Noting the way violent and irrational Muslims have dominated the news, while the Muslim masses and, most inexcusably, Muslim clerics have in general remained reticent about the scandalously murderous terrorist talk and the mayhem the lunatics advocate, we decided there must be, among the world’s billion or so Muslims, any number of normal, peace-loving and, on a wild bet, perhaps even modern-minded, acolytes. So we began our tireless search to see if we might find such a rare and wonderful countercurrent to the tide that is sweeping the Muslim religion ever more beyond the shoreline of what sane and civilized people consider blessed.
We’re delighted to tell you that, after an extensive search, we were, in fact, able to locate at least one such exceptional and distinguished soul. Obviously, there may be others out there, but they’re just not being visibly vocal, unless, of course, a cartoon shows up that they decide is offensive.
Where, you may ask, did we find our prize Muslim? Why, in the most appropriate of places – at Ground Zero, where he is employed as an engineer, working on rebuilding the area after the murderous and damnable crimes of 911. He invited us to meet him on the job, just so we could confirm with our own eyes that a Muslim would be involved in such a noble and redemptive construction process.
The following recounts our entirely delightful and encouraging interview with him, which, we hope, inspirits all to think the better of Muslims in general and, most especially, to persuade many another Muslim to follow in his savingly enlightened footsteps.
NewsLaugh: According to the questionnaire you were kind enough complete, you’re a peace-loving Muslim?
Peace-Loving Muslim: Yes, I am.
NewsLaugh: Good for you. We also understand you’re modern-minded.
Peace-Loving Muslim: I am, indeed.
NewsLaugh: Glad you meet you.
Peace-Loving Muslim: Glad to meet you, too.
NewsLaugh: Are you the only peace-loving and modern-minded Muslim or do you think there might be others?
Peace-Loving Muslim: Oh, there are millions of them, I assure you.
NewsLaugh: Really? Why don’t we ever hear from them?
Peace-Loving Muslim: Because peace-loving people usually don’t make news. They wake up and do things like go to work and feed the kids.
NewsLaugh: Yes, of course. We’re familiar with such activities ourselves. But why do Muslim clerics so seldom speak out about all the violent activities perpetrated in the name of Islam?
Peace-Loving Muslim: Some do, but I agree, they should be more out there. But you must understand that, since they are peace-loving, they might never shout as loud as Muslims – and I I even hesitate to call the most violent ones by the term Muslims – who aren’t. If you’ll notice, crazy people generally scream, while peaceful people are more like to carry on a conversation, like this one.
NewsLaugh: Yes, of course. But do you think some of them quietly suspect that the monsters perpetrating these crimes are on the side of Allah?
Peace-Loving Muslim: I hope not. I can’t imagine a truly religious person seeing Allah as being on the side of murder. But, of course, you have to allow for all possibilities. My own Muslim cleric is a very peaceful fellow who thinks that Osama and his cronies are madmen who are damaging our religion inexcusably.
NewsLaugh: Bless his insightful butt.
Peace-Loving Muslim: I’ll let him know you said that.
NewsLaugh: Where were you born?
Peace-Loving Muslim: Pakistan.
NewsLaugh: Oh, where Osama Bin Laden is supposedly hiding out.
Peace-Loving Muslim: I prefer to think of it as the country where President Mushararf is doing everything he can to help the US catch him.
NewsLaugh: Good point. You’re an engineer?
Peace-Loving Muslim: Yes, I am.
NewsLaugh: I suppose that means you’ve read a number of books besides the Koran. How did you manage to pull that splendid achievement off?
Peace-Loving Muslim: Well, I felt Allah gave me a brain, so He wanted me to use it. I was always good at math. There’s not a lot of math in the Koran. So I guess it didn’t interest Mohammad much. But even an elemental look at nature reveals that Allah works with math in ways that are so sophisticated everything happens in perfectly natural ways. The math never gets in the way; it accommodates all events, like the perfectly natural movement of waves. We should only know as much about math as Allah.
NewsLaugh: Well, to tell you the truth, there’s not that much math in any religious book I can think of. But that’s another interview. How did you become peace-loving? Reading the papers and watching the news, one gets the idea that Muslims, in general, are all a pretty violent and backward lot.
Peace-Loving Muslim: A lot are, I admit it. But that’s because a lot of them have erroneous ideas. I can’t say they have erroneous knowledge, because I don't believe there is such a thing as erroneous knowledge. I also don't believe a lot of knowledge is necessary to be peace loving. My parents, who have very little education, are very peaceful people. So it’s not a matter of education. It’s a matter of outlook. Either you think you serve Allah by killing other people or by loving them. I prefer the latter, and I think Allah prefers my conduct for that and, if He has prepared a paradise for us, peace-loving behavior is the most likely way to get there.
NewsLaugh: Well, it seems like a more logical approach, expecially since Allah or God by any other name made us all. How did you become modern minded.
Peace-Loving Muslim: Well, it was pretty easy. I grew up with my eyes and ears open. While the world around me was often backward, I knew about the world outside. I decided if it’s modern, that’s part of the potential Allah put in it, so I ought to adjust to it and, in fact, do my own best to help move it along. I think the modern world has blessed life with such inarguable enhancements as antibiotics and air conditioning.
NewsLaugh: What do you think the chances are that other Muslims will start to think like you?
Peace-Loving Muslim: Well, it depends on what they hear the loudest; the outside world, ranting at each other, or their inner voice telling them that they’re part of the whole, and, if they want to find a welcome place in the whole, they have to become a peaceful part of it. I think they also have to understand that Muslims running around blowing other people up are acting as if Muslims don’t have lives or property that can also be blown up. This is one reason why their actions are harmful. Every time a Muslim blows something or somebody up, we wonder how long it will be before non-Muslims decide to teach us that such behavior is not a one-way street.
NewsLaugh: Yes, we wonder about that, too, It seems to us that the world has been pretty tolerant so far.
Peace-Loving Muslim: To paraphrase you, bless their butts. Yet I can’t tell you how much fear peace-loving Muslims live in that the behavior of violent Muslims will result in damage to the nonviolent ones and their property.
NewsLaugh: Well, it’s certainly a pleasure to meet you. We’re glad to know that there is at least one peace-loving and modern-minded Muslim in the world. It gives us hope. May your way of thinking spread.
Peace-Loving Muslim: If it doesn’t, I may decide to become a Buddhist. I’ve been reading about their beliefs, and, if you have to believe in an ancient religion to make peace with life, it seems like a pretty good option.
Newslaugh: Well, it certainly is a more peaceful choice. We’d don’t hear of many Buddhists blowing up non-Buddhists. Whatever you decide, we wish you luck.
Peace-Loving Muslim: Thank you. Now, if you'll excuse me, I must get back to rebuilding Ground Zero, It’s one of the ways I hope to make up for what Muslims who have shamed other Muslims have done.