Meet Your Friendly Neighborhood Human Rights Commission

A lot of people are understandably aghast at this story:

The Washington, D.C. Office of Human Rights confirmed that it is investigating allegations that Catholic University 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.”

A spokesperson for the Office of Human Rights told Fox News they had received a 60-page complaint against the private university. The investigation, they said, could take as long a six months.

Now brush aside the idiotic nature of the complaint — which boils down to “Some Muslims Shocked to Learn Catholic University is Catholic.” What is remarkable about this story? 

For me, it’s that Washington, D.C. has its own “Office of Human Rights.” Part of the reason these spurious complaints arise is because government bureaucracies enable them. “Human rights commissions” et al. have been popping up like dandelions all over the country, and the bureaucrats that comprise them are eager to justify their existence. Often that means enabling irrationally aggrieved parties to undermine someone else’s human rights in the name of political correctness. 

Make no mistake, the proliferation of these Orwellian bureaucrats will have real consequences. A few years ago, the Human Rights Commission in neighboring Arlington, Va., tried to force a Christian who owns a video duplication service to reproduce gay rights documentaries after he initially refused to do it. Whatever you think about that businessman’s opinion of homosexuality, we should all be in agreement that the First Amendment doesn’t guarantee access to someone else’s printing press. Other examples of human rights commissions making a mockery of their name abound. And in Canada, human rights commissions have gained so much purchase they’ve essentially criminalized free speech.

The good news is that while this may be an example of local government running amok, local government is also much more reactive to citizen complaints. If you’re not already aware of what your friendly neighborhood human rights commission is up to, you should be.

  1. LH Neal

    Of course any Muslim institution would honor similar requests from Catholics…right?!?!

  2. Pilli

    I wonder how much this Human Rights Commission costs the taxpayers each year.  Cities complain there isn’t enough $$$ to go around but…

  3. Songwriter
    Kelly B: A perfect example of where the “eye roll” button is needed. · Oct 27 at 12:58pm

    And now I click the “Amen, brother” button.

  4. Talleyrand

    How about they attend the King Saud University in Riyadh. I guarantee their will be no crosses around to distract them from their devotions.

  5. kylez

    At what point do Muslim activists just decide to go for it and make the charge that all of American society is insensitive to them and sue the entire nation?

  6. KC Mulville

    But if the heroes of the local government don’t protect us, we’ll all be helpless and have our feelings hurt … whatsoever would we do? How could we go on? </sarcasm off>

    Sadly, I’m sure that the members of those Commissions are convinced that without their fierce protectiveness, the rest of us would crumble into anarchy.

  7. Palaeologus
    Mark Hemingway:

    Now brush aside the idiotic nature of the complaint — which boils down to “Some Muslims Shocked to Learn Catholic University is Catholic.” What is remarkable about this story?&nbsp;

    For me, it’s that Washington, D.C. has its own “Office of Human Rights.”

    Yep, and it has it’s own nifty website with a handy list of no nos.

    Here is the list for employers.

    Thou shall not discriminate on the basis of:

    Race Color Religion National Origin Sex Age Marital Status Personal Appearance Sexual Orientation Gender Identity or Expression Family Responsibilities Genetic Information? Disability Political Affiliation Matriculation

    The moral of the story is don’t hire the guy who: can lift a box, or knows he’s a guy, or showers, or went to the same college you did, or has genes that you’re aware of…

    In other words: don’t hire.

  8. Starve the Beast

    Actually, my faith is strong enough so I could easily say a prayer to Jesus even if I happened to be in a mosque, surrounded by Islamic symbols. It wouldn’t really be a problem.

    Is it just me, or does this sound like something other than religious freedom is motivating these people?

  9. wilber forge

    Research the Canadian HRC rulings and lawsuits. As well as how it is structured. Very unsettling.

  10. tabula rasa

    I agree with you, Mark. &nbsp;Create a bureaucracy and the bureaucracy will do something. This is as true as the fact that nature abhors a vacuum. &nbsp;If the bureaucracy has “human rights” in its name, it will find human rights violations. &nbsp;When you’re a hammer, everything looks like a nail.

  11. Mel Foil

    The Muslim students say that the reason they picked Catholic University is that the atmosphere is friendly, conservative, and respectful of religious faith. “Now if we could just get rid of all that Catholic stuff, it would be perfect.”

  12. Kelly B

    A perfect example of where the “eye roll” button is needed.

  13. Raw Prawn

    etoiledunord: The Muslim students say that the reason they picked Catholic University is that the atmosphere is friendly, conservative, and respectful of religious faith. “Now if we could just get rid of all that Catholic stuff, it would be perfect.” · Oct 27 at 12:54pm

    I read, or heard, somewhere that in this instance the muslims are not complaining about anything and the whole kerfuffle was invented by a serial pest who happens to be a law professor.