Remembering Uzza

If Islam was explained to me in a pub

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Uzza: There is a very common ceremony practiced throughout most of the Muslim world called Khatmi-Qur’an. It is the ceremony to recognize and celebrate a child’s first full reading of the Koranic text in Arabic. Most children complete the first full reading or mouthing of the Qur’an between the age of four and seven. It is the mother's responsibility to get her children to the Khatmi-Qur’an.

Archie: No pressure there!

Uzza: Mosques around the world have the equivalent of Sunday school classes to assist the mother in getting her children "to master the proper pronunciation and to read the text clearly from the first verse to the last."

Gerry: I understand where that could be a problem.

Uzza: Reading the Koran, children as young as four years old receive a premature sex education skewed by Islam’s concept of morality as part of their religious indoctrination. Children who should be enjoying Babar the Elephant or Cinderella instead get an error-filled explanation of procreation where a woman’s role is relegated to providing “a secure place” for Allah to place a man’s sperm from which He will fashion a human being[61].

Archie: That would explain those smug men you see on the street with their covered receptacles in tow. You never know when you will need one. Sperm spilled anywhere but in Allah’s designated receptacle is a sin I presume?

Uzza: If you are referring to masturbation, yes. Reading the Koran, children learn that their mother cannot refuse their father’s demand to use them as a receptacle[62]. If she does, not only can she be beaten, but she will probably be charged with his sin if he is forced to make love to himself.

Bob: Woody Allen said that masturbation is having sex with someone you love and therefore you should not knock it.

Archie: He also said that if God did not want us to masturbate, he would have given us shorter arms.

Uzza: A much greater sin than making love to yourself is men making love to other men. Reading the Koran, children learn that homosexuals are to be despised for committing what Allah repeatedly damns as “the foul act"[63].

Gerry: Allah knows nothing about love. To Him it’s all about the sex. It is sex and love together which makes the experience the wonderful thing that it is, whether it be between a man and a woman or people of the same gender.

Uzza: That is so right, but it is not what children reading the Koran get to appreciate. They learn to crave sex without love as they get familiar with Allah’s Paradise, which is all sex and no love. A place where men will fornicate to their heart’s content with people who, only a few seconds earlier, were complete strangers or on-the-spot manufactured facsimiles: the infamous houris. Then again, why would children, when they get older, want to experience love with what the Koran describes as deceitful, weak-minded inferiors consumed with lust for the male body as exemplified in Allah’s retelling of the story of Joseph, son of Jacob[64]? Left to their own devices, women would bring chaos to the orderly world of the Koran, which is why Allah has made their fathers, brothers, uncles and, later, their husbands their masters.

Bob: Why do women put up with it?

Uzza: Perhaps for the same reason millions of women voted for a man like Trump, and those who came after who were like him, and who treated them like dirt but promised to protect them from those who would treat them even worse. For believing women, worse is Allah burning them in Hell if they disobey the men to whom He has given ownership rights.

Bob: Better to suffer in silence here than scream in agony later for an eternity.

Uzza: Children who read the Koran are warned not to take unbeliever as friends; they only wish them harm. If they do, God will be very angry[65]. Still too young to understand the horror of what they are being asked to do, children will read and repeat what will become a persistent refrain for the rest of their lives, words which encourage them to become martyrs and mass murderers in pursuit of a book’s persistent message to rid the world of unbelievers.

Gerry: The medium is the message. McLuhan would be impressed that the most effective medium ever would turn out to be a book, and not a very good one at that[66].

Uzza: It is the abject cruelty that sinks the Koran beyond redemption; that makes it an especially bad book for children. Children who read the Koran are exposed to acts of sadism that would make the Marquis de Sade cringe, like Allah boasting He will replace burnt skin with fresh skin to ensure the pain of burning never diminishes[67] or that He will roast a critic of Muhammad, a fellow by the name of Abu Lahab, with his wife, tethered like a dog, forced to fetch the firewood He will use to roast her husband in front of her[68].

Archie: What an a…! I can’t say it.

Uzza: It is in the actions of a boastful pitiless torturer, fascinated by fire and the joy it brings when he uses it to inflict pain, that we get another inkling, probably the strongest, of a child-like mind behind the pain. For example, you could imagine a child naming a toy that annihilates people with fire, the Smasher; not a mature person, let alone a god.

Bob: Is the Smasher like a really big flame thrower?

Uzza: More like a crawling flame, a flame that crawls up people stretched out on pillars as it burns its way to their hearts[69].

Bob: Creepy!

Uzza: And then there are the people who this child-like pain impresario will dress in garments of fire, which will melt their skins and whatever they had for lunch, while hot water is poured over their heads[70] and someone or something beats their heads with an iron bar[71]. And when they ask for something to drink, it will be more boiling water which will “rip up their bowels”[72].

Bob: Why would parents want their children to read stuff like that?

Uzza: Allah, in a revelation, warned the believers to guard themselves and their families from becoming fuel for His Fire[73]; and the only way you can do that is learn to fear Allah and do what He tells you. It is to save their children from such a horrible fate that parents get them to read the Koran as soon as they can mouth the words and learn what Allah expects of them and what He will do to them if they fail to comply.

Bob: As the songs says, sometimes “You've gotta be cruel to be kind”[74].

Archie: Maybe, but why teach children to be cruel to other people, who, unlike God, mean them no harm? And, what is this about “becoming fuel for His Fire”?

Uzza: Allah’s fire is self-sustaining because unbelievers are both the combustible and the combusting.

Archie: What the fuck? Excuse my French.

Uzza: I think it is safe to assume that, due to the frequency of calling unbelievers fuel for His Hell[75], it is people who are Allah’s favourite combustible.

Gerry: That’s enough, Uzza. We’ve heard enough!

Uzza: You have to admire the genius of someone creating a Hell that is self-sustaining. People on fire burning other people and being burnt in return by other people being consumed by flames, and all the while, Allah, like a chef at his barbecue, replacing the skin of the people He is roasting…

Gerry: Please, Uzza. We were having a good time, everything considered, and this is ruining it.

Uzza: So you do not want to hear about what a child reading the Koran will be told about Judgment Day?

Gerry: To me, the Koran’s description of Judgment Day is, in many ways, worse than what Allah revealed will happen to people in Hell. So, no.

Bob: But I do.

Uzza: Gerry’s right. If you want more creepy stuff, Bob, and I mean real creepy stuff that kids should not have to read, pick up a copy of the one act-play, Alice Visits a Mosque to Learn about Judgment by the author of Pain, Pleasure and Prejudice. You will not be disappointed.

Archie: Maybe the Koran should be restricted to adults only with a warning for graphic sex, violence and other things.

Uzza: You will not get an argument from me. What happens to the mind, to the personality of a child who commits, must commit to memory not only the horrible verses we have talked about, but others that are even more impressive in their attention to detail when it comes to the deliberate, cold-blooded application of torture?

Bob: What Allah does to unbelievers reminds me of what Itchy does to Scratchy on the Simpsons; and from what I can tell, the kids who watch it are alright.

Uzza: Perhaps. In the Koran, Allah’s sadism is a more persistent, fantastical vision of torture, pain and never-ending suffering with which any child can relate. It is the stuff of nightmares. And let us not forget that this is a god who proclaims to be the embodiment of compassion and mercy doing horrendous things to human beings, not a mouse being cruel to a cat. What kind of warped understanding of the concept of mercy and compassion will children be left with after reading about how the Compassionate One takes obvious pleasure in the punishment He inflicts[76] on those who refuse to believe in His Book and His precious Fire[77]?

Gerry: That warped understanding of compassion: that people to whom a god would do these horrible things are not deserving of compassion in this world or the next. That is scary.

Uzza: For a non-believing adult, Allah’s brutality and what goes on in His Hell[78] may seem like the plot of some of the more violent cartoons aimed at kids, nothing to worry about. For believing children it is real, and not the product of a cartoonist’s imagination. Somewhere in time and space, Allah is actually doing to real people what some children may fantasize about but eventually dismiss, as they grow older, as immoral, sadistic behaviour, given time away from the Koran.

Gerry: But that is not what is happening.

Bob: The children you are talking about already know everything about Badr. Is there anything else we should know?