DC Area Professor To Catholic University: Too Many Crosses On Campus For Muslim Students To Pray


It just got surreal.  George Washington University Law School Professor John Banzhaf filed a human rights complaint to the D.C. Office of Human Rights against Catholic University for hindering Muslim students’ free exercise of their faith due to the “excessive” amount of “Catholic imagery” on the campus.  It seems that this man – who teaches at a different school across town – thinks that Catholic University’s adherence to the cultural aspects of Catholicism (we have a lot of artwork, Crucifixes, and statues in every nook and crany) keeps muslim students from praying the required five times a day.

Banzhaf, who already has a pending lawsuit against the university over ending its policy of allowing mixed-gender dormitories and has a history of filing civil rights suits on such topics as childhood obesity and smoking, filed the complaint alleging that Muslim students are not given their own prayer rooms.

He alleges that the university, “does not provide space – as other universities do – for the many daily prayers Muslim students must make, forcing them instead to find temporarily empty classrooms where they are often surrounded by Catholic symbols which are incongruous to their religion,” according to the Tower, Catholic University’s student newspaper.

Just as an aside from a graduate of Catholic high school, at least, did Prof. Banzhaf not see the title of the university?  Did he not see the GIGANTIC church on the university property we know as the National Basilica of the Shrine of the Immaculate Conception????  Oh, that’s right, it’s named in the complaint as a place muslims are “forced” to pray.  (We don’t do that in Catholicism.)  That basilica is, like, the flagship American Catholic church since it’s named for our national feast day even if it is NOT a cathedral, contrary to the complaint filed.  (No cathedra or bishop’s chair is in the building.  In Washington, that is in St. Matthew’s.)   What part of “Catholic” isn’t sinking in?  We’re into high art, Jesus hanging on the Cross, defending the separation of the sexes in dorms, etc.  It’s part and parcel of the deal when you attend Catholic school.

Across the board, the 60-page complaint filed by Banzhaf has officials at Catholic University and just about every other corner scratching heads.  First off, no muslim students have voiced concern for the issues of which Banzhaf writes.  Second, when members of other faiths are accepted at Catholic schools, their beliefs are not scorned or maligned in any way.  That violates Catholic norms of hospitality.  No one is required to pray with us.  That’s a private act, anyway, that Catholics are really supposed to do it more than five times a day.  Non-Catholics may not be specifically accommodated at our schools, but we Catholics would not request special treatment from schools of other faiths.  More or less, in this situation we are all guests in someone else’s house, and manners prevail.  Usually.  Anyone who has a problem with pictures of popes hanging on the wall, Crucifixes, statues of Our Lady of Grace, etc., can just go find somewhere else to go to school.

That the D.C. Office of Human Rights is even entertaining the complaint is cause for the big worry.

The complaint is absurd, writes Thomas Peters on the website CatholicVote.

“Can you imagine a law professor helping Catholic students to sue a Jewish or Muslim school to demand that the schools install crosses, remove their religious symbols, and allow the Catholics to construct a chapel on their property?” wrote Peters. “Can you imagine the argument being that Jewish and Muslims schools using their religious symbols and following their faith traditions would be described in the legal brief as “offensive”?!

“Normally I would have confidence that this lawsuit will be deemed without merit, but the way things are going these days, I just can’t be sure anymore. Simply incredible.”

At Breitbart, John Hayward warns that if Catholic University caves and creates space for muslims to pray their required five times a day, this will not be the only concession on the horizon.  He is correct in that even as the assault on religion continues, in order to maintain the true identity of faith – any faith – institutions of higher learning and the Church Herself will need to forgo tax exempt status.  It is the only way since the Church cannot and will not change.

At the same time, given that this is nowhere near the first time there have been complaints about Catholic art and culture being offensive, there may be another explanation.

“This attorney is really turning civil rights on its head,” [Patrick Reilly of the Cardinal Newman Society told Fox News]. “He’s using the law for his own discrimination against the Catholic institution and essentially saying Catholic University cannot operate according to Catholic principles.”

A notion that has been put in practice in many walks of life.  Stay tuned.  Catholic sentiment is leaning more orthodox these days.  Abandoning the identity is not likely to happen without a big fight.


About the Author

Cultural Limits
A resident of Flyover Country, Cultural Limits is a rare creature in American Conservatism - committed to not just small government, Christianity and traditional social roles, but non-profits and high arts and culture. Watching politics, observing human behavior and writing are all long-time interests. In her other life, CL writes romance novels under her nom de plume, Patricia Holden (@PatriciaHoldenAuthor on Facebook), and crochets like a mad woman (designs can be found on Facebook @BohemianFlairCrochet and on Pinterest on the Bohemian Flair Crochet board). In religion, CL is Catholic; in work, the jill of all trades when it comes to fundraising software manipulation and event planning; in play, a classically trained soprano and proud citizen of Cardinal Nation, although, during hockey season, Bleeds Blue. She lives in the Mid-Mississippi River Valley with family and two cute and charming tyrants...make that toy dogs.

14 Comments on "DC Area Professor To Catholic University: Too Many Crosses On Campus For Muslim Students To Pray"

  1. ibelieveinfreedom2 | 06/17/2015 at 2:23 PM |

    Well that was very un-enlightening. The god of the koran is the moon god allah and in no way, shape, or form is the God of Abraham, Isaac, Moses and Jesus. The god of the koran is hate, the God of the Bible is love.

  2. ibelieveinfreedom2 | 06/17/2015 at 2:18 PM |


  3. ibelieveinfreedom2 | 06/17/2015 at 2:17 PM |

    As I see it, there are only two reasons a muslim would go to a Catholic university: 1) to get an education, realizing at the time that they applied, CATHOLIC would be the theme and they would have to deal with it if they chose to go there, which apparently is the case according to the article since no muslims have complained. 2) to get the opportunity to complain, cause trouble, incite a lawsuit, win concessions, deliver a defeating blow to Christianity.
    Since the second scenario is apparently not the case, a complete outsider to the university who’s goal is that of the 2nd scenario, involved himself and the possibility that the court would entertain such a law suit should have us all very concerned. That, folks, is where we stand today, in fear of our judicial system.

  4. Christopher Marsh | 05/26/2015 at 2:37 AM |

    Let’s be fair about Allah.

    The Muslims, Christians, and Jews all hail to the God of Abraham and Moses. Given that Abraham is Abraham and Abraham and Moses is Moses is Moses, I would say they are all claiming the same God. But in different ways, for example, Christians insist it is impossible to get God’s favor by outweighing your bad deeds with good deeds, because any bad deed condemns you to Hell, so everybody needs to find repentance in Jesus our Lord and Savior.

    Jesus would not have submitted to crucifixion if there was any other way to be saved.

    Besides our Pakistani friends taught us you read the Quran and stuff ritually pure (starting with a shower). I don’t think they would worship on a potty seat. Mom’s friend Mrs. Khan, they met in Rockville and we went to Waldorf and they moved twenty minutes away (MD 382, maybe). I had not seen them since I was 14.

  5. Christopher Marsh | 05/26/2015 at 2:34 AM |

    I think there would be an armed rebellion against Sharia America even if it got voted in.

  6. John Barnes | 05/19/2015 at 11:53 PM |

    What dothey expect? This is a Catholic University. If they are agreived about it, they should go to a university that is more in line with their beiefs.

  7. The best thing to do would be for the courts to reject this lawsuit. Plain and simple. Separation of church and State.

  8. Valerie Hannibal | 05/16/2015 at 7:22 AM |

    Okay….is it me?????…..WTH is a Muslim doing at a Catholic University in the first place and if these damn ppl have a problem with it…..number one….go to a different school….if that doesn’t work…..GO BACK TO YOUR OWN DAMN COUNTRY AND STOP TRYING TO CHANGE OURS!

  9. Denver Bob | 05/12/2015 at 11:31 PM |

    exactly how I feel about Sharia Law… You have come here and expect to institute Sharia law… Don’t hold your breath. Sharia law and Western Law are polar opposites…. This is OUR country – You want Sharia law – Go back to Your OLD Country.

  10. Stu Relysch | 05/12/2015 at 7:37 PM |

    WTF!!! Just goes to show you don’t have to have more than one functioning brain cell to be a “professor”. I think his credentials should be inspected and whatever school he bought them from should be shut down. And the one he works at also! What a f&%*ing goof, I guess it just goes to show that there really is a good reason to outlaw the so called muslim “religion”, they seem to be coming to this continent with the intent of over-running us. I was raised Catholic but haven’t been what you would call a practicing Catholic for a few decades now, but I can still respect people’s choice of faith. Muslims are about the least tolerant bunch I have ever heard of. They remind me of ambulance chasing lawyers, cause problems and sue for whatever they what this time.

  11. Muslims can pray to allah (satan) in the toilet

  12. Bottom line folks,…..there are a lot of people that hate America and what it stands for. This a-hole “professor ” being one of them…..for decades and centuries, our young men and women have sacrificed everything, including their lives to protect our freedoms; speech, religion, voting, etc…..he is obviously one of those people that takes advantage of those rights.
    I for one, think he should be given the opportunity to leave this great nation, have the crap beat out of him, (not in that order). Let these ungrateful pieces of crap then feel what it’s like to not have the freedoms and privileges that they obviously take for granted.
    I am catholic and I don’t go to any any other religious facilities and expect THEM to conform to MY requests…..No, I go to my churches and expect MY religion to prevail, whether it be by artifacts, statues, books or whatever. If he is so intent on changing the Catholic faith to a Muslim faith, the GET THE HELL OUT OF AMERICA and go live in the middle east. The complain to them about changing what they belive in……he would be jailed, stoned, decapitated or whatever they want…….
    now that would be justice…….
    I apologize for my rant!!!!!

  13. Linda Thomas | 05/12/2015 at 1:13 PM |

    As long as we give an inch, they will take the mile…Starting in DC.

  14. Back to the shithole you came from, muslim inbred.

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