In “Slouching toward dhimmitude in Minneapolis?” I noted the apparent establshment of two sex-segregated “masjids” (mosques) within the (public) Minneapolis Community and Technical College. Having visited the college yesterday to observe the room designated on the outisde as a “masjid” reserved for Muslim “sisters” on the third floor of the Technical Building, I wrote MCTC interim vice president for academic and student affairs Laura Fedock as she requested after she told me she knew nothing about the rooms. Here is the text of the message I sent her:
Dear Ms. Fedock: As I mentioned to you in the call to your office this afternoon, I write for the Power Line web site (powerlineblog.com). It is a site that provides commentary on the news from a conservative perpsective and occasionally offers original reporting.
A student at MCTC has written us concerning the separate Muslim men’s and women’s masjids set up on the fifth and third floors of the Technical Building, respectively. I am asking you for information concerning the nature and purpose of the rooms, to whom they are assigned, and anything else that would allow readers to understand their purpose at MCTC. I am particularly interested in the school’s allowing the assignment of rooms by sex and religion. Is it MCTC’s view that this is lawful? If so, on what authority does the school rely?
Ms. Fedock has now responded:
Thank you for calling this matter to our attention. The college recently received a request from the Somali Student Association for the use of additional space. We evaluated the request through the process used for all space requests made by recognized student organizations.
Unused space was identified and provided with the understanding that it could be used until needed by the college for other purposes. In recent days, without the knowledge of either the college or the student organization leaders, an unidentified individual put up two handmade signs designating these spaces for gender-specific religious use. Consistent with college practices, those postings have been replaced with two room signs identifying the student organizations using those spaces.
MCTC honors the constitutional rights of all its students and student organizations, and employees, and does not discriminate on the basis of religious viewpoint. Any student or employee with concerns about these issues is welcome to bring them to the administration’s attention through the student life office or other administrative office.
Interim Associate Vice President
Academic and Student Affairs
The attentive reader may notice a slight unresponsiveness to Ms. Fedock’s message, but I trust that clarity will somehow be brought to the situation in due course.
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