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Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Moslem Attack On Christmas Backfires

Part of my practice -- legal and consulting -- is to give people strategic advice.

This often involves analyzing the "other side's" strategy to uncover its true objective. Part of a successful and effective negotiation (or attack) is knowing what that true objective is so you can cater to it.

Such is the case with the Moslem activists' push to have a Montgomery County, Maryland school district close for the Muslim holiday of Eid.

The activists (including the Committee of American-Islamist Relations, or CAIR) have been pushing to have the school districts close for Eid just like they close for Christmas or Yom Kippur.  On the surface, it is a form of equality as the stated objective.

Never mind that Christmas is largely a secular holiday, recognized by nonbelieving Christians and most people in most faiths; ditto for Easter, and even the Jewish high holy days (e.g., Passover).  And never mind that the vast majority of Americans literally have no idea -- none whatsoever -- about Eid. 

The school district's response to CAIR and others was to simply de-religionize the days off. The days off will remain on the school calendar, but their purpose will become an unstated truth as to which no one shall speak, but as to which everyone will understand the reason.

So of course the days off will be for Christmas, or Yom Kippur, or whatever. 

And guess what? The apparent, blatant "blankness" of the days in official documents will not diminish the symbolism of those holidays or the faiths they celebrate.

Rather, it will enhance them.

Now, let me address the fears of some political quarters.

Some are already charging that the school districts are surrendering to the intolerance and aggressive proselytizing of Moslem activists who seek an opportunity to preach, convert and otherwise expand the Moslem footprint, under the guise of equality. (Such proselytizing, incidentally, is not confined to Moslems, but that is a story for another article.) This concern holds that by "going secular" by removing the stated religious-holiday basis for certain days off, the school district undermines the predominant and socially-established (but not State-established) faiths of this land and thereby attacks those faiths.

I disagree entirely.

The school district is engaging in a successful passive-aggressive response. Its response is to give the Moslem activists their literal equality. Everything shall be equal; no religious holiday shall be the stated basis for a day off.

But of course, everyone not living under a rock or in a dirt cave will know the religious holidays are very much the basis for the days off. 

But now, here are the results which the activists may not have anticipated.

First, the population at large will now become increasingly aware of the true religious nature of the days off.

Second, the population at large will become fully aware of who is responsible for the stated secularization of those days off.

Third, the population at large now knows that there are elected and appointed leaders who will defend our First Amendment to our Constitution. In particular, they will honor the Establishment and Free Exercise Clauses, which holds:
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof;
Unwittingly, the activists have validated the tenet first expressed by the author Ayn Rand, who wrote that the best way to defeat a fraud is to comply with it literally. The fraud here is not any religion, but the use of a religion and the associated claim that equality is desired, as a pretext to allow (if not endorse) proselytizing, thus achieving a form of unequal treatment in the form of supremacy. That would, of course, raise questions about "equal protection" under the Constitution.

So if religious activists are worried that the Maryland school board is caving to religious aggression, a waving of the white flag, I suspect the subtle strategy is a defense, a defiance that may be a sound strategic and legal maneuver.

You see, the best part is that this decision forces the hand of Moslem activists -- or atheist activists, whether in the guise of civil liberties organizations if not courageously in their own name as atheists -- who would be forced to argue for official religious recognition and for supremacy, not equality, if they continue to oppose or challenge the school board decision.

This situation bears watching.

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