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Joined: 12 Jun 2004
Posts: 91

PostPosted: Thu Jun 08, 2006 12:22 am    Post subject: PRESIDENT AHMADINIEAD’S VISION Reply with quote


By: Amil Imani

Being the observing Shia that he is, President Ahmadinejad, Mahmood (let’s call him PAM, for short) has adopted for himself a Marjae Taghleed (Spiritual Guide, Point of Emulation), as recommended by Shia doctrine. The Spiritual Guide, chosen from the ranks of the clergy, supposedly personifies a living example of piety to be consulted in all matters, revered and emulated.

It is no secret that Ayatollah Mesbah Yazdi (let’s call him AMY, for short) is Ahmadinejad’s Point of Emulation. AMY is nicknamed crocodile for his reptilian brains, by his numerous “admirers.” Given the high office Ahmadinejad holds, he has free access to AMY and frequently seeks solace and guidance from him on religious as well as matters of the state. Furthermore, AMY often times serves the role of father figure, confidant, as well as therapist for PAM.

Recently, petrified by a vision, PAM rushed to AMY for interpretation of the meaning of his vision and regarding the course of action he should take. Below is a digest of what transpired between PAM and AMY.

PAM. Your Holiness, no words can adequately express my infinite gratitude to you for your unfailing generosity to this worthless speck, for your willingness to see me, for your priceless counsels…

AMY. (Okay Speck speak up, he says to himself). Yes, yes. No need, no need. Please proceed. What is troubling you my son?

PAM. Your Holiness, I had a vision—an incredible and disturbing vision. I could not sleep the night, counted the minutes until I could attend your presence and find relief from my torment…

AMY. Yes?

PAM. Last night, I was pulled by an irresistible force to pilgrimage the holy mosque at Jaamkaaraan…

AMY. (Sighing exasperatedly and saying, “Oh, oh, not again”). Yes?

PAM. Your Holiness, you will excuse my imposition if I report to you in some details. It is a matter of great disturbance to me. I beg your forgiveness in advance for wasting your invaluable time…

AMY. You are already doing so by not getting to the narrative. Please proceed.

PAM. Yes, Your Holiness. As always, you are so correct and wise. Yes, as I was about to say, it was last night, this very past Friday. As it is my habit I performed the ablution, secluded myself in my chamber and busied myself with earnest prayers of thanksgiving to God, the Prophet, and the Pure Imams. I particularly prayed to the object of my heart, the Hidden Imam, the Saaheb-u-Zamaan__ Lord of the Age…

AMY. (If this s.o.b. was not the president of our nation I would already have him tossed out). Yes, that is commendable that you prayed so earnestly. So, what is so unusual about that?

PAM. Your Holiness, I am getting to that part. You, in your infinite wisdom have frequently admonished me, “Patience is Godly while haste is Satanic.” Hence, I am taking your advice and describing things in details hoping that I do not tax your patience.

AMY. (Well, you take in a snake, you live with a snake. Hear out the bastard). Yes?

PAM. Immersed as I was in my prayers, oblivious of the entire world, when bandeh manzel—my house [a way good Muslims refer to their wives]—entered the chamber and entreated me to take my evening meal. What an atrocious thing to do? Interrupting my state of utter bliss and spiritual ecstasy in order to take food? But, women! What is that old saying, “Women are catastrophe, yet no home should be without one?” That is exactly what they are. Catastrophe…

AMY. (I certainly can think of many men who give women a run for that distinction. And you, my little idiot are definitely one of them. Except that no home should ever be cursed with your presence, and here you are inflicted on an entire nation). Yes, yes, I have heard that gem.

PAM. My bandeh manzel is an insistent woman. She has her ways of doing things in matters domestic. She insists that I eat and drink more nurturing food to gain strength since on my frail shoulders rests the responsibility of leading God-fearing Muslims of our nation, nay the entire world of Islam…

AMY. (I wager that she has found you sub-strength in performing on her, you little weasel. Just think what the faith of God has come down to—for an imp like you seeing himself as the one to lead the Muslim world). Yes, yes, it is so. Please get to the main point—the vision.

PAM. After consuming a sumptuous meal, together with delectable beverages and partaking of a few puffs of smoke, bandeh manzel felt amorous—if you know what I mean?

AMY. (No, I really do not know what you mean. I can not fathom any woman, naaghes-ul-aghl—[mentally deficient that women are by nature]—would feel amorous toward a monkey like you). Yes?

PAM. Having discharged my conjugal duty, once again I embarked on deep meditation…

AMY. (I bet you did discharge). Which wife?

PAM. The first one, Sakeeneh Sultan. She is so demanding Your Holiness.

AMY. Yes, yes. Women, as they get older they become less pleasing and more pain. This is one of the reasons that we men are allowed tajdeede faraash—renewal of bedding [bedding in this case means wife]. No matter, proceed.

PAM. Your Holiness, would you overlook my impertinence if I am to ask you a personal question? I am terribly embarrassed to present you with this question. But, it is of vital importance to me…

AMY. Proceed.

PAM. When you are in amorous disposition, how do you convey your desire to a wife?

AMY. Simplicity itself, my dear son. I whistle.

PAM. But how would whistling convey the message to the desired wife?

AMY. I whistle a different tune for each zaeefeh—[weak-one—another Islamic way of referring to women].

PAM. Ingenious. It is an outstanding solution indeed. But, what if a zaeefeh finds herself in amorous mood? How does she signal her desire?

AMY. Simplicity, again. She enters my chamber and asks, “Did you whistle, sir?” Enough of all this side-tracking, please proceed with the vision.

PAM. Thank you, Your Holiness. You, with your infinite wisdom, never fail to resolve my profoundest of puzzlements. Yes, back to the vision. Deeply immersed in meditation, I lost track of time. Suddenly the room was filled with luminous light, two magnificent angels appeared. I was completely overwhelmed. Beads of sweat covered me from head to toe, tears gushed out of my eyes, and I felt soaked all over…

AMY. (You little creep. I wager you had pissed all over yourself). You said that you consumed a sumptuous meal and delectable beverages. What kind of beverages did you imbibe, my son? Were they by any chance, God forbid, the kind that should never touch our lips? And you also said that you had a few puffs of smoke after the meal. You must tell me about that too.

PAM. Your Holiness, no, no. I swear on the Quran that not a drop of that satanic brew did touch my lips last night or ever…

AMY. (Why is it that anytime anyone wants to lie, they swear on the Quran?). Yes, yes. I do believe you that not a drop of the satanic brew has ever touched your lips. I heard that line from another president of our country, Akbar Refsanjani—a pistachio farmer turned billionaire by stealing the nation blind. Yet, all evidence indicated that the conniving hypocrite was a habitual imbiber of alcoholic beverages. To make matters worse, rumor circulated that he had a special affection for Scotch whisky and Bourbon, distillations of the infidels. No matter.

PAM. Did he actually break that cardinal law of our faith?

AMY. Well, I had personally seen in him signs of drunkenness and decided to investigate the matter for myself. First, I confronted him and he brought out the Quran, placed one hand over it and the other over his black heart and swore that not a drop of any form of satanic brew has ever touched his lips. Never trusting a word of him, I assigned one of my loyal agents to stealthily keep Akbar under observation, and guess what he found out? You get three guesses.

PAM. I give up, Your Holiness.

AMY. Mullah Akbar was telling the truth, just like you are. Not a drop of the stuff touched his lips, while his gut got loaded to the rim. Do I have to spell it out for you? Fine. He was drinking right from the bottle, using straws. Not a drop was touching his lips. You must have at some point attended Akbar’s hozeh—religious seminary—of chicanery. Have you?

PAM. Your Holiness, it is for this very reason that I have chosen you as my Spiritual Guide. Not only are you a true man of God, you have unsurpassed intelligence—something that I sorely lack. Admitting my sins to you is like confessing to the All-forgiving and Merciful God. You recognize my failings, forgive my sins, and admonish me to do the right things and to mend my ways…

AMY. Now, be done with the confession and get to the vision. And the puffs of smoke you had? Opium, correct? The stuff is not forbidden in our faith. I can not chastise you for its use. Why do you not limit yourself to the ones that are sanctioned? Does not the holy Quran command us, “Eat and drink of what we have given you?” Of course we must refrain from the use of the ones that are specifically forbidden, pork, alcohol and the blood of the dead.

PAM. Are we allowed to drink the blood of the living?

AMY. (Wise ass s.o.b.). We suck the blood of the living of people. Can't you see the emaciated skeletons of our poor people? They do not have much blood. And that is the way it should be. They prosper and we will have a rebellion on our hand. It is either them or us. And I say, it better be us.

PAM. Yes, yes Your Holiness. Admitting that you are correct is as superfluous as saying that the Quran is the book of God. It is self-evident. Yes, indeed I took a few puffs of the stuff, but I did not inhale…

AMY. Now, you are using a page from the book of another conniver president. This one was the president of the Great Satan, Clinton the name. Recall what he claimed? That he had smoked marijuana, but had not inhaled. Also fornicating with that young Jewess, Monica was it? Yes, Lewinski or such. The fool made matters worse by saying that he did not have sex with that woman. Then, when he was proven lying, he was demanding people define “truth.” What are you doing my son, scouting the world to learn every form of deception?

PAM. I apologize for taxing your patience, Your Holiness…

AMY. While I am at it, I would like to elucidate the Clinton-Lewinski shenanigan. It was just another case of Zionists controlling every aspect of America: its finances, by owning the Wall Street; its culture, by monopolizing Hollywood; and, its government by having the politicians by their proverbial. Clinton was not 100 percent in their pocket. He paid some lip service to the cause of our Palestinian brothers. So, the Zionist set up the Monica trap for him and they almost had him impeached. Yet, they stopped short of impeaching him, because all others got the message. Fail to toe the line of Zionism, and you do it at your own peril.

PAM. Yes indeed, Your Holiness. It is precisely the way I see it. Zionism and America are two sides of a bad penny; two names for the same satanic entity. Once we defeat one, we destroy them both.

AMY. Yes. As for you being the president of our God-fearing nation, it is understandable that you are in a very delicate and difficult position; that you rightfully need to master the art of statesmanship and exercise it to full effect to the advantage of our people. You should study your predecessor’s practices. You know who I mean, not the thieving pistachio farmer but the smiling mullah Khatami: The conman who had the world fooled by his rhetoric on “Dialogue of Civilizations,” reciting the names and works of infidel philosophers, while all along pushing his agenda forward. The Master Cotton Killer…

PAM. Pardon me for interrupting. But, what is a Cotton Killer?

AMY. There are two major ways of killing your enemies. The most obvious and crude type is the overt method—use of the sword or its modern versions. These weapons, as deadly as they are, are not easy to use without producing undesirable consequences for the user. The other is the covert method—Cotton killing. The latter is most deadly and if practiced skillfully, it can kill without anyone suspecting a thing. You perform the latter while smiling and appearing most gentle all along. See how the Cotton Killer Khatami in the course of his eight years as president managed to kill the budding movement for democracy and secularism? Now, you have it easy. Thousands of troublemakers are either dead, in prison or in exile. It is credit to the smiling mullah, and no one can really pin any blames on him, even to this day.

PAM. (How can Cotton Killing work for my mission, how could I eradicate Israel by this method, and pave the way for the Hidden Imam to appear? Each problem requires its own solution. I can realistically achieve my objective by the bomb. But, Israel is in a small area of Palestine. Palestinians and Jordanians are within an earshot. A bomb can get them also. No matter, those people are not true Muslims. They are Sunnis. They deserve what is coming to them. What about our Shia brothers in the Baka Valley nearby? Well, we all must make sacrifices for the cause. They will go to heaven anyway…)

AMY. My son, wake up. Speak up. Where are you?

PAM. I apologize, Your Holiness.

AMY. No matter, tell me about the vision. (Somehow Friday nights seem to be the nights for visions. Every other two bits lout imbibes the satanic brew, takes a few puffs and in his drunken opium-induced trance has visions).

PAM. Your Holiness, I am afraid that I am taking the risk of making a jackass of myself…

AMY. (You already have done that many times, take the next bus). No matter, no matter.

PAM. As I was saying, overwhelmed as I was, soaked and shaking uncontrollably with excitement, the two magnificent angels, grabbed me, each under one arm and in an instant I found myself in Jaamkaaraan. I am certain that only you can fully appreciate the ecstasy that enveloped me. I felt that the Imam had sent his very own emissaries to take me to his hallowed presence…

AMY. (Horse feathers, you bastard. Do I have to listen to you gherd—a derogatory term for monkey). Get to the point and leave the details out. I have a seminar to attend to.

PAM. Yes Your Holiness. Next thing I knew, I was at the bottom of the well in semi darkness and I saw the visage of the beloved of our hearts…

AMY. Are you absolutely certain that it was the blessed Imam?

PAM. Now that you mention it, I can not swear on the Quran that it was him, particularly after what transpired in my extended meeting with him…

AMY. Strange things transpired?

PAM. Yes, unbelievably strange and frightening indeed. For this very reason I sought your presence to relieve me of my perplexity.

AMY. It sounds serious. You must tell me all about it.

PAM. Fearing to run the risk of boring you Your Holiness, I shall make it short…

AMY. (Boring me? You are killing me). Please continue. So, you are not certain that it was our Beloved? Then why bother with the vision. It may have been nothing more than what we call khaabe shekammee—gut-overload dreaming—as the saying goes. Or, it could be that the demon alcohol had done its mischief.

PAM. No, no, Your Holiness. It was no such a thing, since I have had those types on occasion. Yet, this vision was far from being due to perturbations of the guts by excessive eating and drinking…

AMY. No matter. Proceed.

PAM. Thank you. I had difficulty breathing in that tiny pit. It seemed like the walls were pressing on me from all sides. Dampness and stench were intolerable. It broke my heart to think that the beloved Imam had taken refuge in that dreadful hole for over a thousand years. I looked all over hoping that there was a passageway that led to paradise where the Imam actually resided. I found none. Of course it was fairly dark in there…

AMY. Yes, yes. Wells are known to be dark, and the deeper the well, the darker the well. And it is believed that where the Imam is in occlusion is several leagues deep.

PAM. Now I understand. No wonder I could not breathe. No wonder the stench and dampness. No ventilation. That is what I say.

AMY. (You must have lost control of your systems, covered under the quilt. That is what I say you little twerp). Yes? Please relate the salient points and dispense with the ancillary material.

PAM. Yes Your Holiness. As you can imagine I had so many questions to ask. I did not know where to start. But, I felt that I must first thank him for all the things he has done for me. It is only decent to do that, is it not Your Person?

AMY. (If I and my hozeh were not dependent on your financial largess, I would have kicked your bonny hindquarters out of here, the minute you arrived. You are killing me). Please get to the salient points.

PAM. You will forgive me, in obedience to your command, if I share with you some of the points in a random manner as they come to my mind?

AMY. (I was not aware that you had a mind). Yes.

PAM. I thanked the Imam for making me, his servant, the President of the Islamic Republic of Iran and his Viceroy.

AMY. (Why thank him? Thank the illiterate Khameniei, the egomaniac supreme guide. He is the one who hand-picked you and gave the desperate people of Iran a choice between a crook and a monkey. People picked you, the monkey, hoping that you would not loot them as heartlessly as the crook Refsanjani would). Yes?

PAM. I thanked him for answering my prayer by inflicting severe harm on that fat Zionist dog, Ariel Sharon. Do you know what the beloved said in response? You get three guesses just like you in your fairness allowed me three guesses earlier.

AMY. I give up.

PAM. You would not believe this, Your Holiness. I swear on my late father’s grave…

AMY. (Oh, oh, he must be telling the truth. He is not swearing on the Quran). Yes?

PAM. The Imam looked puzzled and asked, “Who is Ariel Sharon? I do not get the papers here regularly. Besides, it is too dark to read and my contacts with the outside world are infrequent and not very reliable.” Would you believe that? See what I mean when I said that the pilgrimage was most perplexing?

AMY. I see. I see. Is this the end of it, I hope?

PAM. I am not perplexed because I am dumb. It is a most confounding thing to be coming from the one who knows everything, spoken or unspoken, overt or covert…

AMY. (You could have fooled me. No, you are correct. You have to work your way up to dumbness. Idiot. That is what I say you are. Idiot). Yes?

PAM. I can see that I am taxing your patience. It shows in your visage. In any event, I will make it short. Then he asked me to tell him a bit about Sharon. I did. He was visibly upset when I related to him the terrible things that this man and his Zionist occupiers of our holy land have done and continue to do to the God-fearing Palestinian Muslims in their very own ancestral land. Then the Imam wanted to write down Sharon’s name. He said, “I must be getting old. I do not remember things like I used to. I have become very forgetful. I must write things down.”

AMY. (I might just forget that you, imitation human being, are the President and have my servants cut your both earlobes, stuff them in your mouth, before tossing you out of my chamber). Did he truly say that?

PAM. Yes, he did indeed. The sad part is that there was no one around to bring him his writing instruments. No one showed up. Just the two of us squeezed in the terribly confining quarters. I reached in my pocket and offered him my PDA. He was visibly upset when I did that and chastised me, “What in the world is this? This is not a writing instrument. Are you mocking me?” See what I mean by this terribly puzzling vision?

AMY. Yes.

PAM. Moments later, he calmed down and I decided to thank him for commissioning Imam Khomeini on his mission of reviving Islam. Do you want to guess what his response was? Again, you will definitely get three guesses, even more if you like.

AMY. What was his response? (You slime).

PAM. Unlike his oblivion about Sharon, he indeed recognized Khomeini. What he said however, seemed blasphemous to this speck of dust, particularly coming from the Imam. He said, “That imposter villain? Why do you call him imam in the first place? You fools have no sense, do you? He was an imam, murdering thousands of Iran’s young men and women for the sin of wanting to be treated as humans, rather than fanatical jackasses like you and your ilk? Tangling with the accursed Saddam in a senseless war and between the two of them maiming and killing millions of people from both sides? He was imam by making stone-age rulings, supporting terrorism and promoting a doctrine of hate? By dishonoring an ancient nation, making Iran a pariah, the nation of Cyrus the Great who was the very first author of the Charter of Human Rights and by thoroughly sullying the reputation of Islam? That killer is presently, and forever, is paying for his crimes. No 72 virgins for him, no rivers of milk and honey, no lush fruits, just the full amenities of the dreadful hell. He shares a cell with Hitler, soon to be joined by Saddam…

AMY. Please that is enough…

PAM. Only one last thing, Your Holiness. I begged the Imam to appear and set the world aright. I told him that it was beyond any mortal’s capability to do so. Do you know what he said?

AMY. No, and I do not want three guesses. Please be done with it.

PAM. He said, in unequivocal terms that we should not accommodate the Great Satan and its little proxy, the Zionist State; that any negotiated settlement of our difference would constitute appeasement of the satanic forces; and, that we should take the struggle to its very end. It is then and only then that he would emerge and rescue the world. Would you believe that? Is it not wonderful? He will be coming, only if we do our assignment and prepare the conditions…

AMY. (I hope that he brings with him the sure cure for the mentally-deranged like you).Yes, yes, yes. I believe that is enough. I recommend that you completely forget about this vision and attend to your urgent duties as the head of our nation during these turbulent times.

Amil Imani is an Iranian born, pro-democracy activist who resides in the United States of America. Imani is a poet, writer, literary translator, novelist and an essayist who has been writing and speaking out for the struggling people of his native land, Iran. He maintains a website at www.amilimani.com.
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 16, 2006 12:40 am    Post subject: Fleecing the Fleece-less, Islamic Way Reply with quote

Fleecing the Fleece-less, Islamic Way

By: Amil Imani

On a sunny autumn mid-morning Friday a huge howl made me run out of the house I was visiting to see what was happening. I rushed toward the sound. It was coming from the center of the village. The minute I saw the source, I brought myself to a screeching halt. It was a large gathering. A huge mullah—Shiite cleric—was seated on a chair under the shade of a solitary tree preaching. Men on one side on the ground took up about a third of a circle and women covered the ground on the other side. A narrow fire lane separated the fire from the kindling.

I scanned the place quickly to decide my next move. Stay. But sit on that far away boulder. It is a safe place. You can see and hear things, yet you won’t be part of the ado. You won’t stick out either. See those three older men seated on that boulder far from the gathering taking turn at the water pipe; see the cluster of young men standing at a distance gawking. Why aren’t these men participating in the religious event? Are these men dissenters, skeptics or heathens? I suppose every group has its share of non-conformists. Some little boys are kicking a ball farther out. So, sit down and take in the scene.

As I eased myself on the boulder, I wondered how the massive thing ever got where it was—dessert as far as the eye can see—miles and miles away from mountains and rivers. I frequently get side tracked by all the questions that pop up in the echo chamber I carry on my shoulders. Never mind. Take in the show.

I will spare you a detailed report. You can, in a moment of recklessness, book yourself to one of these numerous frequent Islamic gatherings for first hand experience.

Briefly, on that Friday the large mullah was narrating the purported tragic fate of Imam Reza—the eight Arab Shiite Imam who is buried in the city of Mashhad in Iran. The mullah was planning to go on pilgrimage to the Imam’s shrine as soon as the God-fearing faithful villagers coughed up enough money for his journey. No, it wasn’t a junket. No, he wasn’t going to Mashhad for a few seeghes—temporary religiously approved marriages that allow a man and a woman to bed together from as little as a few minutes or for as long as their hormones ruled. He claimed he was going to go to the shrine to personally plead with the holy Imam to intercede with God to forgive the sins of his flock. His flock, as wool-less as they were, still needed fleecing from time to time. And no one was more qualified to do the job than the large mullah who occupied the solitary chair. Did the villagers sin so that forgiveness was required?

They indeed must’ve had, otherwise why would they be condemned to the hell they were in. Would their suffering on earth count for time done in hell? No, they have seen nothing yet, the man was saying. The hell they were in was plenty bad. But, the hell to come, as he described it, made the desolate, graceless dessert village look like paradise. Everything is relative, I suppose.

The mullah described hell in such horrifying details that made my skin crawl. I knew I was going to hell. Couldn’t I go to a different hell, please? I dreaded his. He described hell at length and in harrowing details and said only a few words about heaven. He said heaven was a place of unsurpassed beauty and bounty. No work, all play, with rivers of honey and milk and lush fruit and other delectable for men. What about the women? What do they get? Men saturated to their eyeballs with milk and honey fueled passion? Is the next world also men’s?

Talking about heaven, however, was leaping ahead. First, you had to buy your way out of hell before even being considered for admission into heaven, he kept saying.

Question: Why did the massive mullah have to go all the way to Mashhad to pray for his riddled-with-sin congregation? Couldn’t he just save the wretched their badly needed coins by praying for them from where he was? Oh, the Imam was hard of hearing? You had to get up close? I don’t think even shouting directly in his ears would’ve made the man hear any better. He was dead for over a thousand years. He doesn’t need ears to hear? He is now telepathic? If so, he could receive the supplications just the same from the village. Unless of course he decides to ignore them like he had done so for centuries.

The master crowd worker played his audience like a sitar. He told them how all those who betrayed the beloved Imam burned in God’s inferno full of scorpions, tarantulas, rattle snakes and more.

To my astonishment, one of the men in the circle took advantage of the mullah’s momentary pause, “Your personage Agha, what sins the scorpions, tarantulas and snakes have committed to be condemned to hell, since God himself created them the way they are and wouldn’t these venomous creatures themselves burn in the raging inferno?” he asked.

“They have committed no sins. They just do their jobs as assigned by God. They don’t burn either. They are made fireproof first,” the mullah answered without missing a beat.

“What happens next, after the sinner is bitten and burned?” the nervy guy asked the follow up question.

“The scripture promise that the next life is eternal. You go to hell, you stay there forever. You go to heaven, that’s your abode everlasting. People who doubt the scripture are assuredly hell-bound,” the mullah said with a menacing voice. The women wailed and cursed the impudent questioner and the men seemed ready to dispatch the infidel-sounding man to the dreaded inferno immediately. One of the acts that earn merit points is the killing of heretics, infidels and apostates and the faithful are determined on accumulating merit points.

I concluded that questioning religious dogma seldom produces satisfactory answers. What is certain, however, the sin of asking questions expands the torture served the questioner both on earth and in hell.

A minute after the unwelcome interruption, the mullah skillfully steered the Rozeh Khooni—Shiite’s religious revival composed of a mix of passages chanted from the Quran and narration of the suffering of the Imams—train back on track. The women wailed, beat themselves on the head and rocked back and forth in agony. The men sobbed and beat themselves on the chest. What in God’s name is going on here? Isn’t the world already beating up without let up on these miserable people? Are these wretched people going to heaven? Will the mullah be there too? That’s no heaven that I care to go to, no matter the rivers of honey and milk and all the lush stuff. I’ve got to find me a different heaven. As I cogitated, this popped up in my head: Heaven is a happy heart, hell is a heavy heart. Yeah, we are all in hell alright. And this is the Islamic idea of entertainment on Friday—the day of rest and recreation?

The showman hit the climax by shrieking, with his unusually high-pitched voice, the heart-wrenching episode of the Imam Reza’s death, as tears glided out of the two slits he sported for eyes. The infidel enemies fed the Imam poison, he screamed. The congregation reacted hysterically.

I had heard a different version about the Imam’s death. Aren’t there always two sides to a story? The other version claims that the Imam died from gorging himself on huge quantities of Mashhad’s delicious grapes. Apparently, being from Arabia, his system couldn’t handle alien delectable Iranian fruit and he died from a severe case of the runs. I can’t vouch for either version. I’m just reporting. Besides, the man died over a thousand years ago, from poison or diarrhea, let him be. What do these wretched people have to do with his death, self-inflicted or otherwise? Why mourn the man at all, if indeed he was a saint of their God. He must be having a ball in the purported lush heaven feasting and frolicking. Why feel sorry for the lucky man? He should mourn their dreadful plight and use any influence he has with God to do something about it.

Why didn’t these people spend the day doing something that would bring a bit of cheer to their anguished heart? Maybe it is true that misery likes company. Those miserable people yearned for more misery. They wouldn’t know how to deal with happiness and joy.

The Bible says, “As ye sow, so shall ye reap.” But this mullah was sowing doom and gloom and reaping a trip of joy and titillation.

All along, people, one by one, got up and went to the mullah’s assistant seated to his right on the ground and gave him some coins and an occasional note. The assistant thanked, blessed and assured them that Agha will pray for them at the shrine. The mullah played his hand so well that even I, a cynical disbeliever, was moved to tears and fears from time to time. At one point I checked my pockets searching for coins to offer him so he would pray for me too. You can never be too safe. All I could find in my pockets were holes. Darn it, the precious coins I never had must’ve fallen out of the holey pockets I had.

Do you blame the mullah for fleecing the fleece-less? Don’t. It is the order of this world. The less you have, the more you give and the more you have the more you take. Besides, the mullah had pressing ongoing expenses in addition to his planned pilgrimages. He had three wives to support and a bevy of kids to feed. He was seriously thinking about getting a fourth wife. How would he do that if his flock didn’t part with generous amounts of wool? He should plow the un-giving fields? That would be foolish and the village’s only obese person will end up looking like the rest of the walking skeletons. “One prosperous man is better than a thousand destitute,” some prosperous con man must’ve coined that one.

The mullah was the village’s one and only prosperous person and better than us, the destitute thousands.

Amil Imani is an Iranian born, pro-democracy activist who resides in the United States of America. Imani is a poet, writer, literary translator, novelist and an essayist who has been writing and speaking out for the struggling people of his native land, Iran. He maintains a website at http://amilimani.com/index
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