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.