Civilization Jihad

The Citadel Considers Permitting the Hijab

It would be the first-ever uniform exception in the proud history of the storied military college.

BY CounterJihad · @CounterjihadUS | April 15, 2016

The Citadel is considering making its first-ever uniform exception for religious reasons.  An Islamic female cadet has filed a formal motion in line with the school’s policy for requesting religious exemptions to school standards. She is arguing that the school’s uniform, which thousands of men and women before her have worn without alteration for their faith, ought to make way for her hijab.

School policy allows her to make the request, and requires the school to consider the request once it is made.  Cadets at the school, however, are not all on board with the idea that there should be special rules for Muslims — especially given that Muslim cadets before her have adhered to the long-standing uniform policy.  One cadet, Pinlelli, offered as a counterexample a fellow cadet with cerebral palsy:

“As you can imagine, one with such a physical condition would face challenges meeting the standard for physical fitness. Instead of showing up seeking a different set of rules, he jumped right into a challenge that was a perpetually uphill battle. Instead of saying he shouldn’t have to pass the PT test because of his disability, he failed it time and again and suffered the ramifications of holding himself to the same standard as the rest of the Corps.” He did not give up, and ultimately passed the test.

Pinelli wrote that another cadet had called him a bigot for objecting to the idea of an accommodation for a Muslim student. But it was not her religion but her “sense of entitlement” in asking for the accommodation that bothered him, he wrote.

This “sense of entitlement” to force everyone to make way for Islamic standards has been seen many times before.  So also have the accusations of bigotry aimed at those who try to hold the line.  Sometimes it turns out to be the case that the crisis was provoked just for the opportunity to cry bigotry — and possibly profit a little bit on the side.

This is called “civilization jihad,” not free expression.  It is not aimed at enjoying the liberties of a free society as an equal member.  It is aimed at crafting special exceptions for Islam, which in turn sends the message that submission to Islam’s standards is the duty of all nations.

The standard that the West has held to since the end of the great religious wars of the seventeenth century is that all faiths are treated the same.  If a country has a standard that bans ostentatious religious display in public spaces, as France does, then it bans them for Catholics and Buddhists and Muslims alike.  If a country has strong protections for religious display, as America does, then it protects Muslims just the same as — but not more than — other religions.  This is how Illinois came to permit hijabs in drivers’ license photos:  not as a special concession to Islam, but as a consequence of a general rule originally aimed at protecting Sikhs. The Citadel’s rules have long held all faiths to the same uniform standard.  There are no exceptions.

The Citadel’s leadership will make its own choice about whether to continue that tradition.  For the sake of the institution’s sense of unity and loyalty, we hope they choose wisely.


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