With unemployment mired above nine percent and new jobless claims hovering at 400,000 a week, the Obama administration needed a victory, and at last it has one. The Justice Department has forced a Middle American school district to pay a Muslim teacher $75,000 and implement a sensitivity training course throughout the district, after administrators refused to allow the new hire to take three weeks off for a trip to Mecca in 2008.
Safoorah Khan had held her job as a math lab instructor at McArthur Middle School in Berkeley, Illinois, less than a year when she asked unpaid leave to make hajj, the once-in-a-lifetime religious requirement that is one of the five pillars of Islam. The school district noted that she asked for the leave immediately before exams, was the only instructor in her department, and that the teachers’ union-brokered contract offered her infidel counterparts no comparable leave. Last December, the Justice Department filed suit against the district after the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission reported her complaint. The DoJ argued administrators had violated Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act, discriminating against Khan because of her religion.
Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights Thomas Perez — who may have committed perjury in the Black Panthers voter intimidation scandal — added the school district “agreed to implement a training program” to sensitize education administrators to religious (read: Muslim) needs. “Employees should not have to choose between practicing their religion and their jobs,” he opined.
Ironically, Perez also helped draw up the Obama administration’s legal brief in the Hosanna-Tabor Evangelical Lutheran Church and School v. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission case currently pending before the Supreme Court. If the administration prevails, the High Court would repeal the “ministerial exception,” allowing the government to determine who can be considered a minister in many (or perhaps all) cases and force Christian schools to violate church doctrine in their personnel decisions.
On the one hand, the Justice Department sues a secular public school district to allow a Muslim teacher to practice her faith. On the other, the same EEOC figures, citing the same civil rights laws, sue a Missouri-Synod Lutheran school to reward a teacher who violated Lutheran doctrine.
The two stances are plainly irreconcilable. What do they have in common? Only that both harm the nation’s Christian majority and promote the redistribution of respect from this nation’s majority population to tiny, often hostile and always aggressive religious minorities.