I certainly can’t make it to Mecca. Nor, do I think I would ever go into a country more brutal and cowardly than Saudi Arabia, for private reasons. But I will handle the other four, in solidarity with all of Islam. It’s easy. Centuries ago, elders made it easy—just declare there is only one God whose name begins with “A”, and you and your starving family won’t be taxed by the bosses. Boy, I wish it was that easy today! Praise Allah, and no pennies get extorted from me to fund big bombs and battleships? Bring him on! I can always say we’ll take that trip to the holy town, tomorrow, or the next day…
You can convert today too. Cat Stevens did it, and he was a spoiled rotten rock and roller. Here’s how:
Shahadah: sincerely reciting the Muslim profession of faith.
Salat: performing ritual prayers in the proper way five times each day.
Zakat: paying an alms (or charity) tax to benefit the poor and the needy.
Sawm: fasting during the month of Ramadan.
Hajj: pilgrimage to Mecca.
A couple footnotes:
• Luckily there are no judges besides Allah on that sincerity pledge.
• I do not make any money today or tomorrow to give alms, so consider this post my charity (which is 100% of my labor)
•You don’t really fast the whole month. Just no food or sex during the daylight hours. Also, it’s more than a half year away, so a day trip into Islam costs you one less pillar.
•And once again, there’s always tomorrow to enter crazy cake Arabia.
So for today I am a Muslim. Tomorrow I will return to my perpetual state of American confusion which I inherited from the last generation. We got so smart during the 20th century that we let religion fall by the wayside. Somewhere along Doubter Road we began to relinquish belief and fear in a higher power over to belief and fear in the human abstract power, like presidents and military police. Even religion and university living became hollow. Christian ministers and priests started to pray to their military leaders and vice-versa. While in college a local sorority hung a banner above their door that read ‘Nuke Iraq”. Surface ideas and fear gut reactions became the culture and the culture became ca-ca. Today self-glorifying smart people all over the land are mocking the litmus tests in the fake culture war. Unfortunately, I need them to preserve my sanity. One test that always makes me a good Muslim in spirit (Good Christian too, and Jew, Buddhist, Vedic reader and Zoroastrian): witnessing a 12 year old child whom you love get visually molested my a Nicki Minaj music video, and feeling mad. Really mad. Like “going religious” mad. Maybe I’m old-fashioned, but I’d rather be an orthodox Somalian Muslim than an overworked, unimaginative somnambulistic American idiot who ignores celebrity sex brainwashing of our children. It’s real. It’s everywhere. It’s happening now. It’s allowed. It is our culture. Yuck!
Both Nicki Minaj and Donald Trump are not anomalies. Both are very prominent American personalities that we let happen because our parents spoiled us and went to sleep making a living while keeping up with the Jone’s, while the myopic Jones’ thought nothing about the world beyond how it immediately affected the Jones’ personal wealth and success.
And, admit it, all of us despise the Jones’.
Live and let live philosophy (which is no philosophy at all. Rather a scaredy-cat reaction to what confuses irreligious folks like us), has imbibed in Americans the loathsome Fox TV fear-religion expressed by a stupid Donald Trump. Likewise, historically, the same must be said about all presidents of the past. Franklin Roosevelt imprisoned Americans at concentration camps like Manzanar—He did it with a snooty Harvard accent, which soothed the public confusion like a tonic. Your parents and grandparents were also fearful little wussies like Donald Trump and FDR. I live near the Safe Haven Museum, hallowed ground of the concentration camp where anti-semite FDR, via the persuasion of his wife Eleanor, finally allowed a ship of European (mostly Jewish) refugees to settle near the end of World War II. Why didn’t she divorce the warmongering xenophobic husband of supreme intolerance? Because she lived and let lived! It was the popular idea in 1942 to round up innocent kids, steal their parent’s homes, and lock whole families up in friendly desert prisons. Oh yes, and then annihilate some of their distant relatives with terrorist atomic weapons that were detonated by order of the next xenophobic and racist president, Harry Truman.
Come to think of it. Donald Trump is a legacy, not an anomaly.
But this does not make him more or less disgusting than any president of the past who assumed that his position in life gave him the power to rule over any man or woman. Scaredy-cats do that.
Join me and become Muslim for a day. Or, if you’re a really brave American middle class agent of continuous xenophobia, stop paying federal income tax. Or break something federal that equals the tax you pay. Disenfranchisement is just that. Ask whole populations from the 19th and 20th century American south (and north). You cannot vote disenfranchisement away. You have to suffer. I don’t want to be a Muslim, but I will suffer this one day in solidarity with those people who are still grossed out by a Niki Minaj, and those too who are irrationally fearful of a coward bully with a 3rd grade vocabulary. Who can say I am disingenuous? Only Allah.
And he knows all the fakers—both Muslim and infidel.