Thursday, October 26, 2006

She collapses exhausted

Katie collapses over her Underwood, arms spread wide over her desk, and mumbling Copy Boy, take my latest column to Tice. It is finished. The copy boy eyes her nervously, noticing that she has three pages for him, rather than the usual two. It is clear that Katie has poured herself out over this one.

Indeed she has. Today we get almost 1150 words on the need for the West to gird its loins against a return of the Caliphate. She doesn't call it the Caliphate, but the meaning is clear enough. After the longest wind-up in Katie-column history, here's the pitch:

MAC officials will hold another meeting today about the airport controversy, and Mohamud [more about him in a moment] says he will try to revive the two-tiered pilot project for taxis. Whatever the meeting's outcome, we now have reason to believe that the issue is only a prologue to a larger drama playing out in Minnesota and the United States.

What Katie is referring to, of course, is the problem that has arisen because some Muslim Somali cab drivers don't want to drive fares who are carrying alcohol, usually from the duty-free shop at the airport. The MAC had adopted a system of identifying the temperance cabs and soon thereafter scrubbed the idea. Katie wrote about it before, and is often the case, Spot commented on the column is a post called A teachable moment. Now according to Katie, the aforementioned Hassan Mohamud is urging the MAC to reconsider the implementation of the program because:

Mohamud adds that Americans need to learn about Islamic law because the Muslim population here is growing. That's why the proposed two-tier system for airport cabdrivers is important, he says. It could become a national model for accommodating Islam in areas ranging from housing to contractual arrangements to the workplace.

Hassan Mohamud is a spokesman for the Minnesota Chapter of the Muslim American Society. Katie explains the role of the Society in this issue:

But many Somali drivers at the airport are refusing to carry passengers with alcohol. When I asked Patrick Hogan, Metropolitan Airports Commission spokesman, for his explanation, he forwarded a fatwa, or religious edict, that the MAC had received. The fatwa proclaims that "Islamic jurisprudence" prohibits taxi drivers from carrying passengers with alcohol, "because it involves cooperating in sin according to the Islam."

The fatwa, dated June 6, 2006, was issued by the "fatwa department" of the Muslim American Society, Minnesota chapter, and signed by society officials.

The society is mediating the conflict between the cab drivers and the MAC. That seems odd, since the society itself clearly has a stake in the controversy's outcome.

It is such a shame that Katie is completely dead to irony. Completely. Dead. What if we were talking about, oh say, prayer in school, stem cell research, or abortion? Oh, those things are entirely different, says Katie. No they're not, replies Spot. You may think they are, Katie, but they all spring from the same place: somebody's understanding of teachings from the "Book."

Katie asserts that the Muslim American Society is really a branch of the radical Muslim Brotherhood, and that some Somalis want no part of it. But she misses the point entirely.

There isn't a nickel's worth of difference between the Muslim American Society's "fatwa department" and that fatuous Brooklyn Park imam Mac Hammond, who takes it upon himself to tell his congregation who to vote for.

In fact, Spotty says that American society is more threatened by Christian Reconstructionists like Katie, James Dobson, Michele Bachmann, and Mac Hammond than it will ever be from the American Muslim Society. Katie, remove the log from your own eye before trying to help your neighbor with the mote in his.

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