Rod Dreher is upset that the Daily Reveille, the student paper at Louisiana State University, has a Muslim columnist. He dubs this, Dhimmitude on the Bayou. (He clarifies in responding to a comment by me that he’s not against having a Muslim columnist, but he thinks she crossed a line and was proselytizing).
I think this is instead a sign that religious freedom is alive and well at LSU. He wonders if they would let a Fundamentalist Christian speak of their faith in the same way. Well, they certainly let conservative Catholics serve as columnists, and they let them speak their mind–search for the names Tobias Danna and Emily Byers, and you’ll see examples of their work. I suggest the Daily Reveille is to be commended for something that few college papers would do–have regular columns by people of diverse faith backgrounds who speak intelligently and persuasively about their faith.
The columnist in question, Shirien Elmasraya, writes of the experience here (it is to this that Rod links). She enjoyed much of the experience, but she’s very glad it’s over, as is clear from her first sentence: “Farewell haters, bigots (and that one crazy woman who stalked me.) It’s been entertaining, enlightening and stressful.” Want to see a sampling of what she endured? Just check out the comments under her last column.
And that last column tells about a fascinating experiment in understanding–she invited some non-Muslim women to wear hijab, and some took up the challenge. That’s not proselytism–that’s called dialogue.
Update: Shirien responds to Rod.