The whine, that Muslims getting a free pass while Christians are persecuted, is standard fare for the Christian right. And it's not only Fox Nation denizens that articulate this combination of victim and anti-Islamic victimhood. Fox's Mike Huckabee articulated the same sentiment during Bill O'Reilly's rant about how pastors need to grow some cojones and do some serious ass kicking of those nasty secularists who are trying to destroy Bill O'Reilly "Judeo-Christianity," Mike Huckabee provided warm affirmation with the requisite Fox claim that "Christians are treated differently than most other faith groups." And in the spirit of the season, he attacked those who defend separation of church & state - a concept that is not accepted by the Christian right and Mike Huckabee who would like to amend the Constitution to "meet God's standards." Huckabee then continued his homily with the requisite, persecuted reference to Islam that was a teensy bit untrue.
After O'Reilly ranted about the horror of those who object to forcing religiously diverse public school kids to see a Christian themed Christmas play, Huckabee said said that "these people who call themselves the free thinkers, I call them the big stinkers, they're not going after the fact that up in Dearborne Michigan, they spent $25,000 to build Muslim foot baths at the expense of the University of Michigan in Dearborn, you didn't hear anybody squawking about that and filing a lawsuit." Turns out that that there was indignation expressed throughout the right wing blogosphere where the concern was creeping Sharia and unfair concessions to Muslims. It also turns out that there was some skepticism express by one representative of the "big stinkers."
Huckabee was correct about the University of Michigan building the foot baths. It was an accommodation for Muslims in the same way that kosher food is available at some public colleges and universities such as CUNY. Muslim footbaths are also situated at a number of colleges including Eastern Michigan University which had to content with Christian "action alerts" when the baths were set up. When the baths were set up in Dearborn, the school administration said it was a health and safety measure and the baths would be available to everybody. (Janitors complained about wet floors where Muslim students washed their feet in the sinks). But it was not without controversy.
Conservative Debbie Schlussel spoke of constitutional issues that only apply to church & state - not "mosque and state." As previously noted, the anti-Islam media world lit up. But the forces of the "big stinkers" were also critical. The president of the Michigan chapter of Americans United for Separation of Church & State said that "the university claims it's available for Western students as well, but, traditionally, Western students don't wash their feet five times day."
Bottom line is that the accommodation was, most likely, constitutional. Bussing public school children to a religious themed play, at a Christian church would probably not pass constitutional muster.
So, despite Huckbee's contention to the contrary, there was some squawking but most of it was coming from those, on his side, who think that Christians are being persecuted while Muslims get special treatment. And as we see on Fox News, indeed they do!
God bless us everyone?