Monday, December 17, 2007

If irony was gravy

The whole town would have biscuits and gravy for breakfast for a week.

What are you talking about, Spotty?

Katie's column Normandale's 'meditation room' is home to a single faith. This is yet another screed from Katie about how Muslims are taking over, especially in higher education. First it was Metropolitan State University, and now Normandale! It's the Crusades in reverse!

It is also ironic on a couple of levels. Before we get into that, though, here's a taste of Katie's column:

Last week, I visited a Muslim place of worship. A schedule for Islam's five daily prayers was posted at the entrance, near a sign requesting that shoes be removed. Inside, a barrier divided men's and women's prayer space, an arrow informed worshippers of the direction of Mecca, and literature urged women to cover their faces.

Sound like a mosque?

The place I'm describing is the "meditation room" at Normandale Community College, a 9,200-student public institution in Bloomington.

Katie was disturbed to find this in the "meditation room," a room that is supposed to be open to everybody:

A row of chest-high barriers splits the room into sex-segregated sections. In the smaller, enclosed area for women sits a pile of shawls and head-coverings. Literature titled "Hijaab [covering] and Modesty" was prominently placed there, instructing women on proper Islamic behavior.

They should cover their faces and stay at home, it said, and their speech should not "be such that it is heard."

"Enter into Islaam completely and accept all the rulings of Islaam," the tract read in part. "It should not be that you accept what entertains your desires and leave what opposes your desires; this is from the manners of the Jews."

"[T]he Jews and the Christians" are described as "the enemies of Allaah's religion." The document adds: "Remember that you will never succeed while you follow these people."

Katie has a great talent in taking an issue that's ripe for legitimate discussion and turning it into a stew of hypocrisy and bigotry.

First of all, do any of you, boys and girls, find it rich that Katie would come out as such a champion of the secular nature of public institutions and of women's rights? Spot sure does. But Katie will leave no tern unstoned in her exertions to oppose the Muslim Menace. Even if it means championing the cause of even the Jews:

One thing was missing from the meditation room: evidence of any faith but Islam. No Bible, no crucifix, no Torah.

Probably no Orthodox rabbis either, eh Katie? Maybe there just aren't enough Christian fundies at Normandale to run a decent counteroffensive.

It is unlikely that many Somali immigrants, or the children of those immigrants, attend the tony St. Thomas University, where Katie recently decried the de-Catholicification of the school. You see, Katie doesn't really mind religious influence in higher education, just so it is the right kind of religion. St. Thomas is a private institution, but the logic still applies.

Maybe the Establishment Clause question is: why is there any "meditation room" at a public college? Katie doesn't ask that one because she is OK with meditation rooms so long as they are Christian. Why, they were called chapels until the constitutional busybodies got involved!

And Katie: champion of women's rights? Why, the guy leading the Republican party (of which Katie is a proud member) polls in Iowa right now is Mike Huckabee, a fellow who thinks that wives should submit graciously to their husbands. Although unlikely, perhaps Katie says, No fair, he's part of the lunatic fringe! Maybe, Katie, but there are lots of voices within Islam, just as there are within Christianity.

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