Some people brought up in Muslim communities are terrorists. Some people brought up in Christian communities are bullies.
But, and this is important, not all Muslims are terrorists, and not all Christians are bullies.
Wear that Scarf, Jana Elhifny, and You Will DieSpecifically, Jana Elhifny was told that she would be killed in a school stairwell, if she wore a heard scarf: the sort of headgear that quite a few varieties of Islam require for women. This particular article of clothing is a hijab.
The school administration did - nothing. According to Jana Elhifny, her friend Stephanie Hart, and a court that awarded them a total of $400,000 in damages.
A spokesperson for the school said "The district did an incredibly thorough investigation," (FOXNews) which may be true, depending on exactly which definition of "incredibly" is used, and how it is interpreted.
The school rep claims that Jana couldn't identify the tormentor(s) by sex, size, or voice. Which may or may not be true.
Think About ItImagine that you're an older high school student, in a country where they don't speak your language, and don't share most of your customs. You're accosted by a half-dozen or so of the natives. They threaten your life while urging you to abandon your religious practices. It all takes less than a minute.
Quick: give a detailed description of each one of them. In that second language you picked up. To an authority who may or may not give any indication of being willing to believe your story.
Some Muslima Won a Court Case: So What?Jana Elhifny is married now, and living back in Egypt.
God be thanked, her experience in America included one person who wasn't depraved or indifferent. And, the American court system recognized the injustice done to her.
On the other hand, Jana didn't have an entirely positive experience in this country. And she'll carry those memories with her for the rest of her life. My hope is that she'll tell about the good, as well as the depraved, to her children.
Hijabs, Rosaries: Why Can't Those People Leave Us Alone?America has been a predominantly Protestant country, although that's changing. The Protestant branch of Christianity does not encourage - or, in some cases, tolerate - the use of religious symbols: except within very narrowly prescribed limits.
I'm a Catholic.
Right now, I'm wearing a 'chaplet' - a small crucifix on a length of knotted cord - around my neck. It's visible, although not glaringly so. After this week, I may take it off - it's part of a Lenten observance for me. On the other hand, I may keep wearing it for a while. It's an excellent reminder for me, of what I believe.
I live in a community that's almost entirely Catholic, so I don't stand out all that much. Not all Catholics living in America have it that nice.
Being a Religious Minority Has AdvantagesBeing a Catholic in a country that's overwhelmingly Protestant or secular has let me experience - to a tiny extent - what people in other non-majority faiths live with.
That may be why I'm as sympathetic as I am toward Muslimas who wear hijabs, Sheiks who grow beards, and people who wear turbans.
Because of choices I made, and am content with, I'm one of 'those people' too.
- " 'America Sucks' - Binghamton, New York, Bullies, and 'Little Eichmanns' "
(April 4, 2009)
- " 'the Catholics are super-duper terrorists': Who Knew?"
(April 1, 2009)
- I wish this was an April Fools' joke: The comment was posted a week earlier.
- "Sounds of Silence: 2009"
(March 31, 2009)
- "Pakistan; Nawaz Sharif; Multiculturalism; and a Skewed World View"
(March 15, 2009)
- "Minnesota Hijab Driver's License Ban SNAFU Fixed For Now"
(March 6, 2009)
- "Of Bias, Veils, and Crucifixes"
(February 25, 2008)
- "Kaffiyeh Craziness at Gateway High"
(February 19, 2009)
- "Murderous Muslims, Catholic Extermination Camps, and Common Sense"
(February 8, 2009)
- "Retard! Or, How Not to Make Your Point"
(January 20, 2009)
- "Lebanon, Israel, Pakistan, India, and the Lizard People"
(January 14, 2009)
- "Muslim Family Talks Safety, Gets Booted From Flight"
(January 2, 2009)
- Get a grip, people!
- "Emotions, the Frontal Cortex, The War on Terror, Anarchists, and the Illuminati"
(December 23, 2008)
- "The Rosary is a Gang Symbol: Who Knew?"
(September 16, 2008)
- "US school district pays to settle Muslim suit"
CAIR (April 8, 2009)
- "Muslim Girl Gets $400G From Nevada School District in Head Scarf Bully Case"
FOXNews (April 8, 2009)
- "School district pays $400K to settle Muslim suit"
USA Today (April 8, 2009)