't there and O'Connor were there," indicating his desire that there has been a fifth vote to invalidate the statute, as Justice O'Connor had provided the fifth vote to invalidate Nebraska's partial-birth abortion ban in Stenberg v. Carhart.
What is curious about Reid's statement, as NPR and some news outlets have noted, is not Reid's criticism of Alito -- Reid opposed Alito's confirmation -- but the fact that Reid supported, and voted for, the federal statute upheld in yesterday's decision. . . .
So, despite his repeated support of legislative restrictions on abortion, Reid's latest comment suggests that he believes the Supreme Court's decision was regrettable and wrongly decided, and that a law that he supported is unconstitutional. To me, the latter is of greater concern. Call me old fashioned, but I believe that if a member of the Senate believes a law is unconstitutional, he or she should vote against it.
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