A recent development at the University of Michigan's Flint campus summarizes the radical Islamic program in small compass. Shena Abercrombie of the Flint Journal reports how the Muslim Student Association took over a small space called the Meditation Room, used for non-denominational prayer services. Starting in November 2004, non-Muslim students began complaining about Muslim students monopolizing the room by filling it with their religious artifacts and also with anti-Israel literature. The room came to be filled with prayer rugs and books, the walls held posters, awards from the Muslim Student Association, and framed Islamic pictures.
Muslim students responded to the non-Muslim complaint with the usual line: "I do think that the current political climate does contribute to Islamophobia. … I do think that the reaction would have been different if the room was used predominantly by Christians or Jews," said Bishr Aldabagh of the MSA. Also, the brave student who initiated the complaint about Islamist aggression, Zea Miller, said he was subsequently stalked, harassed, and insulted. "I did this on behalf of others who were afraid to. It was not bigoted. I would have done this against any group who usurped the room. Now, at every move I'm being accused of anti-Muslim behavior. I am not anti-Muslim."
The Hillel Student Organization supported Miller. "The room is really important to us also, [and] we don't feel comfortable using it the way it is right now," said its president, Katie Segal. "The inside and outside had a lot of anti-Zionist propaganda and pictures and paraphernalia." Segal also denied the "Islamophobia" claim. "I think they're going to use that as their cover."
Finally, in March, the school posted rules for use of the Meditation Room that disallow leaving one's materials behind. Since then, peace apparently has returned.
Comments: (1) Islamists are always aggressive, no matter how small the stakes. (2) Islamists can be beaten back. (May 23, 2005)