Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Check it out ! Chicago Public Libraries observe "soft" shariah !

If you live in Chicago, or even if you don't, you should look at where the Qur'ans are placed the next time you drop by a library. Here in Chicago, I've been doing a casual survey of our city libraries, the suburban libraries I frequent, and area bookstores. In almost every case, the Qur'an is placed on the highest shelf so that nothing is above it.

Why is it that these books ALWAYS happen to end up on the top shelf?

It's not the idea of the circulation clerks.  It's not a bizarre coincidence of alphabetization. It's because placing anything above the Qur'an Kareem is considered sinful.

There are lots of rules governing how one is allowed to handle the Qur'an, where it can be read, how to get into the right frame of mind when approaching it, etc. One of those rules dictates that the Book must command pride of place in a household. Nothing can be "higher."

If it's your private home and you're a devout Muslim, go ahead: put it on the top shelf. If the Qur'an happens to occupy a position that is on the top shelf, but which is just a matter of applying the Library of Congress catalogue, again, that's the way it is.

But I have been noticing, more and more often, that the books surrounding the Qur'an are jostled and moved and jammed onto shelves, or a shelf is skipped, so that the Qur'an ends up--voila!--on top.

That this happens at bookstores (Borders and Barnes & Noble franchises, for instance) is bad enough, but sometimes management will do stupid things to appease disgruntled customers. And as we all know, Muslims are huge fans of reading, what with all those universities in Baghdad ca. 700 AD.

I haven't been to every single library in the Chicago system, but the ones I've visited for this informal survey have all shelved the Qur'an the same way.  I was at Mt. Greenwood library today, and there it was--up top! Mt. Greenwood is on the Southwest side of the city, and we don't have many Muslims in the neighborhood, so I doubt these particular Qur'ans were ever borrowed.

I also doubt an "offended" Muslim (but ain't they all?) ever approached the desk to admonish them for having the Qur'an in a different spot.

My theory is that someone--and it wouldn't surprise me if that "someone" belonged to CAIR--contacted the City of Chicago and told them that the Qur'an MUST always occupy the top spot.

If that's true, why is the City implementing Islamic law in a public, taxpayer-supported institution?

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