Never let the facts get in the way of a good story
“BIN LADEN WAS A PERVERT! THAT’S WHY ALLAH SENT THE AMERICAN INFIDELS TO KILL HIM!”
“YES. I AM BORED. LIVING IN A CAVE WATCHING RERUNS OF MCHALE’S NAVY IS NOT THE WAY OF JIHAD!”
“I AM A TRAINED PLASTIC SURGEON, BUT, I WAS NOT ABLE TO MAKE OUSSAMA SHORTER. I AM SORRY.”
Photo by Ogden Orffe, special to Mercury News Service.
Rudyard Bastinado reporting from a cave near Dungabungabad, Pakistan.
We could not believe our ears when a courier greeted us at our hotel in Quetta, Pakistan, and told us that Dr. Ayman Zawahir, the Commander of the Faithful, Mufti of Muftis, Big Imama Mama, Grand Vizier of the Bahamas and Honorary President of the Egyptian Society of Fanatical Islamist Plastic Surgeons would be pleased to meet with us. His only condition was that we bring with us two kilos of “Jew’s Mallow and four fattened rabbits”. My assistant’s would have nothing to do with obtaining “Jew’s Marrow” and we made it clear that our news service is totally dispassionate about these dietary issues. The courier laughed and said the commodity was like spinach and called “Miloukhia” in Arabic. He said that Dr. Zawahir does not like to eat “anyone’s marrow” and then whispered sardonically:……”He’s not Lebanese, you know.”
We were blindfolded and escorted to a van which smelled like someone just had a Vindaloo carryout package with him when he debarked. I commented that the fragrance reminded me of London, which is now infested with this colonial cuisine. The courier, one Dhul- Khan Gupta, remarked that the vehicle is used normally to cater meetings of terrorists in the Waziristan area – “a brisk business”, he also added. We purchased six rabbits instead of four in the belief that a show of generosity, no matter how odd for the English, would soften the heart of our host. Sad to say, no cage came with the creatures and they ran amok in the van making a bloody mess of the entire trip, the most wretched aspect of which was the blindfold which permitted the beasts unfettered opportunity to make bold with our shoes.
This rabbit, whom we named “Larouche”, was beheaded by Dr. Zawahiri before a video camera immediately after catching him chewing on his special patch of herbs. “Do you find what I did cruel?”, he asked us. “I did it for Allah. This rabbit is now in heaven with 72 females.” When we explained the rabbit was a female, he appeared befuddled. “Maybe he’s a lesbian?”
MNS: Dr. Zawahiri, we are in a cave…….
ZAWAHIRI: (Screaming) And a cave you will stay in if you do not heed the words of Allah and accept me as your guide.
MNS: Er, how do you pass the time here in this cave? I notice a generator and a telly in the corner.
ZAWAHIRI: Do you know what’s it’s like to watch re-runs of McHale’s Navy or Gilligan’s Island all the time? It’s not the way of Jihad!
MNS: That mark on your forehead is a sign of piety, I take it. How do you develop it?
ZAWAHIRI: I beat my head against a Persian (May Persians be Damned and Burn in Hell) carpet! The Shi’i must be driven from the land.
MNS: It’s amazing how that sounds so similar to Catholics inveighing against Huguenots not so long ago in Europe.
MNS: Mmmm. Protestants.
ZAWAHIRI: Were they beheaded? (Smiled)
MNS: No. Burned at the stake while alive. Some were crucified.
ZAWAHIRI: I often feel that I’m not doing enough to spread the world of Islam. I like this burning at the stake. Tell me more about it.
MNS: Can we ask you how you feel about the emergence of an Al-Qaida-American alliance to defeat President Assad of Syria…to have him unseated?
ZAWAHIRI: May Allah be pleased with our alliance. But I never asked for a Green Card! Make sure you write that down.
MNS: Would you like to have a Green Card?
ZAWAHIRI: A life without options is regrettable.
After a nap, Dr. Zawahiri, changed clothes and continued his interview. One of his wives had prepared the Jew’s Mallow Stew with Rabbit, a favorite of wealthy Egyptians, over a fire of Yak dung.
MNS: So what’s next for your career as international terrorist, wanted killer and uncompromising religious zealot?
ZAWAHIRI: You know, I’ve been thinking. Ayyad Allawi is an Iraqi neurosurgeon who flopped in his country’s politics. Dr. Bashar Assad is a licensed surgical opthamologist. I am a trained plastic surgeon. I wonder sometimes whether we couldn’t make it with one of those American-style “Urgent Care Clinics”. We’d make a fortune! Of course, we would have to deal with the role of Islam in all this. It might work.
MNS: Is it true you tried to shorten Mr. Bin Laden’s frame before his death? Rumor has it he could not cover up his identity because of his height. Some have said you wanted to put him on a Bed of Procrustes and lop off his legs below his knees.
ZAWAHIRI: I did. But Osama didn’t like the idea even though we received a fatwa that it was acceptable from an Islamic point of view. I found a note in Ibn Taymiyya’s “Al-Wasif” which clearly made chopping off his legs appropriate: “If thine loins offend, chop’em off!”. He just didn’t like the idea. We tried everything with him.
MNS: Well, Dr. Zawahiri, we want to thank you for having us as your guests. We’ll have to leave now.
ZAWAHIRI: Our friends are debating whether you might not want to stay as hostages. You can write a book about it, you know. What do you think?