It was a hot topic in DC papers for about 48 hours. The sheer stupidity of it caused it to burn out pretty quickly.
The craziest part about it is that no muslim students at CUA complained. Rather, Muslim student numbers at Catholic have shot up in the past few years.
At first glance, that might seem like the Catholic identity of the school is being shirked. But actually, the opposite is true and is attested as such. Muslim students at school greatly prefer people of unabashed faith to a multiculturalism that enjoys the exploration of every culture except its own. If you don’t stand for something, you’ll fall for anything.
This whole fiasco reminds me of the Regensburg address by the Holy Father. The fact remains that the Father both called for peaceful but engaged dialogue that didn’t pander to sides, but looked for the best in people. And he challanged the muslim world to dialogue without violence. The fact that people died as a result of his speech sorta proved his point. But that’s besides the point for now.
There wasn’t a MSM outlet to be found not pouncing on the Pope for quoting the 14th century Byzantine emperor Manuel II. They joined the voices of every unlettered remark from muslim polemicists who condemned the Pope. But you know who didn’t? Muslim scholars! For example, A Common Word was published a year later, which was the largest (138 scholars, clerics and officials) gathering of Muslim authorities since the 7th century. And what they did together, without fighting or violence, was actually respond to Benedict XVI’s offer to dialogue. This was totally overlooked by the media, because it was boring and academic and peaceful and achieved the goals that the evil Pope actually sought. From Wikipedia:
- On 13 October 2006, one month to the day after Pope Benedict XVI’s address, 38 Islamic authorities and scholars from around the world, representing all denominations and schools of thought, joined together to deliver an answer to the Pope in the spirit of open intellectual exchange and mutual understanding, speaking about the true teachings of Islam.
- Exactly one year later , on 13 October 2007, 138 Muslim scholars, clerics and intellectuals unanimously came together for the first time since the days of Muhammed to declare the common ground between Christianity and Islam in their letter titled ‘In A Common Word Between Us and You’. The letter was addressed to the leaders of all the world’s churches, and to Christians everywhere.
What’s my point? My point is that Muslim kids pick CUA over GW precisely because we are proudly Catholic. It’s hard for a secularist to understand it, but it is not difficult for either Muslims or Catholics. And as a Catholic, I know that the human rights violations being alleged are not rights that come from the state and are protected by the state. Human rights and the dignity of a human being come from God, because God made us in the image of Him. Of course Muslim kids are going to gravitate towards a student body that understands this in university policy and in lived experience.
The other option is to be the “deeply respected” other-group-of-people-we-don’t-understand-but-think-are-interesting. At major state universities, a huge divide is created between administrators and faculty who will endlessly pander to people who aren’t asking for pandering, and students who reject muslims for just being too weird from their own post-christian, modern, liberal worldview. They think, “Let them keep their headscarves, but don’t make us sit together. Otherwise it might get preachy.” If you were a 19 year old muslim, which would you pick? Just look at the attendance numbers.
Muslim students–along with every other religion and nationality– travel from all over the world to study here. It would seem that the best thing US universities could do is be themselves, since it was in doing this that the world was attracted here in the first place! QED. Catholic University does this, and I love it.
President Garvey sent out an email in response to this. I’ll forward it to you– it’s pretty good.
If you have any other questions, let me know. I don’t want sharia shoved down my throat as much as the next guy, but truly in this situation, there are no muslim students or leaders to blame besides the usual rats (Hamas-linked CAIR et al) who jumped on the media bandwagon for free facetime and a victim status to perpetuate. The real criminals are professors who have no good thoughts to teach and hope to salvage their careers with sensationalism in the name of human rights. Please. Not even the people you try to make out to be victims are falling for it anymore…