Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Osama bin Domino’s Pizza and the hypocrisy of The Daily llini


Eric Naing writing for The Daily Illini in a piece called Osama bin Domino’s Pizza equates Tom Monaghan, a devout Catholic and the founder of Domino’s Pizza to Osama bin Laden. Never mind the fact that the two men are in no way similar. Osama bin Laden specializes in suicide bombers and has declared Islamic jihad on the West. Mr. Monaghan sells pizza, and is involved in a new housing development which will include stores, a Catholic Cathedral, and a school.

Naing labels Mr. Monaghan a “fanatically devout Catholic” and says that he intends to “impose his will” on the new housing development which is called “Ave Maria. ”
Ave Maria is described as a place where “religious extremists control all aspects of life…” Naing ignores the fact that residency in Ave Maria, like any other community in America, will be totally voluntary. People won’t be forced to live in the community of Ave Maria. On the contrary,they will probably have to pony up a fair amount of money to buy a house or piece of property, like any other neighborhood in America.

But don’t count on the ACLU defending Mr. Monaghan and Ave Maria’s right to exist. Both the ACLU of Florida and Planned Parenthood are already unhappy. Consistent with Catholic values, birth control probably won’t be sold in the town and pornography will be discouraged.

Naing writes: “…the town’s pharmacies will not be allowed to sell contraceptives such as birth control or condoms, and its television station will not broadcast any so-called “X-rated” programming. Presumably school children, in lieu of proper sex education, will be taught to avoid ….premarital sex…”

So, because Mr. Monaghan’s Catholic values are not shared by Naing, Naing equates Mr. Monaghan to a terrorist and maligns the future housing development called Ave Maria.

This is where the true irony of this story begins. Will Mr. Monaghan and any Catholics who read Naing’s essay rise up in anger, burn a building, threaten to behead or riot in the streets? I am certain they will not.

But it was only last week that the prior Editor of The Daily Illini, Acton Gorton, and the prior Opinions Editor, Chuck Prochaska were put on permanent leave for republishing the Danish cartoons. They republished the cartoons not to offend but because the cartoons were newsworthy; Acton Gorton even took care to note that the cartoon were “bigoted and insensitive.” Despite his sensitivity to the Muslim feelings, there were complaints from the Muslim community . Because Radical Muslims worldwide have risen up in anger, burned buildings, threatened to behead cartoon publishers and have rioted in the streets, Acton and Chuck were put on permanent leave, and the paper issued an apology.


What are the students at the University of Illinois learning from all this? First, they learn that you can say whatever you want about Christianity and Catholicism without any recrimination.

Second, they learn that bullying works; they learn that “might is right.” They learn that if you are sincere and believable when you threaten, you will most likely get your way.

Sadly, they learn that free speech and the rule of law are not to be taken too seriously.

Most importantly, they learn not to criticize Radical Islam. All other religions may be studied critically and spoken about in a frank and, if one likes, insulting manner. But not Radical Islam. Radical Islam must be blindly respected and must not be held accountable.

They learn what totalitarianism is.