Star Tribune reported Minneapolis Community and Technical College.... officials say the college, a public institution, has a strict policy of not promoting religion or favoring one religion over another. "The Constitution prevents us from doing this in any form," says Dianna Cusick, director of legal affairs. But that seems to depend on your religion.
I suspect it depends on whether adherenants of a religion are ready to use violence to get their way.Where Christianity is concerned, the college goes to great lengths to avoid any hint of what the courts call "entanglement" or support of the church. Yet the college is planning to install facilities for Muslims to use in preparing for daily prayers, an apparent first at a public institution in Minnesota.
Separation of church and state is clearest at the college during the Christmas season. A memo from Cusick and President Phil Davis, dated Nov. 28, 2006, exhorted supervisors to banish any public display of holiday cheer: "As we head into the holiday season ... "all public offices and areas should refrain from displays that may represent to our students, employees or the public that the college is promoting any particular religion." Departments considering sending out holiday cards, the memo added, should avoid cards "that appear to promote any particular religious holiday."....
If they go through with this plan Christians need to not only demand recognitions of Christmas, but also the constructions of Christian prayer rooms in direct proportion to the number of Christians vs the number of Muslims in the community.Some local Muslim leaders have advised the college staff that washing is not a required practice for students under the circumstances, according to Davis. Nevertheless, he says, he wants to facilitate it for interested students. "It's like when someone comes to your home, you want to be hospitable," Davis told me. "We have new members in our community coming here; we want to be hospitable."
As long as they don't have to be hospitable to Christians or Jews.So the college is making plans to use taxpayer funds to install facilities for ritual foot-washing. Staff members are researching options, and a school official will visit a community college in Illinois to view such facilities while attending a conference nearby. College facilities staff members are expected to present a proposal this spring.
In Davis' view, the foot-washing plan does not constitute promotion or support of religion.
So prayer has nothing to do with religion?????"The foot-washing facilities are not about religion, they are about customer service and public safety," he says.
Does Islam require foot washing before prayer as an honor to Allah, or just for customer service and public safety.He sees no significant difference between using public funds to construct prayer-related facilities for Muslim students and the cafeteria's provision of a fish option for Christian students during Lent.
Does the cafeteria give the fish away or is there a charge? Will there be a charge to use the foot washing facilities?