I have been trying to follow the National Post stories on recent changes to various institutions to accommodate islamic demands to meet their religious ‘needs’. One of the stories is up to 1700 comments, a record in the experience of one seasoned Post commentator I know.
It occurs to me that as religion in a free country is 100% voluntary, that asking for others to accommodate your choices is akin to deciding to ride around in a wheelchair and then demanding that people make way for you, build ramps for you and subsidize your life because you are in a wheelchair. Of course, if a person actually did this they would be arrested for fraud and rightfully so.
But how is religious accommodation different? A person puts themselves at a disadvantage by their own choice. There is zero real world consequences to their deciding not to observe their religion, other than the reaction of their religious community. But observance in a free country is voluntary by definition of the very notion of a ‘free country’.
In fact, for religions other than Islam the entire point of making tough calls for your religious beliefs is specifically to build character by giving yourself hardships under some circumstances in order to keep yourself aware of things or humble yourself before your aspirations or deities etc. So to ask for people to make room for your choices in that case is actually a fraud against your own religion. interestingly its mostly only one religion that demands these accommodations and likely for political reasons, establishing its primacy, more than spiritual growth as one would normally make self limiting choices for religious purposes.
I would argue that islamic demands for accommodation for their purely voluntary religious ‘needs’ (desires in fact) is proof that it is not religious at all but one vector to political supremacy. It is a self proving behavior.
If you decide to peruse the comments on the National Post article about the Aikido class and the gender segregation they have now and the no need to bow to the founders, please read the comments by a former Muslim woman who taught Islamic studies for 14 years and is arguing with a Muslim who insults everyone else then accused the of Ad-hominem arguments. Search comments for ‘Saira’. She makes short shrift of the usual suspects in that comment thread. A sample below:
I was raised Muslim and this is completely untrue. Islam pretends to elevate women but in reality women are considered lower than men in everything. Men can marry multiple wives, they can beat them to discipline them, they can initiate divorce but women can’t. Women inherit 1/2 the property and their testimony is worth 1/2 of a man’s. Women are told to cover up because if they’re raped or harassed by men it’s their fault, not the man’s. Islam is a woman-hating cult. As a former Muslim, you can not fool me. You can lie to white non-Muslims, not to people like me.
Click over and read what she is responding to, the reply to her and how she answers her detractors. Worth the click-and-read.