Another college drops cross emblem

Official: It sent ‘wrong message,’ created ‘confusion’
December 30, 2006
Bob Unruh Another university is dropping a cross from its historic imagery, saying it creates confusion and sends the wrong message. The announcement from Simon Fraser University near Vancouver, B.C., about the school’s Coat of Arms brings it in alignment with a precedent set earlier by the College of William and Mary, which said that a historic cross in a structure built as a Christian chapel hundreds of years ago would have to go because it offended some people. At virtually the same time, the school announced that was creating a center for the study of Muslim issues. It is being funded by $1 million from the Amin Lalji family and $250,000 from school Board of Governors chair Saida Rasul and her husband Firoz. “We have already a very strong program in Middle Eastern and Islamic history, an endowed lectureship in Iranian and Persian studies, courses in Persian, and soon, Arabic and other languages,” said SFU President Michael Stevenson. “These activities are a strong base for building an internationally recognized center for scholarship that embraces the full diversity of Muslim societies and cultures.” In a months-old controversy that still is reverberating, the president of the College of William and Mary College ordered the removal of a donated cross from the historic Wren Chapel. University administrator Melissa Engimann circulated an e-mail noting that the cross was going to be stored in order to make the chapel “less of a faith-specific space.” Former Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor has not returned messages left by WND seeking a comment. She recently was named chancellor of the college. It was during her tenure in the Supreme Court that a growing intolerance by the court for religious symbols – particularly Christian symbols – in public places became evident. The Wren Chapel, built about 274 years ago, became an integral part of the university when it was a Christian school. “In the name of tolerance, we have intolerance; in the name of welcoming, we have hostility, and in the name of unity, we now have division,” said junior Joe Luppino-Esposito. Full article here:

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