Debbie Schlussel: EXCLUSIVE: So Long Church/State Separation: University of Michigan to Fund Muslim Footbaths

By Debbie Schlussel

**** EXCLUSIVE: Must cite Debbie Schlussel and/or (that means you, Sean Hannity and World Net Daily) ****

Forget about the Constitutionally mandated separation of church and state . . . at least when it comes to mosque and state.

When students return in the fall, the University of Michigan-Dearbornistan is set to have Muslim footbaths in at least two locations.

And your tax funds are paying for it.


Last week, Kay Pepin, University of Michigan-Dearborn Director of Facilities Planning, and Terry Gallagher, a U of M-Dearborn spokesman, confirmed to me that plans are in the works to build Muslim footbaths (they refer to them as "foot-washing stations") in both the University Center and Fairlane Center buildings at the university.

When I asked why the footbaths were being installed, Gallagher told me that this is "an accommodation to a significant portion of our student body and their friends and visitors in accordance with our mission." He said that it is a growing trend with Boston University, Cal State-Fullerton, University of Wisconsin-Madison, and Washington University of St. Louis, all installing footbaths. "We wanted to be part of that trend in accommodating Muslim students."

But when I asked Gallagher what portion of the U-M Dearborn is Muslim, he said that the most recent information the school has is from a 2004 survey of incoming freshman. The survey only identified 11% of students as Muslims, whereas 37% of incoming freshman were Roman Catholic. When I asked if there was any accommodation or money spent on Catholic students, he could not identify any.

Gallagher said the foot baths are the result of "years of ongoing negotiations with the Muslim Student Association." The Chicago Tribune exposed the radical Muslim Student Association (MSA) as an American branch of the Egyptian terrorist group, Muslim Brotherhood, which took part in the murder of Egyptian President Anwar El-Sadat as well as the shootings at the Temples at Luxor.

Gallagher insists that he's confident that "none of our Muslim students is involved in terrorism." But last year, I received numerous death, rape and torture threats against me, my parents, and grandparents from University of Michigan-Dearborn student Lola Elzein, a Lebanese Shi'ite Muslim. Ms. Elzein was visited by the FBI and admitted to making the threats. Mohammed Fouad Abdallah, another Lebanese Shi'ite Muslim, used University of Michigan-Dearborn computers to send me rape, torture, and death threats in the name of Hezbollah. His home was raided by four FBI agents, and he admitted to making the threats.

And last week, Syed Maaz Shah--a student who was Secretary of the Muslim Student Association at the University of Texas-Dallas--was convicted of illegally possessing firearms when he attended a Muslim terrorist training camp and sought to kill Americans.

The University of Michigan MSA has a Muslim Accommodations Task Force, which was headed by Nadia Bazzy of the infamous Hezbollah-supporting Lebanese Shi'ite Bazzy family. Many Bazzys have been involved in Hezbollah there--and here. And the MSA Muslim Accommodations Task Force has more goals in mind:

Ramadan Iftar Accommodations; Eid Holidays; Prayer Room and Break Accommodations; Faculty Sensitivity Training; Jummah; Surveys / Advocacy; Halal Food

The MSA of U of M-Dearborn says that a "Reflection Room" was established for Muslim students, at MSA's request. I wonder what would happen if Christian or Jewish students went there to pray or hang out.

Gallagher confirmed that University of Michigan-Dearborn Vice Chancellor Robert G. Behrens made the decision to install the footbaths. Behrens was the sole decisionmaker. He did not have to go before a committee of University Regents to get the approval or consult with anyone else.

Behrens refused to speak with me regarding this Unconstitutional waste of tax dollars on behalf of the "Religion of Peace," but his secretary, Judy Modelski, had some interesting talking points to try to dissuade me from thinking this was a Muslim footbath. "It can also be used for changing diapers of and washing babies," she told me. "And there's a third use, but I can't remember what it is."

But spokesman Gallagher confirmed that there is no other use for the footbaths, other than for Muslims to wash their feet before prayer. You'd think they'd get their stories straight at the University of Michigan-Dearborn. Regardless, what mother would wash her baby in a deep bath where people washed their feet and the baby could drown? And what person would wash their feet in a bath where diapers had been changed? It simply doesn't make sense.

In a letter to an angry alumnus, Vice Chancellor Behrens wrote that the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor construction, in 1841, of a chapel makes these Muslim footbaths okay. But that was a non-denominational chapel where anyone could go for any reason, even for non-religious purposes. As U-M/Dearborn spokesman Gallagher acknowledged, these footbaths are being built as an accommodation to Muslims and no other religion uses them.

When I asked Gallagher why a religious accommodation was being made for Muslims, he informed me that if another religion approaches U of M-D, it will consider the request. But universities are constitutionally barred from endorsing a religion or even two religions.

The footbaths, so far, will cost $27,000 to install. But count on it to cost more. Since only one set of footbaths is being installed at each of the two locations, Gallagher confirmed to me that each will be installed in only one bathroom. That means that, in order to comply with laws against gender discrimination, each sex will be entitled to a footbath in its respective bathroom. Expect the cost to double to at least $54,000--$54,000 of tax money spent for a religious accommodation in violation of the separation between church and state.

That money is coming from the University of Michigan-Dearborn general fund. That means, if you are a taxpayer, you're paying for them, as the general fund is made up of federal and state monies and paid tuition fees.

$2,000 of that has already been spent, paying architectural firm Niagara Murano, LLC, of swanky Birmingham, Michigan to "design" the footbaths. When I asked why an architectural firm was needed instead of a plumber, Gallagher told me that an architect was consulted to make the footbaths compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Amazing. They care about compliance with all of the other laws, just not the most important one--the Constitutional prohibition of establishing a national religion.

I asked Gallagher if he's aware that these footbaths are likely to be the subject of a lawsuit by some brave Michigan taxpayer, who detests being forced to fund Islam and the demands of an American manifestation of the Muslim Brotherhood.

He said, "We're prepared to defend that if it happens." That means more of your tax dollars at work for the "Religion of Peace."

The question is: Where and when will a Michigan taxpayer finally say enough is enough and file suit? Will the ACLU take the case? (Fat chance.)

And when will America wake up?


Contact University of Michigan-Dearborn Vice Chancellor Robert G. Behrens to protest the Unconstitutional public funding of Muslim footbaths:

Office of the Vice Chancellor
Robert G Behrens
1090 Administration Building
Dearborn, MI 48128
Phone: (313) 593-5110

And, if you live in Michigan, contact your state legislators, as well.

Posted by Debbie on May 30, 2007 10:22 AM to Debbie Schlussel