Motorcycle Diaries Part XIII

This article was originally published in Jordan’s Living Well magazine.

If anyone could deduce anything from the previous Uglification articles (exposing and denouncing the stranglehold that the treacherous cult of Wahabism has tightened around the neck of Islam today), it is the conclusion that such an organized destructive movement could not have been empowered to hijack one of the world’s greatest religions and cultures – with the unprecedented financial power that this movement wields – except through a conscious conspiracy of collusion by the West to resuscitate and permanently sustain such a sect of madmen by installing them to be the official guardians of this awfully disfigured and intentionally falsified religion.

Those who went further in reading between the lines may have grasped the crucial role the Zionist movement played in justifying the barbarity of Israel, through its powerful grip on the world media, by fortifying the message that the victims of Zionism are nothing more than an irrational breed of suicidal savages who loathe every manifestation of culture, from music and architecture, down to children’s kites. In other words, the obvious fact which I may have shied away from blurting out more openly is the unmistakable existence of the “C” word, the great, but nowadays automatically discredited, conspiracy theory.

Yet, a conspiracy is not always directly implemented and constantly monitored by its creators. The conspiracy I’m talking about here is not as one imagines the word, i.e., a group of evil men sitting down in secret in a dark room to dictate the next move of the Wahabists. No, that would be a little paranoid (although on many occasions when an urgent fatwa was needed, this was exactly what happened, such as the custom-tailored fatwa in 1990 that American forces can be relied upon to wage war against fellow Muslims in Iraq).

In the annals of the ongoing Wahabist conspiracy, the wheels have been set in motion a long time ago. While they may continue to be oiled every now and then as the exigencies of empire require, external intervention can be kept to a clandestine, undetected minimum. Today, the backwardness of this Islamist scourge has assumed a life of its own. I’ll give you a live example.

As I left the house of a friend one night, I tuned in by chance to the BBC Arabic service in my car, and got a jolting reminder of how efficiently executed such Uglification scheme has been, albeit without the need for constant involvement by the conspirators.

The idiot on the radio, your typical ignorant Islamist from Egypt, was parroting the recent announcement dominating the news coming out from Al Azhar clergy these days: that a woman should not become a head of state in a Muslim country. The fascinating aspect of this discussion was not in the actual merits of such an opinion, but in the absolute and almost surreal irrelevance of the whole bloody discourse.

The question being debated was exactly akin to a heated argument being initiated about whether Egypt should send female astronauts to space, fully knowing that the closest any Arab, let alone a brain-dead Egyptian Islamist, will ever come to conquering space at the current rate is by tuning in to the naked thighs of Nancy Ajram over a TV ‘space’ channel.

Yet, Al Azhar has been making some news lately. In addition to the recent fatwas of breast-feeding at the workplace and legalized prostitutional marriages, the flow of enlightenment emanating from this Wahabist-dominated institution culminated recently in a group of Al Azhar clerics confronting the nation with a most peculiar and highly topical debate: should a woman be allowed to become the head of state of an Islamic country? Without conspirator involvement, left to their own devices, the Islamists proved that they can be relied upon to produce a wealth of pure comic genius. Egyptians in particular have been known to exhibit a unique sense of humor, and this was just another classic joke.

I say this because the closest any Egyptian woman is to ever becoming the President of Egypt these days is for the current President to have a sex-change operation. Yet you have a whole national debate erupting over the proper Islamic ruling over whether such an eventuality is legitimate in the eyes of God. The comedy here is in the concocted distraction from the real issues facing Egypt and the Arab world by indulging in yet more woman-bashing by a group of very disturbed individuals.

Indeed, who on earth decided that the Egyptian people should give one second of their undivided attention to the question of whether to have a woman head of state, when such prospects are as probable today as the Egyptian people reincarnating Tut Ankh Amun to life while having the Sphinx stand up and start tap-dancing? But you can understand why these debates are springing up by digging further.

In the same week that his colleagues went ahead and issued this unprovoked opinion that women should never be presidents (unprovoked in the sense that it was not related to something about to take place in Egypt), the top man at Al Azhar decreed that those who buy newspapers spreading false information about the government shall burn in hell. Aha, now it makes sense. You would have thought that Hillary Clinton was running in the Cairo Primaries, or that Argentina or Germany – or some other country with a woman chief executive – was about to annex Egypt. But there was none of that. There was just a whole lot of journalists being sent to prison for the most trivial of charges, and Al Azhar came to the rescue by posing an absurd question about women presidents while Byzantium was burning.

Such frequent obscenity about breast-feeding from female co-workers and the other gibberish about a woman ruling Egypt is definitely not a result of a fresh conspiracy. Nor for that matter was Ibn Baz’s famous fatwa that the earth is flat with the sun revolving around it, and that no one really landed on the moon. These amusing by-products of Wahabist genius are purely home-made, I believe.

On the other hand, a fatwa ordering Muslims to donate billions of dollars to American banks by refusing to receive the interest due on their huge deposits is not. The latter was a fatwa commissioned directly by the Federal Reserve, because US banks cannot legally refrain from paying interest on deposits, so they do issue the interest and receive it back from these unlikely Muslim benefactors, which the banks then record in their books as donations or unclaimed funds, boosting the US banking sector in most unexpected twists of fortune.

The point I’m making is that a conspiracy is a very convenient business. When you neuter a dog, you pay for just one operation, so that you don’t have to keep restraining the poor animal afterwards. The sterilization is complete by the initial intrusive surgery, and you can rest assured thereafter that the animal will always be shooting blanks. And the Islamists will always entertain us with their sick jokes, because ignorance breeds ignorance by itself, seldom needing outside help.

I must say that the mother of all conspiracy theories is the belief that, since conspiracies are abound in the shaping of every corner of our region, then the conspirators must have exerted every effort to flood the minds of our people with so many other ridiculous conspiracy theories in order to increase the confusion and add to the congestion of fiction with truth and the mixing of fantasy with reality. That way, the real conspiracy gets lost in the mayhem, as conspiracies become discredited before they are even articulated.

For example, if you walk the streets of downtown Amman, or any other Arab capital, the worthless literature being sold on the pavements along with the falafel sandwiches is overwhelmingly dominated by the kind of books that insist that Saddam Hussein and his sons are still alive, along with illustrated versions of the famous hoax of the Protocols of the Elders of Zion. In a region where reading is a foreign practice and almost an extinct habit, this is what our intellectual capacity and literary output have been reduced to.

In addition to the usual host of the prevalent Wahabist manuals on how to become the quintessential ignoramus in this life and in the one after – disguised for the masses as religious books – you have quite an array of non-illustrated books about the unattainable and forbidden joy of sexual intercourse. With so much garbage floating around, the real conspiracy to keep us feeding on superstitious nonsense gets neatly disguised.

In other words, a conspiracy to conceal a conspiracy, if you like, is underway (this is what happened after 9/11 in the US as all sorts of implausible wild theories were circulated to hide the major and scandalous flaws in the official version of events). But the original plot is too damn obvious in our case. A British army spy in the name of John Philby (father of another famous spy, Kim Philby) did more permanent damage to an entire nation in his desert trips to Wahabist villages in the early 20th century than the Mogul and Crusader armies combined could have inflicted throughout our history.

Indeed, the home-grown mutilation inflicted upon Islam by forcing us and the whole world to accept Wahabist doctrines as the real thing is an irreversible process. Thanks to Philby and his MI6 masters (whose legacy was inherited by the American empire’s long alliance with despotic Islam in the campaign to counter communism), the fundamentalist cancer today is spreading all over the place, even biting the hands of its Western inventors, and there is no cure or end in sight.

A woman called in the BBC show before I arrived near my house. Yes, I was telling this story, if you remember. The caller wiped the floor, as we say in Arabic, with the Egyptian cleric on the radio. But she became part of the plot herself. She got engaged in the tragic game and started defending the capacity of mothers and pregnant women to be effective leaders, overlooking the whole farce of the hilarious context.

I then arrived in my garage, vowing to sit behind my computer and write this article. I know I’m swimming against a sweeping tide – and it is getting near the wee hours of the morning and I have a meeting at 8.30. But I must keep saying these things. I may be a staunch enemy of the conspiracy to deform Islam, but the far more shameful exercise would be to succumb to the greater conspiracy of silence. That’s not an option right now.

Take care, and if you ride, do it safely.

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One Comment

  1. jollyroger
    Posted April 9, 2008 at 4:41 pm | Permalink

    “The latter was a fatwa commissioned directly by the Federal Reserve, because US banks cannot legally refrain from paying interest on deposits, so they do issue the interest and receive it back from these unlikely Muslim benefactors, which the banks then record in their books as donations or unclaimed funds”


    Giving new dimensions to the concept “fiduciary”…

    Does this actually happen?

    (off to Google for a looksee)