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What could be the most frightening thing to commenters at a well-known right-wing hate site? Muslim footbaths. That's right - Little Green Footbaths ;-o

Right-wing anti-Muslim site Little Green Footballs just posted the frightening information that NYU is surrendering to the evil Muslim terrorists by examining the issue of whether footbaths should be installed in the new Interfaith center on campus. Mind you NYU hasn't agreed to install the footbaths but is looking at doing so - in a building which hasn't even been acquired yet.

The article on LGF is copied from the NY Post and features a quote from NYU student Pia Clive where she says "I think most people would really approve of that, it’s NYU. If we were at Alabama State, it would be a different story."

The reaction on Little Green Footballs has been one of total and complete outrage. The NYU student has been the subject of insults ranging from her name ("snotty") to her intelligence ("stupid") to her patriotism ("condescending snot"). She's been variously called a "shithead," "bigoted," "clueless" and "an empty-headed twit." In addition commenters on LGF have taken it upon themselves to research and publish the student's home state ("taxachusetts") and her former prep school.

In reaction to the footbaths themselves commenters on LGF seem to be advocating they be used as toilets and are expressing glee in the idea of a "floater" being deposited in them. I guess this is what passes for right-wing humor on extremist right-wing sites these days.

The NYU community and university haven't been spared either. NYU has been called "leftist, elitist and ignorant." The ignorance of LGF commenters knows no bounds - they're questioning why NYU, a "public university," is providing religious services. NYU is a private university and the Interfaith center is exactly that - a center designed for students of all faiths.

I know none of us are surprised at this but the vitriol directed towards one of my fellow students is shocking to me. I can understand how people would disagree with the decision of NYU to study the issue but the personal attacks on the quoted student are shameful. NYU is a private university which works to maintain a congenial atmosphere for all NYU students and the surrounding community. Apparently this is something the commenters at LGF find absolutely inexcusable.

Originally posted to Shane Hensinger on Wed Oct 03, 2007 at 12:45 PM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  As a graduate of NYU (14+ / 0-)

    I'm proud that LGF hates us.

    And I recall a certain Jewish Carpenter engaged in footwashing, especially on Maundy Thursday.  But I guess he was a Godless Heathen.

  •  muslims, shmuslims (0+ / 0-)

    no university ought to be catering to the irrational habits of any religious group.  university is a place where one should read and learn, challenge one's assumptions about the world, not simply reinforce the obsolete and backwards rituals and superstitions of one's ancestors.  

    •  It's a custom, dope (7+ / 0-)

      If it's irrational and backwards to wash one's feet, then what about:

      -removing one's shoes when entering a home, as the Japanese do
      -wearing clothes when one goes to sleep, as many cultures do
      -not picking one's nose in public (as Europeans do)
      -not blowing one's nose in public (as the Japanese do)
      -wearing shirts in warm weather

      Now, suppose you visited a country where they don't wear clothes at the beach, and suppose for the benefit of tourists they put up a cabana where you could put on your silly little swimming clothes. Wouldn't you find that a reasonable thing? Even if you decided (being all sophisticated and all) to go native, would you criticize your mom if she ducked inside to change out of her thong?

      As much fun as it is to imagine yourself superior to others (hey, I'm doing it right now, and rather enjoying it!), you really need to take the next step and look at yourself in the same way you look at others.

      •  your examples suck. (0+ / 0-)

        the university should ban washing of feet in sinks.

        besides, the footbaths are likely to become a public health problem, or another potential fall-zone.  are universities willing to put up money for that too?

        •  actually, they don't (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          otherwise they would be public health problems the world over, and they're really not. as for potential fall zones, well, university students are adults and not 2 year olds who need their environment childproofed. and yes, i'm a recent college grad.

          as for banning the washing of feet in sinks, i'd enjoy watching them attempt to enforce that.

        •  Wrong (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          cathy b, blue book, eshafto

          Gimme a break. Why is washing feet in sinks any different than hands? The university has more important things to do than "ban" the washing of certain appendages in sinks.

          The footbaths are highly unlikely to become a health or safety issue. If they were I doubt NYU would brave the liability risk.

          "He who can destroy a thing, controls a thing." Muadib

          by Shane Hensinger on Wed Oct 03, 2007 at 03:06:50 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  What an enlightened opinion. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      Even from a "secular" viewpoint, though, this makes sense... right now, from what I gather, Muslims who wish to follow their religious custom and wash their feet before prayer are now using the sink - which is (a) unsanitary (do you want to wash your face in a sink where someone else's stinky foot has just been?), and (b) probably not all that safe given the slipperiness of your average public restroom floor.

      It seems to me that especially in an interfaith center which purports to serve those of many religions, footbaths would be a very appropriate thing.  Elsewhere, it seems to me that if the Muslim groups are willing to pay for them, why not install them?

    •  Footbaths, bidets, baby changing stations (0+ / 0-)

      put in as many places for people to clean up as possible.

      On a hot busy day, when I'm stuck in a place I need to walk a lot in dressy shoes, I'd love to have a place where I could stop, take off my shoes, and run some cool water over my feet.

      Find a faith that wants to put in massage tables--and I'd even think about denouncing my atheism to join them.

  •  Complely unsurprising, unfortunately (4+ / 0-)

    I post on a baseball blog site that has an "outside the lines" area for non-baseball topics.  There is a pretty broad cross-section of political opinion there, and the right-wingers were all outraged about the fact that some university in the Midwest (I think it was the University of Michigan, but could be mistaken) had installed foot baths in the restrooms closest to a small interfaith chapel on campus.  

    They were outraged even though the Muslim students hadn't even requested that they be installed.  The non-Muslim students requested it, because with no foot baths, the Muslim students had been washing their feet in the bathroom sinks, and they thought that installing foot baths would be a good way of preventing this.  And the university had made it clear that their use wasn't limited to Muslim students.  Although that's obviously who would be primarily using them, I've had days when I've been on my feet a lot that a foot bath would have seemed very refreshing.

    Somehow, to the righties, installing foot baths was the equivalent of putting a gigantic tablet of the Ten Commandments in a court house -- even though they weren't limited to religious use, and even though they had been requested by students of a different faith than the one that would be primarily using them.  It sounded like a pretty reasonable accomodation to all the liberals, but the righties were outraged ... absolutely OUTRAGED!

    "Those who would sacrifice liberty for security deserve neither liberty nor security." -Ben Franklin

    by leevank on Wed Oct 03, 2007 at 12:52:59 PM PDT

  •  As an atheist (11+ / 0-)

    I feel that the presence or absence of footbaths would be an issue decided by who's using the building and how you feel about them. In an interfaith center at a university with a significant Muslim population they're a no-brainer.

    And although I object strenuously to government-sponsored religious expression, I would have no problem if even a public university with a large Muslim clientele had footbaths, in the same way a bank might have umbrella stands. The institution is taking no stand with regard to the reason its clientele uses footbaths.

    In the same way, if a cafeteria in a public school in an Orthodox Jewish neighborhood offered Glatt Kosher box meals, I would not consider that an outrage. Your goal is to serve people and you can't do that if you're serving food they can't eat. And you can do this without endorsing their reasons for not eating it.

    Now, if they wanted to put a Star of David over the entrance to the school, or have faculty lead or encourage Jewish, Muslim, Christian, or any other sort of prayer or belief, I would find that offensive.

    Of course, most of your LGFers would find my last statement (when applied to Christianity) to ALSO be offensive. But, well, some people love to hate, and LGF seems to be out to collect the full set.

  •  This is a common theme on wingnut websites (3+ / 0-)

       They are not always able even to keep their facts straight. This article at Free Republic last month quotes extensively from a New Media Journal author who can't tell the difference between the "real" University of Michigan and the University of Michigan-Dearborn, which actually did install a foot bath.
        This posting from June addressed the same installation, correctly identifying the school. The comments for both posts run primarily to the idea of either washing a pig in the bath, or simply using it as a latrine.

    -5.12, -5.23

    We are men of action; lies do not become us.

    by ER Doc on Wed Oct 03, 2007 at 12:59:41 PM PDT

  •  As an born again Aztec I would love to see (6+ / 0-)

    ritual altars in the Universities as our congregation grows and we engage in campus debate.

    Anybody got a problem with that? ;)


    A day without sunshine is like, you know, night.

    by Doodad on Wed Oct 03, 2007 at 01:17:46 PM PDT

  •  Well you know, that if we install foot baths (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Eiron, Ninepatch

    pretty soon we will all be facing mecca and putting our noses on the ground five times a day, and we will be subject to sharia law, as everyone knows that the muslims are out to conquer the world and kill all us infidels.


  •  Xenophobia (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    BlueEngineerInOhio, Ninepatch

    Subject pretty much sums up the whole reasoning for this article.  

    Let'm spew hate.  They won't actually do anything about it.  After their done masturbating how "patriotic" they were, it's back to watching FOX news and eating deep fried lard on a stick.  Only thing accomplished is an ever widening waistline.

    I seriously doubt that, besides from maybe a handful, the people that left the comments aren't even from NY.  Or would have the grades to go to NYU.  

    Or have ever left their hometown except to go protest a Planned Parenthood center five towns away.

  •  .... in a unisex bathroom? (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    cathy b, Eiron, Ninepatch

    According to this article from the New York Times, such footbaths have been installed or planned at George Mason University, U. Mich Dearborn, and Eastern Michigan University.  

    The photo in the story features a footbath in a unisex bathroom, which will no doubt bring up all kinds of interesting theological conundrums for conservative Muslims who seek maximal segregation of the sexes.

    Oh, and LGF?  A bunch of ignorant bigots jumping up and down and hooting and throwing feces at today's designated target of Two Minutes Hate.  So what's new?

  •  Footbaths pro and con (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    cathy b

    When I first read about the footbath issue here on dKos quite some time back, I had a less than positive reaction. Today, I feel differently.  Please give me a minute to explain?

    My initial concern came from wondering what would happen when someone who strenuously objected to their presence (for no other reason than they could) decided to use them for relieving themselves ala lgf'rs.  These, in my opinion, would be exactly the kind of folks who would begin lawsuit after lawsuit claiming they had "as much right to use the facility for their purposes" blah, blah, blah inspite of 437 other footbath-less bathrooms across campus.  It seemed rife with too many opportunities for exploitation by asshats and costly distraction for a university, its students, and its budget.

    Now, footbaths in an interfaith center - a no brainer to me.  I think that would be an excellent idea and a means to respect students of all beliefs while shielding them, and the university, from the sort of distractive crap in which some people just love to engage.

    Don't get me wrong, I think debate of ideals and ideas is one of the things that makes a society rich and should be encouraged.  A university, by its very definition, is a bastion of intellectual debate.  People who don't agree with any idea should be heard.  But we all know individuals who stir sh*t up just to stir sh*t up.

    Not all universities will be able to acquire a separate building, but certainly they can devote an area somewhere on campus to facilitate an interfaith center available to all.  If they have sprinklers, which just about all states require, the plumbing issue is moot.  Abuse of such a center would then become no less a crime than stealing from the chemistry supply room or tearing up books in the library.

    It is a complex issue and needs to be addressed.  It requires thoughtful and sensitive solutions.  But, it must not be ignored. The world is getting smaller, not bigger.  

    "We're the party who believes there's something more important than our party, it's our country." Gov. Howard Dean YK'07

    by Ninepatch on Wed Oct 03, 2007 at 02:37:49 PM PDT

  •  First footbaths (0+ / 0-)

    then they take the Bible away........

    Those who hear not the music-think the dancers mad

    by Eiron on Wed Oct 03, 2007 at 03:07:11 PM PDT

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