Jobs @ MG
The Funny, the unfunny, and the bizarre
By M. Zeyaul Haque
Some of our responses to the
Sept.11 events and their aftermath come under the above three categories
11 incidents have made people behave in strange ways. The queer response
of one of my friends, who is a BJP-RSS supporter and staunch Hindutvavadi,
to these incidents is an indicator of a wider trend. Seeing images of the
carnage on TV he became hysteric, and instead of showing concern and
sympathy for the US, he started shouting abuses at distant America for not
giving a nice beating to Muslims. After he calmed down, I asked him why
was he so angry with the victim. He said, "because those bastards
have not been beating up Muslims at all."
By September 12 my friend was a little cheerful, reassured as he was that
Uncle Sam was hurt enough and peeved enough to give the Muslims a good
thrashing, cowboy-style, or Rambo-style, so to say. I was a little
relieved to see my friend happy, after all.
September 13 saw my friend in a euphoric state: he was beside himself with
joy. I asked him why he was so excited. "You see, America is such a
great country, such a powerful country. Its anger has been aroused
finally, and that means it is going to be the end of Islam and Muslims
forever. Good riddance, thank God."
I was grateful to God for having given my friend such joy after so many
years. I asked him in half ernest, "but that means I, with my family
and relatives would be finished off." To that he responded quickly,
"come on yaar, you are not a Muslim. You are a friend. Nobody dare
come near you." I trust my friendís feelings for me, yet I cannot
figure out how I am "not a Muslim." I realised that there was
something terribly amiss with our understanding of things around us.
By September 14, my friend had convinced himself that it was really going
to be the end of Islam and Muslims. He had fished out his dog-eared copy
of the forgery called Prophesies of Nastrodamus. Somewhere in the book he
found an equivocating remark (this fraudulent book is based on
equivocation only) which said that the "twin brothers would be
attacked, and that would start the Third World War." He virtually
shoved the ignoble rag into my face, which I refused to read.
"Ok, relax! I take it and read. But tell me what does it mean?"
"You thick-skulled mullah. Donít you know the twin brothers are
none other than the two WTC towers destroyed on Sep. 11, and that is going
to unleash the Third World War against Muslims?" he gushed.
I had begun to see my friendís point. Still I was not convinced with his
logic, because I could not figure out which Muslim countries were going to
fight in the Third World War of my friendís hallucinations. I could not
find even one Muslim country mad enough to fight America and its allies.
Not even Qaddafiís Libya and Asad Juniorís Syria. Not even Saddamís
Iraq, much less Khatamiís Iran. Certainly not Pakistan. I told my friend
that I was afraid his dream was not going to come true, and there would
not be a Third World War.
My assessment inflamed my friendís passions once again. "You are a
fool. You donít understand the Muslim psyche at all," he declared.
As usual, I decided to lose an argument than to lose a friend.
Next day, my friend was back to his depressed status. Extremely dejected
and aggrieved, as if he had been bereaved. It is distressing to see a
fellow journalist who is such a simple-hearted man, being so dejected.
"You seem to be right, yaar. We would not have a Third World
War," he said softly. Which meant that Islam would possibly survive
Uncle Samís rage. That was the most depressing prospect for my friend.
In his simplicity, he thinks that the Third World War would selectively
kill Muslims, leaving others alone.
All this gave me reason to read the media a little closely, and I was
amazed to discover that there were quite a few others who had been waiting
for an armageddon between the Cross and the Crescent, and were frustrated
to see that it was not actually happening. These are the people who have
taken Prof. Huntingtonís bullshit about the clash of civilisations to
their heart. One set of people (VHP leaders) declared right after the
bookís publication (Clash of Civilisations and the Making of a New World
Order) that in the coming war between Islam and the West, VHP and other
Sangh groups would be on the side of the West. My friend, brought up on a
steady dose of anti-Muslim hocus pocus, takes these things as gospel of
My friendís mood lifted a little bit with the first wave of US air
attacks on Afghanistan. The much awaited moment had finally come. We could
see some of it in our media. My friend was no longer disconsolate. Still
he was not really happy. The real happiness would come only after the
Third World War, which does not show any signs of coming too soon. If only
it came, my friend would be really happy. And the end of Islam would be
real nirvana. But that is something even I, his best friend, cannot bring
him. Others like him too would have to wait. Probably till the Day of