Muslim Chaplain Says He Will Quit if Crosses are Removed from Classrooms

May 14, 2004

Source: The National Catholic Reporter

On May 14, 2004 The National Catholic Reporter reported, "Georgetown University’s Muslim chaplain has said that if the university were to ever remove crucifixes from its classrooms, as some students and even faculty have proposed, he would resign. 'I will not continue to be at Georgetown if that cross is removed,'said Imam Yahya Hendi in Rome May 5. 'I believe religion has a lot to contribute to Georgetown and to America. An attempt to remove religious values from our public discourse is dangerous.' A widely quoted spokesperson for Muslims in the United States, Hendi also said that he believes global Islam needs an authoritative institution that can speak for Muslims as an antidote to the disproportionate influence of radical voices. He also called on the Saudi government to offer greater freedom for religious minorities, long a sore point among Western critics of Islam. Georgetown is the only university in America with a full-time Muslim chaplain, a position Hendi has held for five years. He was in Italy at the invitation of the United States embassy to speak about the experience of religious pluralism in America."