Kansas Wingnuts Freak Out, Imagine Muslim Plot to Take Over University Chapel
This is from Monday so it isn’t exactly breaking news, but it’s nonetheless a great example of how fake scare stories about sinister Muslim takeover plots are manufactured, not to mention how false claims about the supposed marginalization or persecution of American Christians are born.
Naturally, the usual suspects—FOX News, the religious right, ACT for America, etc.—helped move & grow the story. It’s the right wing echo chamber at its most poisonous—a hateful chorus of bigoted, dishonest individuals utterly devoid of personal integrity or respect for the vaunted ideals they so loudly claim to cherish.
The removal of the pews at Wichita State University’s Grace Chapel — criticized by some as a Muslim takeover of the facility — actually was sought by a Christian campus minister and Christian students who wanted a more flexible worship space, the former campus minister and others said Monday.
“I certainly had that idea … five, six or seven of us all kind of had that idea within about the same six- to eight-month time frame three years ago,” said the Rev. Christopher Eshelman, a United Methodist minister who served as campus minister at WSU in 2011 and 2012.
“I certainly suggested it, advocated for it. I don’t know that I’m the only one that suggested it, so I’m not trying to say it was all my idea, but I was certainly one of the people who said, ‘What if we did this?’ ” […]
“Eventually, it was approved,” Eshelman said. “Everything went beautifully for six months and then … some people took offense and then it blew up.”
It blew up after an Oct. 2 Facebook post by WSU alumna and donor Jean Ann Cusick, who decried what she called “accommodation” of Muslim students, who have brought in a prayer rug and use the chapel for daily prayers. Cusick, who spoke to The Eagle last week, refused to comment on Monday.
Her post quickly moved through conservative Christian circles online and was picked up by national media. […]
“I want to emphasize: Never in my conversations or experience did I have a Muslim insist on anything for that space,” he [Eshelman —CL] said. “There were no demands.” […]
If you read the whole story you’ll see that much outrage ensued, including lots of hate mail directed at Christian student leaders, one of whom is a licensed minister who chalked the episode up to the ever present (yet supposedly non-existent) Islamophobia.
Anyone who still insists on denying that Islamophobia exists and that there’s an entire industry dedicated to perpetuating it, needs to have their head examined.