The New York Times and USA Today recently published articles regarding Muslim students at colleges and universities. Both articles are framed from the point of view that Muslim students are benefiting from “religious accommodation” or “special treatment.” The most prevalent issue seems to be the installation of foot-washing basins in university restrooms.
Having worked at an institution that consists of a large population of Muslim students (University of Illinois at Chicago) I can attest to the importance of foot-washing basins. Trying to wash your feet in a regular sink is an exercise in balance, dexterity and luck.
What is fascinating to me is that all of these discussions, articles, etc. fail to adequately address the issue of Christian privilege. Fortunately, I was able to find a terrific article regarding Christian privilege (pdf) that addresses the built-in invisibility of this issue in higher education in the US.
Here is a quote from “Understanding Christian Privilege – Managing the Tensions of Spiritual Plurality“:
“Christian privilege shortchanges the learning of Christians if they are not asked to critically examine the beliefs that are so thoroughly represented in formal and informal aspects of campus life.”