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David Solway

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January 19, 2014 - 11:00 am

Michael Coren, host of The Arena on SUN News cable TV, suggests there is a reasonable probability that the student is a Muslim; after all, it does not seem remotely likely that Mr. X is a Jain, a Hindu, a Shintoist, a Christian or a Jew (even orthodox Jews or Haredim would not refuse to sit beside a woman) and, in any case, members of weird extremophile or peripheral sects obsessed with gender discrimination would not enroll in a co-ed course or attend York University. Indeed, only adherents of a supremacist doctrine would insist that the university bend to their demands.

If Coren is right—and it still remains an if, though a plausible one—it would appear that the university, in an access of political correctness, is scrambling to avert the charge of Islamophobia. At the same time, it is violating both the principle of gender equity on which it has long prided itself—70 percent of the student clientele at York are women (which, from a male perspective, ironically renders the concept moot)—as well as the core values that underwrite the educational mandate. As the Arena transcript puts it, “In fact, the professor added, such religious accommodation would require York to agree to segregated seating, separate tutorials and even gender-specific instructors.” The toxic mix of hypocrisy and cowardice is palpable, and the stink of capitulation to religious intolerance has poisoned what John Milton once called “the quiet and still air of delightful studies,” a phrase that sounds rather quaint these days.

Muslims are now agitating for prayer rooms in high schools—once that demand is granted, foot baths are sure to follow and, naturally, assorted forms of gender apartheid. It is no surprise that the Toronto District School Board decided to permit Islamic prayer sessions in one of its school’s cafeterias, and then colluded in the relegating of female Muslim students to the back rows and the exclusion of menstruating girls. Most commentators and interested parties have focused on the scandal of religiously ordained, in-group segregation within a laic environment, losing sight of the pedagogic mutation that is occurring in our places of learning, namely, the ongoing facilitation of Islamic encroachment within the educational institution in large.

Another egregious act of pusillanimous deference has just surfaced at a Halifax, Nova Scotia akido school, which complied with a Muslim student’s request to avoid physical proximity with his female classmates, whom he refused to touch. Abiding by provincial human rights law, the sensei duly separated female students from the Muslim, who was moved to the other side of the dojo. “Get used to it,” the sensei advised. As the National Post reports, the Muslim student also refused to bow as specified by the akido ritual, proclaiming that he only bowed to Allah. Eventually, he began proselytizing by distributing Islamic literature, copies of Islam: from darkness to light, turning the dojo into an Islamic soapbox.

Let us not be deceived by what is actually going on here. Such acts of gutless submissiveness on the part of the authorities have nothing to do with the constantly hyped dogma of “religious accommodation.” Such favors and concessions would not readily be conferred on Christians or Jews. Can one honestly imagine a follower of Christ or Moses receiving special treatment from secular officials? The precept of “religious accommodation” is nothing less than the gospel of out-and-out “Islamic accommodation,” a form of jittery acquiescence to a foreign and incompatible faith we inwardly dread and cower before and which is infecting every quarter of our society.

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All Comments   (14)
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Another excellent article by David Solway, who encapsulates in his scintillating prose the depth of the crisis facing the western democracies today. Where would we be without the Sage of Hudson?
31 weeks ago
31 weeks ago Link To Comment
Same pressures in Europe, one example, despite France's ban on public prayer, Muslims jam pack and block the streets with gigantic pray ins.

Pam Geller on the Islamization of America in 2013

http://www.breitbart.com/Big-Peace/2014/01/09/The-Islamization-of-America-in-2013

31 weeks ago
31 weeks ago Link To Comment
A very few years after 9/11, my young family were traveling on vacation and stopped at Sideling Hill on the way. We would have loved going to the interpretive center---the mountain had basically been cut down the middle---except for my revulsion at a muslim family doing prayers centerstage at the stop.

These triumphalist behaviors are no accident and I keep wondering when somebody is going to call them out on it. Scratch that. I quit wondering.
They're eating us alive.
31 weeks ago
31 weeks ago Link To Comment
Yes, that's the way it is with Muslims. They are trained from birth, by Islam, to take over the public space. I lived in Jerusalem for a few years - the imams' prayers and sermons, often quite aggressive, hit you five times a day, including very early morning, in full volume using loud speakers. And the cowardly politicians here, in the name of religious freedom, allow them to keep using loud speakers beyond what is permissible by law.

Fight this slow conquest or you will find yourselves second or third rate citizens in a Muslim society. You have been warned.
31 weeks ago
31 weeks ago Link To Comment
"Such acts of gutless submissiveness on the part of the authorities..." Do you really expect anything other than this from institutions that gave up their 'authority' to student protestors in the 1960s and '70s? Many of these places of 'higher learning' are now overseen by those former protestors.

The only way these practices will ever be changed is if there is a reaction of some proportion to the them. To write or talk about them is of little worth, if no action is never taken to remedy them.

This is what happens when a nation opens its doors to diverse (different) peoples and cultures. From 'e pluribus unum' to 'e pluribus chaos.'
31 weeks ago
31 weeks ago Link To Comment
Doesn't seem so terrible to me. Seems like all they want is some sort of space to say the daily prayers. Well pray all you wish, no harm in that.

The solution is to have a designated chapel room open to all faiths.

I have worked in hospitals all my adult life. Every one has some sort of chapel room open to anyone and a chaplain who will help any faith so much as they can. There have been times when I have been there. In one case I showed up very rattled from a near miss accident and the Catholic priest had no Jewish prayer book. I asked if he had a bible with the book of Psalms. That worked. After a little while I was able to regain and go do my job.

I am all in favor of universities at least trying to accommodate students of religious faith in their observance. Too long we have let the university become the secular antithesis of religion.

How far a public institution should go to allow for religious expression is never cut and dry.

Saw an article somewhere recently about kosher meals in prisons. Most states will provide this. Apparently it has become a trend for some prisoners, of questionable bona fides, to request the Kosher meals because they feel they are of better quality. The meals cost more so what is the prison to do? They also provide halal meals in many prisons. Not so easy. Sure they can call in the Jewish or Muslim chaplains to talk with the prisoner but few rabbis or imams are going to deny anyone.

We are not France. In America we give much more latitude about religious expression.

Few months ago while waiting for a plane from Chicago to Atlanta, an orthodox Jewish man waiting for the same plane put on his Talis and Tefillin and said his morning prayers facing the rising sun.

I am Jewish, and not so devout. To me it was a comforting and welcome thing that in our country he could do this. He must have had a good word in with the almighty, because in a rare occurrence, a Delta flight actually departed and arrived on time.

I did wonder if some of the other passengers felt the same way. Were some of them uncomfortable about this man, with beard, those strange boxes on his head and arm, striped prayer shawl, silently mumbling words in an ancient language...all familiar and comforting to me but must seem odd and intrusive to some as we fiddled through our iPhones, Starbucks, and laptops.

What if he were Muslim and had laid out his rug to say his morning devotions? I should not have a problem with that. Hey, we are getting on a plane. Pray to whomever you wish. More the better. G-d hears all of us in any language.


31 weeks ago
31 weeks ago Link To Comment
spindoc, It's a slippery slope. Would you be ok with muslims gathering in the hundreds to block traffic on the busiest street during rush hour to say prayers when there is a mosque nearby as has actually happened? Would you be ok with muslims creating neighborhoods where the police are forbidden to enter and where non-muslim women are harassed and raped routinely should they walk down those streets as occurs in some parts of Europe today? There is a difference between your tolerance of them and their intolerance of you. Islam is not just a religion but a political force bent on destroying all other religions, all other ways of living including yours and mine. When they are weak and few in number they are polite but when they think they can intimidate and dominate they do so. There is sadly no common ground upon which to build a relationship of mutual respect between practicing muslims and non-muslims, i.e. infidels.
31 weeks ago
31 weeks ago Link To Comment
I agree that providing an open chapel room in a hospital is something we can all praise. (The issue in Canada -- in certain high schools -- is not about accommodating various faiths; it seems far more about appeasing certain Muslim groups. These groups (certainly not all Muslims) wish to assert their ascendency, their "specialness", their superiority and dominance, at the expense of others. thus their demands are only to the benefit of other like-minded Muslims. Should a public school discriminate against girls -- segregate them and have them sit at the back of a classroom? Is that acceptable?)
31 weeks ago
31 weeks ago Link To Comment
Thank you for another brilliant essay, Mr. Solway.

An ethos has developed in western nations which places religious beliefs beyond scrutiny and criticism. I think this is wrong and dangerous. Although everyone should be free to practice their religion what happens when religious beliefs conflict with fundamental values such as gender equality? I believe religious beliefs should not be above criticism. In fact because religious beliefs often influence conduct more than other beliefs, they should be subject to a special scrutiny.
31 weeks ago
31 weeks ago Link To Comment
Howdy TerryG
The ethos you describe only places Islam beyond scrutiny and criticism. Maybe Hinduism. The Christian and Jewish faiths are open to scorn and shunning.
31 weeks ago
31 weeks ago Link To Comment
Are these the same institutions that would close Christian student centers and send them off campus?
31 weeks ago
31 weeks ago Link To Comment
I believe that a university in Chicago turned the campus chapel into a prayer room for the Muslims, tearing out the pews and such. Why do those in power give in to such religious preference? If they don't like their ability to practice their religion they should go back to their country of origin and practice it in a Muslim country to get the real feel of the religion of peace. I for one am very tired of having my Christianity trampled while they cow tow down to Islam.
31 weeks ago
31 weeks ago Link To Comment
Rush to dhimmitude.
31 weeks ago
31 weeks ago Link To Comment
"Indeed, only adherents of a supremacist doctrine would insist that the university bend to their demands."

I sincerely doubt that the university would bend to the demands of someone who's a member of the odious Christian Identity church (basically white supremacists.)

And that Aikido (p.s. Aikido, not akido, you're missing an "i") "student" would not last in the dojo I attend. You work with everyone or no one. And you bow to all -- high and low as we are all equal as students.
32 weeks ago
32 weeks ago Link To Comment
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