Eine Kleine Nichtmusik

Witty and pertinent observations on matters of great significance OR Incoherent jottings on total irrelevancies OR Something else altogether OR All of the above

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Spoofs - the final frontier.....

The late great Frank Zappa used to claim to be an equal opportunity giver of offence. I like to think that I'm equally even-handed when it comes to pointing and laughing.

You may remember this splendid spoof. Much copied and reposted around the web, mostly by folk who got the joke. Some sites, though, appear to have taken it at face value: one assumes they didn't get it linked directly from the Huffpost Comedy site!

The Frontier Post, Pakistan's only national English-language daily newspaper, seems not only to have swallowed the story but to have got on its editorial high horse about it. The webpage is now unavailable, suggesting that at long last they have got the joke. However, courtesy of Google's cache, here is the original report:

Quran & the story of Cora-Ann

Alya Alvi, Rawalpindi

Look at how the society in USA, Europe and west has been psychologically hijacked against the Muslims all over the world and the Holy Quran, the Book of Allah. The story of an American Christian-Catholic nun, Sister Cora-Ann (sounds and resembles with Quran), from the Ohio state on April 4, speaks it all. Ms Cora-Ann got the surprise of her life when she was asked to leave the plane she had just boarded at the Omaha International Airport. Seeing her wearing the nun-hijab (resembling with Islamic burqa) and reciting prayer in Latin, one of the passengers sitting next to her called the flight attendant telling that she seemed very suspicious. “She was dressed in Muslim garb and just before we were about to take off, she started mumbling something in an Arabian or Talibani-sounding language. There was something sinister about her.” The flight attendant asked Sister Cora-Ann for her name, boarding pass and a photo ID. Blanche Dubois, another passenger sitting close to Sister Cora-Ann said: “Once I heard that her name sounded like Quran, I got worried. I just did not want to die. I was so scared, that I just yelled out her name to all passengers.” Another passenger stated: “Once we all heard that the passenger’s name was Quran, things started falling apart.” She was also put to a test when she was asked to eat beef just to prove that if she were a Muslim, she won’t eat the beef. Frodo Baggins, a frequent traveller, said he had heard that Muslims do not eat beef. But Sister Cora-Ann politely refused the beef jerky and reminded the passengers that it was the time of Lent, during which Catholics often abstain from eating meat. The unrest in the plane kept growing, because most passengers were now convinced that Sister Cora-Ann was indeed Muslim and they demanded that Sister Cora-Ann leave the plane. So she was forced to leave the plane.


What is the moral of the story then? (a) That the original teachings of Quran and Bible about wearing Hijab are the same yet ignored and hated. (b) That pork beef is haram first in the Bible, then in Quran, yet not accepted by even the Bible-believers. (c) That the propaganda against Muslims, Islam and Quran is so sinister and effective, it has plagued the western society, without knowing its logic or origin. (d) That the fear, scare, dread, terror has been spread by design; besides the denial to truth, negative exploitation of others’ beliefs, desecrating the Holy Book, ridiculing the Prophets of God further sicken the minds. Fear from death is the resultant outcome, for which they are not ready to spare even their own fellow-believers. Question is: Can such a society justify its “high moral standards of a great civilization” while being such a sinister prejudiced? Whether it has the capacity to accommodate and absorb other societies if the other nations are subjected to live under their roof, hegemony and intimidation, if their right of being self-reliant is denied? Where truth is mutilated just to blackmail others? How pity are that people, society and civilization!

I wouldn't necessarily expect even a fairly literate Pakistani necessarily to get all the subtleties in the spoof(see below) but I'm surprised Frodo Baggins didn't trip an alarm somewhere before they went to print.. Or Abdullah Abdullah for that matter.

Elizabeth Bennet, who said "It's not that we were prejudiced" is of course from "Pride and Prejudice" by Jane Austen.

Damien Thorn is the son of the devil in "The Omen".

Mr Okonkwo (“Once we all heard that the passenger’s name was Koran, things started falling apart.”) is the main character in "Things Fall Apart" by Chinua Achebe.

Blanche Dubois is from "A Streetcar named Desire" by Tennessee Williams.

Abdullah Abdullah is the leader of the main opposition party in Afghanistan and its former Foreign Minister.

Frodo Baggins is a hobbit.

Oh, and Omaha doesn't have an International Airport.

Of course, taken in the context of true stories like this and this, it's easy to see why - how should I put it? - less careful readers might miss that it was a spoof.

There's also this recent story, though in that case I have to say that (like the Jewish blogger in the link) I can see Alaska Airlines' point.

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