I'm torn about this. Here's the deal:
In short, the University of Dearborn-Michigan has decided to pay $25,000 to install two footbaths. Sounds odd, but OK on the surface. Here's the reason they feel the need to install them:
The muslim students have been washing thier feet in the bathroom sinks 5 times a day for prayer.
The university says that the baths are needed because the bathrooms are becoming very messy and dangerously slippery. Also, the baths will be available for all students to use.
The ACLU has decided that this does not violate the Constitution.
SO. Is this a double-standard on the ACLU's part? Is this perfectly reasonable? I'll admit, I've wavered back and forth on this. At first glance, I say "absolutely not, the university should not be putting up money to provide these baths, which are clearly used for religious purposes."
However, they are installing the baths so that the muslims don't have to wash their feet in the sink thereby spilling water on the floor making the bathroom a dangerous place for everyone else.
But then again, nobody else really uses footbaths, and muslims don't have a NON-religious use for them. Washing your feet 5 times a day is a religious act, and one which is not performed in public by 99.9% of non-muslims.
Here's the solution: Ban washing feet in the school's sinks. Period. End of story. Same rules for everybody. What could be more fair than that?
The problem is, it is very clear that the ban would be seen as animosity towards a single religious group. You can't do that. You'd get sued.
Amazing how foot washing is religious speech when you forbid it, but a secular hygine issue when you spend tax dollars to facilitate it.