If Islam was explained to me in a pub
The Enemy Within
Uzza: Could I have an adult drink now, please. They are not coming back tonight. If anything, they are waiting somewhere to teach me a lesson. Archie, do you mind? (extends her empty glass of apple juice.)
Archie: When you came in you said you wanted a beer. How about a nice glass of white wine? On the house.
Uzza: Just like in heaven.
Archie: What do you mean?
Uzza: In Paradise there are rivers of wine in which the believers can dip their cups and toast Allah − and, for the privileged class, special wines aged in some kind of container sealed with musk.
Archie: Why would Allah outlaw wines here but allow them in heaven?
Uzza: There was a time when Allah bragged about wine being one of the signs of His Beneficence. Then wine became a sin in which there was some benefit. Then no benefits at all; wine became an abomination, something the devil concocted.
Archie: You haven’t answered my question.
Uzza: A drunk and disorderly believer could have embarrassed Muhammad without intending to and could not be trusted to carry out his orders without fail. Reason enough, I think, for Allah to make sure that didn’t happen.
Archie: Then, why all the pussyfooting?
Uzza: Allah does not pussyfoot, if that is even a word. He may have wanted to wait until Muhammad was strong enough to enforce His decree before making wine an abomination. I do not know. And, can I give you back this damn veil? It only empowers women to do what men want them to do. Where is the fun in that?
Archie: No, but you can take it off and keep it close by. And you must promise to put it back on if you see someone come up the stairs.
Uzza: I promise.
Gerry: And don't worry, I will walk you home or to your car, if you want.
Uzza: Thank you, but my being seen with a man other than a husband or close relative will only make it worse.
Gerry, Johnny, Bob: [raising their glasses] Cheers!
Uzza: [does not raise her glass, nor does she take a sip, but stares straight ahead.]
Johnny: Anything wrong?
Uzza: You let in them in.
Bob: I thought Archie let them in.
Archie: You're not talking about those people, are you?
Uzza: Not just them, all of them. People like that should never have been allowed in our country.
Archie: But, they are your people?
Uzza: No, they are not. They are from another century.
Archie: And what century would that be?
Uzza: The 7th century. They consider Western civilization a mistake that must be rectified by a return to what they consider the good old days when Muhammad and what he said was the Will of God was the law, the only law, the Sharia. You let in those for whom the Renaissance, the Enlightenment, reason itself is a blasphemy.
Archie: That explains a lot; the craziness, I mean.
Uzza: You let in those who did not come seeking our way of life but to change it thinking you would change them, and Muslims who came here to escape the shackles of the Sharia are paying the price of your arrogance, a price you will all have to pay sooner rather than later.
Archie: I’m paying right now.
Uzza: You welcomed this Islamic population into my grandfather's adopted country, you fed them, you housed them, you gave them benefits that others had worked for, you bent over backwards to appease them, you forced everyone to tolerate them, and you encouraged their religion to thrive.
Archie: We did that, alright. Maybe we’re the crazy ones.
Uzza: You gave them economics opportunities not available to more upstanding citizens which allowed them to fund what my father warned was a hidden agenda. They lied to you, they told you they were peaceful and wanted nothing else but to be fine, upstanding citizens and abide by your laws. They accepted your food, your housing, your benefits, your kindness but they never accepted your culture which they viewed as weak and immoral, nor your beliefs which they equated as being anti-Islam. They now secretly hide and protect the bombers and beheaders within their communities, the so-called Islamic Municipalities into which the authorities dare not venture. They grew strong on your misplaced generosity and tolerance. One day in the not-too-distant future they will receive the call, in Arabic, from the Muslim hate preachers of the mosques you have so generously allowed them to build so they can preach their Islamic bile and rise up and finish what you started when you let them in.
Gerry: Isn’t that what spurred the Far Right’s attack on mosques, these type of accusations, that, and the proliferation of mosques which gave the paranoid reason to believe that their civilization was vulnerable from within.
Uzza: Until Québec and Christchurch, it was attacks by Sunnis on Shia and Sufis mosques that were all the rage. “All the rage,” that is the wrong expression.
Archie: No it isn’t. Rage and madmen go together like religion and massacres, and people who do this are usually mad for some god or some other twisted thing or another.
Uzza: Believers’ deplorable attacks on each other’s place of worship became so commonplace that they were no longer front page news.
Archie: Then a few non-Muslims started doing to Muslims what they had been doing to each other since I don’t know when and they became front page news, as if they started it all.
Gerry: It doesn’t matter who started it.
Uzza: No, it does not. But with Western civilization’s propensity to blame itself for everything bad that happens, with the help of self-serving, clueless politicians and a press that should have known better, you did it to yourself. You became, what do you say, a pushover. As French philosopher Jean-François Revel foresaw, “A civilization that feels guilty for everything it is and does will lack the energy and conviction to defend itself.”
Bob: Are you saying that we should not feel guilty, that the believers were just reaping what they sowed?
Uzza: Sorrow at the loss of innocent lives at the hands of extremists, not guilt. And, what the believers reaped was what the Islamists among them have sought from the outset: retaliatory killings that would prove the Koran right about the unbelievers hating them. That it is us against them. We kill them or they kill us. This is the message that both Muslims and non-Muslims should have tried to dispel after mosques were attacked by non-Muslims. Instead, they did the work of the Islamists, one by taking too much responsibility for what happened, the other not enough or none at all.
Bob: What’s with all the mosques anyway?
Uzza: The obvious reason is because they are needed to cater to the spiritual needs of an explosion of believers. Another is to make it easier for every believer, wherever possible, to get the maximum reward points for their prayers, and that is a mosque close to where they live and work, a mosque close enough that the Call to Prayer can be heard. Two other non-trivial reasons for all the minarets has to do with Muhammad telling the believers that Allah will build a mosque in Paradise for anyone who builds one here and Allah telling the wealthy that spending money in His Cause buys them access to Paradise.
Bob: How does a mosque increase one’s reward points?
Uzza: When you see people rushing into the street to perform the obligatory prayers, it is not only because of the consequences of not praying at the decreed times and in the manner prescribed, but also for the increased reward points that come with praying with a crowd of worshippers. A mosque provides the perfect venue to do that without causing too much inconvenience. Before countries like France lifted their restrictions on mosque construction, parts of the city of Paris, for example, experienced serious traffic jams when the Friday Call to Prayer came with no mosque in the vicinity to run to.
Bob: This reward point system sounds a lot like what many stores offer.
Uzza: That is because it is not dissimilar.
Bob: How do you redeem your reward points?
Uzza: You will redeem your points on Judgment Day when they will be weighed against your points for bad behaviour. If your reward points outweigh your bad behaviour points then, you are in.
Bob: That would explain all the praying. You never know if you have accumulated enough points to get in.
Uzza: That, and the fact that not praying when you are supposed to is a sin. But the most important thing is that God’s point system, like the modern reward point system, but even more so, creates brand loyalty and brand awareness.
Archie: When a god, if you believe it was a god, with a religion to sell chose a salesman to get it done, He obviously knew what He was doing.
Uzza: Muhammad was not a salesman; he was a merchant!
Archie: Same diff!
Uzza: It was this inspired choice of a person who knew how to take advantage of humanity’s cupidity and fears that ensured Islam would be the success that it is today. Muhammad, before he discovered that he had been chosen to speak on God’s behalf and implement His agenda, was a merchant, a very successful merchant. He and his Mentor understood advertising before advertising as we know it was understood. They understood how you create brand loyalty and how you get your brand out there; from using women as billboards to houses of worship as imposing monuments to the awesomeness of your brand, visible from almost anywhere.
Bob: By billboards, you mean by the way they dress?
Archie: They even allowed these billboards in schools. Teachers are role models. My daughter the other day came home from school and asked if she could wear a mask like one of her teachers because good girls cover their face and hair in public.
Bob: NO THEY DON’T!
Archie: All this Islam in your face everywhere all of the time obviously drove some people nuts. It made them crazy enough to think that by shooting up people they would get the same response that the Islamic State got from flooding the internet with beheading videos: more recruits to the cause.
Uzza: If Western governments had been less accommodating of Islam, people might have been more accommodating of Islam, and terrorist attacks by Islamists would have remained our only worry.
Gerry: How’s that?
Uzza: Some people believe in the separation of Church and State as deeply as Islamists believe there should be no such distinction. Allowing Islam to blur this line by allowing it to market its ideology everywhere made people uneasy, and rightly so. If governments had held the line against a militant Islam which recognises no man-made boundaries to its expansion and jealously guarded the fragile exception that is Western civilization instead of caving in to bullies, there might have been fewer reasons for people to fear Islam.
Gerry: So you agree that Islamophobia is real.
Uzza: A fear of Islam is real, and it is not a phobia, as Islamists and their patsies would have you believe.
Gerry: By patsies, you mean politicians?
Uzza: And many well-meaning people who did not know any better. A fear of Islam is a legitimate fear. Fear is what non-believers who get close and personal with the Koran and Allah’s unrestrained visceral hatred and cruelty for their kind will experience, for that is the intent. It is a fear nourished and amplified by the Author’s demands of believers when it comes to dealing with those for whom He has nothing but absolute contempt: from avoiding them, to enslaving them, to killing them. Fear is what terrorism in the name of Allah is all about.
Archie: And all this time I thought it was love.
Uzza: Very funny. Instead of dealing with this fear in a forthright manner, Western governments preferred spreading the Islamic slander that a fear of Islam is an irrational fear, that of Islamophobia, or worse, racism, as if Islam was a race and not a religion.
Archie: They’re not crazy, you are!
Gerry: When you say the preachers who use the mosques as a cover will rise up, many having already done so, to encourage the believers to step up their attacks on unbelievers, at least you will be okay.
Uzza: NO, I WILL NOT BE OKAY! I, and those like me, like my father, will be the first to be butchered, for in the eyes of the Islamists we are heretics.
Gerry: I’m sorry to hear that.
Uzza: The appeasers and apologists who have helped them will be next to be put to the sword for Islamists will not trust people who have betrayed their own Christian culture.
Archie: Serves them right!
Uzza: Islamists cherish death more than life itself, especially in the pursuit of their aim to make the world one barbaric Islamic caliphate. Like they did during the Islamic State, they will make the SS look like the Salvation Army. Their alien, violent, intolerant 7th century cult will utterly destroy us because your stupidity knows no bounds. May your children and children's children forgive your utter suicidal folly.
Gerry: [breaking the silence that is the men's response to Uzza's cri de coeur] So that is what you meant when you said we let it happen.
Bob: [thinking that a joke that Uzza might appreciate might be in order] I got a joke for you. "What is the difference between a log and an unbeliever?"
Uzza: That is a variation of an old NAZI joke about Jews told by Islamists, which I do not care to hear.
Bob: [oblivious] A log does not scream and moan when you put it in the fire.
Archie: That’s nasty. What is the NAZI version?
Bob: You’ll have to ask Uzza.
Uzza: If you insist. The Islamist variation seem to have been inspired by a revelation by Allah where He brags about piling unbelievers like logs before casting them into Hell. Where the NAZIs got their inspiration I do not know, but in their version, Jews are compared to pies. The question asked is, "What is the difference between a Jew and a pie?"
Archie: Let me guess; a pie does not scream and moan when you put it in the oven. That is even nastier.
Gerry: Uzza, are you comparing Islamists to NAZIs?
Uzza: There are parallels between Islamists and NAZIs. They both have a book which proclaims a segment of humankind to be superior to the rest. In Mein Kampf it is the superior race; in the Koran it is the superior believers.
Bob: Which is worse?
Uzza: Both books offer similar recommendations as to what is to be done with inferiors; that they are to be killed or enslaved. The Koran, however, unlike Hitler’s book, offers a path to superiority and life. And, if not superiority, life for unbelievers whom it considers close in beliefs, the so-called People of the Book; Jews, Christians and an obscure sect call the Sabians. They have the option of not converting and not being murdered for their insolence if they pay the right-to-continue-breathing tax and do so humbly. Everyone else, it is convert or die!
Bob: The right-to-continue-breathing-tax. What the hell is that?
Uzza: I am being silly, it is called the Jizya. Most say it is the Verse of the Sword which was most responsible for Islam's quick conquest of much of the Middle East and North Africa following Muhammad's death. But, I say it is the Jizya verse. The Verse of the Sword with its call to be merciless with those who refuse to submit to the Will of Allah will lead to Islam's ultimate victory, but it is this revelation imposing a poll-tax on non-Muslims which will make it all possible.
Bob: That means, if it's in the Koran, it's a tax imposed by God. Why would God need money?
Uzza: That is funny, because that is what the Jews of Medina, who would be the first to have to pay the tax, told Muhammad when informed of this part of Allah's plan.
Bob: Wait a minute here. The Prophet lived among the Jews and he wanted to tax them for the benefit of the Muslims?
Uzza: It is a long story.
Johnny: I would love to hear it, but I have therapy early in the morning. I have to go. It was a pleasure meeting you, Uzza. Maybe we will get together again soon.
Uzza: I would like that.
Johnny: [heads for the exit] Goodbye all. See you tomorrow, Archie.
Archie: See ya, Johnny.