No, Really, We’re Tolerant of Muslims
Low-hanging fruit, I know, but given the role of Jihad Watch in pushing the Cordoba Community Center story to the front-pages, it’s worth pointing out nonetheless. ESPN does a little human-interest piece about a predominantly Muslim Dearborn, Michigan high school football team that has adjusted its two-a-day practices in August to 11PM-4AM to accommodate the combination of Ramadan and the August heat.
This set of facts causes Robert Spencer of Jihad Watch to spew:
The only problem here is that it discourages non-Muslims from playing on the team, and reinforces the ever-reinforced and ultimately Islamic supremacist principle that non-Muslims must accommodate Muslim practices — never the other way around.
Really?? It’s just one sentence but there is an entire novel’s worth of wrong in it.
First, it ignores that this is apparently the only school in the country where a team has significantly altered its practice schedule to accommodate Ramadan. Presumably, there are other schools in this country with Muslim players and maybe even some other schools whose teams are predominantly Muslim. So the notion that this proves the “ultimately Islamic supremacist principle that non-Muslims must accommodate Muslim practices – never the other way around” is absurd on its face.
But it’s also absurd when you consider that this is the first time that even this particular school has adjusted its practice schedule in this way to accommodate Ramadan, with the ESPN article noting:
Zaban, 40, a Muslim and former Fordson player, knows the high stakes. When Ramadan falls during football season, the players practice during daylight hours. But with August’s heat and doubled practice schedule, concerns grew about players’ health, particularly the high risk of heat stroke.
“We know how hot it’s been this summer — it’s not safe,” Zaban said.
Working it out meant getting the approval of school and district administrators and the blessings of players, parents and police. Then, there were the residents in the surrounding neighborhood, who would hear more noise and see the illuminated field. So he sent letters explaining the decision.
So the coach actually obtained the “blessings of players, parents and police” before instituting the decision. Since the terms “players” and “parents” encompass non-Muslim players and parents, this means that Spencer’s claim that this is an example of “Islamic supremacist principle that non-Muslims must accommodate Muslim practices” is utterly and preposterously specious – the coach does not seem to have demanded anything from anybody without their consent.
Moreover, as the snippet above makes clear, in any other year, where Ramadan falls during the school year and the actual season, the Muslim majority on this particular team actually does accommodate its practices to the practices of non-Muslims. It is only the fact that Ramadan this year happened to fall during the grueling August two-a-day practice season that caused this coach to change the schedule. In other words, in every single year except this particular year, even this particular majority Muslim team does precisely what Spencer claims Muslims are incapable of doing: accommodating non-Muslim practices.
But, hey, Islam demands that all Muslims refuse to accommodate non-Muslim practices and that all Muslims demand that non-Muslims accommodate Muslim practice. I know this because Robert Spencer said so. Therefore, it must be true and it certainly cannot be true that bigotry has anything to do with this statement whatsoever.