Last month, George Washington University Law Professor John Banzhaf took it upon himself to file a frivolous legal complaint, supposedly on behalf of Muslim students, against The Catholic University of America. Although no Muslim students had complained about their treatment at CUA, Branzhaf made the absurd accusation that the University was violating their human rights by, among other things, failing to provide them with their own prayer space, devoid of Christian symbols.
Banzhaf, who has been manufacturing controversy for decades, boasts on his website that he has been dubbed the “Osama bin Laden of Torts.” Whether he is a misguided human rights activist or an agent provocateur, his high-profile lawsuit immediately generated howls of furry from anti-Muslim outrage peddlers, who accused “Islamic supremacists” of waging holy war on American Christians.
In the wake of the controversy, Ibrahim Hooper of the Council on American-Islamic Relations assured the Washington Post that Muslims had no complaints against the University, saying:
“Muslim college students are not hothouse flowers that need protection. If they had concerns, we would have heard them.”
Hooper was soon proven right in a refreshing display of journalistic integrity at The Blaze, a right wing website founded by former Fox News host Glenn Beck. After Meredith Jessup‘s investigation revealed that Muslims had nothing to do with the complaint, she published a correction to her previous article, saying:
“Since we brought you news of the legal complaint filed against Catholic University alleging that Muslim students’ rights are being violated as they pray in rooms featuring Christian images and symbols, the story has picked up national media attention. Last night on Fox News, host Sean Hannity’s panel debated this “holy war being waged in our nation’s capital.” But Hannity and others are missing key facts in this case and, as a result, overlooking the real story.
When I first read about the human rights complaint allegedly filed on behalf of Muslim students at Catholic, I made the mistake of assuming that Muslim students were behind it. Only after personally speaking with the complaint filer — George Washington University law professor John Banzhaf — did I understand what this story was really all about. In fact, not a single Muslim student at Catholic University has signed on to Professor Banzhaf’s complaint and he admitted to me that he lodged the complaint against Catholic with the D.C. Office of Human Rights as a concerned individual, not on behalf of any student or group of students.
In fact, Banzhaf sent a letter to the editor of the school’s newspaper soliciting complainants on September 22, yet readily admits that none have have signed on to his case against the school.
“The community here is very respectful of other religions and I feel free to openly practice it,” Wiaam Al Salmi, a Muslim student at Catholic U who recently started the Arab American Association on campus told the school’s student newspaper.
Additionally, Muslim enrollment at Catholic U (and Catholic universities across the country) has been on the rise.”
Anti-Muslim loons everywhere had taken full advantage of this juicy opportunity to spur widespread outrage against Muslims, publishing Raymond Ibrahim’s inflammatory article, Why does the Cross ‘Provoke’ Muslims, on Frontpage Magazine, Jihad Watch, Middle East Forum, and Winds of Jihad. Ibrahim, like Pamela Geller and Robert Spencer, is part of an incestuous cadre of anti-Muslim hatemongers associated with the David Horowitz Freedom Center. Ibrahim has his own page, “Raymond’s Intersection,” at Frontpage Magazine, and also writes a weekly column for Jihad Watch.
Fellow loon Pamela Geller broke away from the hatemonger herd, linking instead to Fox News‘ Do Crosses at Catholic University Violate “Human Rights” of Muslims? She described Branzhaf’s complaint as an example of “Islamic supremacism,” and made the paranoid prediction that Attorney General Eric Holder would soon file a similar suit, presumably as part of the Obama Administration’s secret Mooslim agenda.
At the time of this writing, only Jihad Watch and The Blaze have published an update absolving Muslims. The ever paranoid Jihad Watch did so only grudgingly, insisting the lawsuit remains, “an equally insidious social engineering effort against CUA.”
Branzhaf’s ill-advised complaint is a setback in already strained relations between Christians and Muslims that cannot easily be reversed. Even if many sites retract their knee-jerk indictment of Muslims, the incident has been a public relations victory for the enemies of Islam and Muslims, reminiscent of the Islamophobiapalooza that boomeranged across the USA during the so-called South Park controversy.