For a religion that is perpetually "misunderstood," the consistency of Islam is remarkable. Consider how ostensibly diverse issues—complaints of "human rights" abuses at an American university and murder in an Egyptian classroom—are interconnected.
First, the American story. According to Fox News:
The Washington, D.C. Office of Human Rights confirmed that it is investigating allegations that Catholic University of America [CUA] violated the human rights of Muslim students by not allowing them to form a Muslim student group and by not providing them rooms without Christian symbols for their daily prayers. The investigation alleges that Muslim students "must perform their prayers surrounded by symbols of Catholicism – e.g., a wooden crucifix, paintings of Jesus, pictures of priests and theologians which many Muslim students find inappropriate."
Behind the complaint is John F. Banzhaf III, a George Washington University professor whose website boasts that his "enemies" call him a "Legal-Terrorist" and "the Osama bin Laden of Torts." He asserts that Muslim students are "particularly offended" because they have to "meditate" at the school's chapels and cathedral, where they pray while "having to stare up and be looked down upon by a cross of Jesus."
Of course, as a private Christian institution, even Banzhaf admits "that it is technically not illegal for Catholic University to refuse to provide rooms devoid of religious icons." Still, according to this so-called "Legal-Terrorist," that CUA refuses to compromise its Catholic image "suggests they are acting improperly and probably with malice."
The reader is left to decide who really is acting "with malice": a private institution operating under private—in this case, Christian—principles, or reportedly "offended" Muslims who are free to attend non-Christian institutions?
Banzhaf further tried to denigrate CUA by boasting of how neighboring Georgetown University, a nominally "Christian" university, "provides its Muslim students with a separate prayer room and even a Muslim chaplain"—as if it is not well known that Georgetown's Arab and Islam departments receive much largesse by way of donations from the radical Wahhabis of Saudi Arabia (who, incidentally, refuse to permit churches on Saudi ground).
As Newt Gingrich observed regarding this affair: "Are you [Muslims] prepared to sponsor a Christian missionary in Mecca? Because if you're not prepared to sponsor religious liberty in Saudi Arabia, don't come and nag us with some hypocritical baloney."
Notable, too, why Muslim students are seeking to create Islamic havens (or enclaves) in universities: as one of them put it, "Arab [code for "Muslim"] and American students have a difficult time befriending each other because people naturally gravitate towards others with similar backgrounds and interests." In fact, this is a product of Islam's own doctrine of wala' wa bara', which commands Muslims to be loyal to one another, while completely disassociating themselves from non-Muslims.
Now, consider Muslim behavior toward Christian symbols, specifically the crucifix, where Muslims are the majority and thus in charge—where might not only makes right, but often exposes true sentiments.
Days ago it was revealed that a Christian student in Egypt was strangled and beaten to death by his Muslim teacher and fellow students—simply for refusing to obey the teacher's orders to cover up his cross. When the headmaster was informed of the attack in progress, he ignored it and "continued to sip his tea." And, as usual, Egyptian media covered it up, insisting the "conflict" was "non-sectarian" (worse, it was straightforward "Christian persecution").
In the words of prominent Egyptian columnist Farida El-Shobashy, writing in the independent newspaper Masry Youm: "I was shaken to the bones when I read the news that a teacher forced a student to take off the crucifix he wore, and when the Christian student stood firm for his rights, the teacher quarreled with him, joined by some of the students; he was beastly assaulted until his last breath left him."
Indeed, the Maspero massacre, where the Egyptian military killed dozens of demonstrating Christians—including by running them over with armored-vehicles—began with hostility for Christian symbols: Muslims insisted a Coptic church be stripped of its dome and cross, so it would not resemble a church; as one Muslim elder put it, "the Cross provokes us and our children." When Christians refused, Muslims destroyed the church. This is what Christians were protesting when the Egyptian military mowed them down to cries of "Allahu Akbar."
These two stories—one in Washington, D.C., the other Egypt—demonstrate remarkable consistency; only methods differ, according to circumstances. Where Islam is weak, "terrorist-lawyers" and Islamist organizations like CAIR complain about "human rights" abuses against Muslims; where Islam is dominant, Islamists take matters into their own hands, violating the human rights of others.
Yet if the methods differ, the motivation is one: the victory of Islam over all else; or, in the words of the Quran (8:39)—"Make war on them ["infidels"] until idolatry shall cease and Allah's religion [Islam] shall reign supreme."
Raymond Ibrahim is a Shillman Fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom Center and an Associate Fellow at the Middle East Forum.