Pray on Your Own Time and in Your Own Space
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.