Remembering Uzza


Remembering Uzza is meant to make learning about the Koran and the Prophet a mostly pleasant experience while not sugar-coating or leaving out the nasty bits.

And, is there a better place to learn about Islam then in the relaxed atmosphere of a favourite pub in the company of friends and a troubled but engaging young woman to give you an insider's perspective.

Uzza is a story for our time that has the potential to change the course of things to come.

Except for Uzza, and a short appearance by a couple from a neighbouring municipality, all other characters, including Archie the bartender, are modeled on real patrons of a once popular Ottawa night-spot.

The sequel to The Interviews adopts the same play-like/script format as that milestone publication. Again, the format chosen breaks with Dramatic Play Services and Playwrights Canada and the so-called Standard American conventions for plays. Names of characters are not CAPITALIZED as not to distract the reader with excessive CAPITALIZATION. Only the first letter of the character’s Name is in uppercase. The names of the characters still appear in bold.

In an effort to keep the conversation between Uzza, Johnny, Gerry, Bob and Archie as unaffected as possible, implicit and explicit references to verses of the Koran and the sayings and actions of the Prophet will be explained in what promises to be a substantial supplement of end-notes that will accompany an eventual print/digital edition of the script.

The sequel begins with Johnny limping into his favourite pub. How our hero got his limp made the news. The minimum you need to know, if you have not read The Interviews, is part of the news segment that is being shown on television as Johnny makes his way to the bar.

This conversation is a meandering one. It's in a bar, what did you expect?

The Title

The name Uzza is from al-Uzza ("al" before the name means "the"), the Arab Venus and the most revered of all their goddesses. Pre-Islamic Arabs worshipped al-Uzza, along with al-Lat and Manat who they believed to be the daughters of God.

When the Prophet showed up with his army, the Meccans gave up without a fight after being given assurances that, if they became Muslims they could continue to worship Lat, Uzza, and Manat.

The next day, after he had complete control of their city, Muhammad told them that it was all the devil’s doing; that Satan had intruded on the previous night's conversation with God and in the morning Allah had set him straight and the so-called Satanic Verses were stricken from the Koran. Lat, Uzza, and Manat were history.

A Muslim father who names a daughter Uzza is damned both in this world and the next. Why he did it is in the script and the reason for the name in the title.

Bernard Payeur

Author: Pain, Pleasure and Prejudice and 1,001 Sayings and Deeds of the Prophet Muhammad.