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Story time

November 29, 2007

Imagine you’re middle-aged teacher that picked up and left all things familiar to teach children in a third-world country. Imagine also that you kindly brought a toy in for the children, a teddy bear for instance, and allowed the kids to name it and take turns bringing it home with them on weekends. Kids being kids, they name the bear after a popular boy in the class. It’s a pretty picture to paint, no?

Now, imagine that the popular boy’s name is Mohamed, you’ve moved to Sudan, and country ruled under Sharia law, and now you are going to be jailed and physically beaten for your crimes. Not so pretty anymore, but sadly true for Gillian Gibbons, 54. See, it’s a bit of a blasphemy to craft an image of Muhammed. We all remember the furor over some cartoons a while back. Now, what I’m uncertain about is how that relates to naming a stuffed toy after a child in the class, who happens to share a name with Islamic prophet. Should the boys parents be flogged as well for naming him such?

I love this quote. According to the Sudanese Assembly of Ulemas, “An influential and semi-official association of clerics, scholars, and preachers”:

“What has happened was not haphazard or carried out of ignorance, but rather a calculated action and another ring in the circles plotting against Islam,” the Ulemas added. “It is part of the campaign of the so-called war against terrorism and the intense media campaign against Islam”.

Well, genius, if you don’t want your religion portrayed as a violent travesty against human rights, then make it a church law to not react to the merest slight with violence! A teddy bear gets lashings? Cartoons get riots? Books get death threats and goddamn fatwas? What’s next, punishment for getting raped?

Oh, forgot. You “clerics and scholars” have that one under your belts, too. Maybe there would be no “media conspiracy” if Islamic powers-that-be were able to use the power that they’ve gained from it’s poverty-stricken faithful for anything other than heavy brutality, willful ignorance, and paranoiac retribution. Yes, violence will solve anything. Neighbor’s tree shedding leaves in your yard? 40 lashes! Cat puke on the carpet? 40 lashes! Wife just get 40 lashes? 40 more! Mailman bend an envelope? FATWAH! There’s nothing you can’t solve through violence and death!

Well, I think I’ve spent my vitriol by just sitting in my chair, fuming, plus I don’t want to have a brick thrown through my window by some scholar. But I will leave you with this: people don’t like being brutalized, artists and authors don’t like death threats, and the world is slowly turning against crimes against humanity like punishing the victim. If Islam in the Middle East doesn’t want to be naturally phased out by a population that will become more learned and will realize that they have power over the beasts in charge, then it must pull itself out of the New Dark Ages and mold itself to fit the world as it is and will be. Give something valuable to the world. Otherwise it will be nothing more than mythology, like Valhalla, Pegasus, and tan M&Ms.

I hope you liked my story time.

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