Islam Vs. Christianity at Wichita State University

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When Wichita State University decided last May to renovate the Harvey D. Grace Memorial Chapel, they didn’t count on the firestorm of criticism that awaited them. The move – made in an attempt to give the campus’s 1,000 Muslim students a place to pray – has rankled Christians who say the changes went too far.

The renovations were met with little controversy on campus, but once Wichita State alum Jean Ann Cusick posted pictures of the changes on Facebook, donors, alumni, and concerned citizens alike responded in anger. “The Muslims are ecstatic,” Cusick said on Facebook Friday. “Sumpin’ NOT right here.”

According to university officials, the changes – which included tearing out the pews so that Muslims could spread their prayer rugs – were made in accordance with the chapel’s namesake.

“Under the terms of Mrs. Harvey D. Grace’s gift to the university in her will, ‘This chapel will be open to all creeds and to all races of people,’” President John Bardo said in a statement. “Our goal should be exactly what Mrs. Grace set out to do in her gift, to have an all faiths chapel that is welcoming to all religious groups on campus.”

But critics say the changes are not equitable, and they accuse WSU of marginalizing Christians in an attempt to appease Muslims. Reacting to the sudden criticism, Bardo admitted that the changes may not have taken all faiths into proper consideration. It remains to be seen how he will remedy that problem.

In all likelihood, he’s playing the waiting game, hoping that Cusick and her fellow Christians will lose interest. Media reports – even some of those found on conservative sites – have given an inordinate amount of space to university Muslims, who claim this is just Islamophobia in action. And while he waits for this to blow over, he will have ample time to consider another standing request from campus Muslims. Fresh off their chapel victory, they now want the university to install handheld bidets in the public bathrooms. Because apparently Islam requires the use of a bidet.

Did you know that Islam requires the use of a bidet?

Hopefully, Wichita Christians will not let this university quietly turn the campus chapel into a mosque. Build a damn mosque if you must. But contrary to what a lot of modern-day liberal Christians think, there is not room under one roof for Islam and Christianity. And if the answer to that dilemma is to push Christianity out and move Islam in, then we are in for some dark times.