If Islam was explained to me in a pub
Remember the Alamo
Uzza: Before long, Muhammad was informed that a rich caravan would shortly be passing by on its way to Mecca. To protect the caravan from the believers, the Meccans sent the now standard detachment of armed men. Muhammad decides, to use a poker expression, to go all in. This will not be an ordinary raid. They are unbelievers and Allah has decreed that killing unbelievers in His Cause is the right thing to do and let us get on with it. The battle of Badr is the most quoted battle in the Koran and an inspiration for Islamists and others to this day.
Archie: How do you spell that?
Uzza: English or Arabic?
Archie: English, of course.
Uzza: I am just having fun with you. You do not know Arabic, the second most popular language in most Western countries, and soon to be number one?
Archie: My kids get their regular dose of Arabic in school. When I went to school, it was French you had to learn if you wanted to graduate. So yes, I don't know Arabic, and don't care to.
Uzza: Do not get upset. The English spelling is B A D R, and can I have another glass of wine please?
Archie: Why not? [refills her glass]
Bob: So, what was it with bad r and the Jews?
Uzza: The believers' victory at Badr, the first real battle of a war which continues to this day in one form or another, only added to the Jews' uneasiness at having rescued Muhammad and his small band from certain death. The believers at Badr defeated a much larger force. An attack that should have been easily repulsed resulted in a dramatic victory for the outnumbered believers. As in the case of all victories described in the Koran, Allah is quick to take credit, revealing that he sent His angels with swords to strike at the necks, that is, behead the unbelievers.
Archie: Beheaders from heaven and not from that other place we all know and love.
Uzza: High school.
Bob: I think Archie meant Hell.
Uzza: I meant high school or maybe college. Not then, but today.
Gerry: I get it. You’re referring to all those high school and college kids who are the stars of the new pornography that is beheading videos in Allah’s Cause.
Uzza: It is not pornography. Pornography is a sin.
Gerry: The angels at Badr did not need any motivation. Angels do what their boss tells them to do, no matter how atrocious. But, students are not angels; how do you get them to do what angels do?
Uzza: Prayers in schools and the Friday sermon played a big part and continue to motivate children of all ages to behave like angels.
Archie: Damn madrassas!
Uzza: Damn the public school system!
Uzza: Schools whose primary function is to indoctrinate students into Islamic scriptures and where prayers are mandatory and can be heard at all hours of the day cannot help, even when that is not their intent, encouraging students to do what angels do. Instead of doing what the Chinese did and severely limiting the influence of madrassas on young minds, the West extended their reach into the secular school system, thereby making a joke of a secular education and creating more angel imitators in the process.
Gerry: You lost me.
Uzza: By accommodating prayers and Friday worship within the secular school system, the West made a mockery of a secular education. Everyone who attended was exposed to the bombardment of the word of God and to the Islamist’s credo that any study besides that of the Koran and the sayings and example of Muhammad is doing what the devil wants us to do.
Archie: That’s enough to convince me − that, and the angels as beheaders − that Islam has it backwards. Either devils are the good guys or, if you believe in the nonsense of what you call revealed truths, the Koran is the work of the Devil to make angels and all that is good, bad.
Gerry: Timothy Findley made more or less the same argument in Not Wanted on the Voyage, about the devils and their leader Lucifer being the good guys who lost the battle with the bad guys, Yahweh’s angels, which is why there is so much misery in the world. He died an old celebrated author. But I doubt you will live to a ripe old age, Archie, if you say the same thing about the Koran having it backwards.
Archie: I know. The people at Charlie Hebdo never went that far and look what happened to them. Findley was lucky to live at a time before freedom of expression had to be god-friendly “or else.”
Bob: Don’t you mean Satan-friendly?
Archie: Shut up!
Uzza: It does not matter, Archie. What matters is that the believers not only succeeded in getting governments to enforce, to use your expression, “god-friendly freedom of expression,” but to make everywhere welcoming of God including what had previously been a god-free zone, the secular public school. In doing so, it downgraded reason in favour of dogma, thereby making its eventual triumph over reason a foregone conclusion.
Gerry: Whitney Houston said it best in song: “Teach your children well and let them lead the way”. But we didn’t do that, did we, teach them well?
Uzza: From an Islamist's point of view, we did very well!
Gerry: How could we have been so stupid?
Uzza: Canadians were not stupid but bonasse; they could not help themselves.
Bob: Bone ass; that sounds painful.
Uzza: It means to be kind to the point of being foolish, and pain is usually the result.
Archie: That was Canada alright!
Uzza: Others, like the French, got us to where we are because, in their arrogance, they thought they could control the message if they institutionalized it. They could not. The message is in an alien dialect and, unlike the Chinese, they were unwilling to put limits on Allah’s “glorious Arabic.”
Gerry: Uzza, are you saying that the spread of Islam and Arabic went hand-in-hand? That we could have limited one by limiting the other?
Uzza: If not the spread, the damage. Allah will not listen to prayers not spoken in His patented Arabic, the language of the Koran.
Bob: So that is why every Muslim is required to learn Arabic.
Uzza: That is one reason. It also strengthens the bonds between believers, putting even more distance between them and the unbelievers. Many of Islam’s rituals, customs, even the way Islamists dress − and Allah and Muhammad make no bones about this − are meant to do just that, to avoid contamination while projecting an air of superiority in belief. And let us not forget the immense tactical and strategic advantage of having every believer speak in a language they all understand, while their opponents are hampered by a Tower of Babel of tongues and have to depend on scarce, not-always-accurate interpreters to be able to fathom not only the believers’ intentions but that of their own allies in a fight for survival.
Bob: I still don’t understand what saying prayers in school have to do with believers wanting to take the unbelievers' heads off.
Uzza: But they are related.
Bob: Prayers are prayers. Big deal!
Uzza: In Islam they are a big deal for the believers and should be an even bigger deal for unbelievers, for the prayers are mainly about them. Prayers in Islam involve repeating verses from the Koran, including the verses that reek of hatred for unbelievers and which appear on almost every page of what is a short holy book, by holy book standards, at about 1/10 the size in words of the Bible. You are about to be smothered by a religion that tolerates no equal and you do not even know the significance of its most basic rituals: the daily prayers and the Friday sermon.
Bob: Sorry I asked.
Gerry: What about the sermon?
Uzza: The sermon can be in whatever language and is subject to laws regarding hate speech, if you dare to bring it up.
Gerry: At least that part everyone can understand.
Uzza: Not always. Remember the Alamo?
Bob: Uzza, you've had too much to drink.
Uzza: “Remember the Alamo” was a way of reminding people about why they should hate the Mexicans during Texas' fight for independence from Mexico. It meant something to those who understood what the cry was all about and nothing to those who knew nothing about the famous battle.
Gerry: [getting Uzza's drift] But the believers won the battle of Badr?
Uzza: It does not matter. If I say "Remember Badr" or even more evocative battles to come where Jews and Christians are the targets, I am telling, reminding those who know their Koran who they should hate and who they must subdue, if not behead, when the opportunity arises and they are at their mercy.
Bob: With all the more humane ways you have today for religious fanatics to kill people, why all the beheadings?
Uzza: Imitation, in Islam, is the sincerest form of worship and how you best honour Muhammad, whom Allah praised as a good example to follow if you do not want to go to Hell.
Gerry: How do you stop the Friday school sermon preachers from using expressions whose message of hate and invitation to murder in Allah’s Cause is so cleverly camouflaged?
Uzza: [raising her voice] EASY! DON'T ALLOW RELIGION IN SCHOOLS!
Archie: A bit late for that, isn't it?
Uzza: A secular education free from the bombardment of the word of God was our only hope of undoing the damage done at home. Instead, we made sure the damage was permanent.
Uzza: The Friday sermon can be a source of diabolic inspiration and a confidence booster for those in the know, but it is Islamic prayers in schools which do the most damage by reinforcing a child’s confidence in the revealed truths he or she read or mouthed under the not-always-gentle tutelage of his or her mother. Revealed truths are reason’s opposite; they cannot coexist. One must triumph over the other. By allowing prayers in schools supposedly dedicated to teaching children to think for themselves, we facilitated the triumph of dogma over reason.
Bob: What exactly is this thing done at home that is so bad?