The federally funded Smithsonian Institute, one of America’s premier art museums, recently featured a video showing a crucified Jesus Christ covered with a swarm of ants.
The insult to Christians was palpable. So much so that Congressional pressure was brought to bear and the exhibit was cancelled.
By contrast, here’s what is going on in the Justice Department:
Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights Thomas E. Perez has directed the Civil Rights Division’s National Origin Working Group to work proactively to combat violations of civil rights laws against Arab, Muslim, Sikh, and South-Asian Americans, and those perceived to be members of these groups, through the creation of the Initiative to Combat Post 9/11 Discriminatory Backlash.
Here’s what “working proactively” apparently means:
Berkeley school district 87, in the state of Illinois, is accused of violating the civil rights of Safoorah Khan, a teacher at McArthur Middle School, by failing to reasonably accommodate her religious practices.
A complaint filed by the United States Department of Justice in a federal court in Chicago alleges that Ms Khan's bosses forced her to "choose between her job and her religious beliefs."
She wrote to the school's superintendent asking for a 20-day unpaid leave of absence in December 2008, to travel to Saudi Arabia for the hajj, the pilgrimage all Muslims are supposed to make once during their lifetime.
The request was denied, however, because the "purpose of her leave was not related to her professional duties" and was not specifically included in an agreement with the teachers' union.
After appealing and being rejected for a second time, Ms Khan wrote to the school board that "based on her religious beliefs, she could not justify delaying performing Hajj."
The teacher, who had joined the school in 2007, resigned shortly after. Now the Government is seeking to have her reinstated with back pay and promotions, and for the school board to pay her compensation.
That’s right. The Government is seeking to have her reinstated. The federal government. The government of the United States. Attorneys employed by and paid by the federal government are taking her case. For free.
Not the ACLU, the American Civil Liberties Union. Not the CAIR, the Council on American-Islamic Relations.
No, the lady is represented by our federal government. Paid for by our tax dollars. The same tax dollars that support the Smithsonian Institute which thinks that insulting Christians is an art form.
Ms. Kahn was hired as a teacher in 2007. She wanted to make her once-in-a-lifetime pilgrimage to Mecca in 2008. Makes you wonder how much she was able to save in 10 months. And what she plans to do when she retires.
The 22 story Marriott World Trade Center Hotel, situated between the twin towers, was obliterated on 9-11. Nobody knows how many people were inside. The New York Times estimated that at least 50 people died there.
About two hours after that holocaust, the Marriott Hotel in Des Moines withdrew its offer to host a convention of the Midwest Federation of American Syrian-Lebanese Clubs.
The Federation charged the hotel with discrimination and the Department of Justice extracted an apology, money damages, and a commitment to sensitivity training from Marriott.
Despite its federally imposed sensitivity, the Marriott in Oak Brook, Illinois refused to host a 2009 conference of Hizb ut-Tahrir America, an organization of fundamentalist Muslims which urges the killing of those who leave the Islamic faith.
Those folks ended up at the Hilton, where their meeting was protested by R.E.A.L., (Responsible for Equality and Liberty) an organization which urges Americans to love all of our brothers and sisters, regardless of religious belief.
Apparently, the Civil Rights Act which outlaws discrimination in public accommodations on account of race, color, creed or national origin doesn’t cover discrimination based on advocating murder, even when the killing is claimed to be a tenet of religious belief.
Interesting. What if the belief requires bodily injury less than killing? Cutting off the hand of a thief, for example? Or the clitoris of a baby girl? Or the foreskin of a baby boy?
Or what if one’s religious belief includes a prohibition against marrying outside the faith or inter marriage with other races? Or what if it condones polygamy? Could the Marriott turn away a Sheik who wants to bunk in with his harem?
Unhappily, our federal Nanny has entered the thicket of theology.
I wonder how long it will be before we reach the ultimate goal of statism where everything that is not prohibited is mandated.
There are, I submit, certain consolations associated with being 81 years of age.