Monday, February 2, 2009

ATHEISTS – A conversation with myself.

“Has any Inaugural address by a new U.S. President ever mentioned ATHEISTS?”
“I am not aware of such an honourable mention of atheists in any Inaugural address prior to this.”
“Is there a census about atheists?”
“Again, I’ve filled several questionnaires in this life but cannot remember that this question has ever been asked….”
“Why would Mr. Obama be so all inclusive?”
“He is including all mankind in his speech although Atheism is more of a Western choice – what with the recent December 2008 Christmas campaign by Oxford professor Richard Dawkins.”
“And please inform me about this … was it written on the billboards on the sides of London buses …?”


“Who do you say paid for the advertisements?”
“Actually £5,500 was the seed money paid by Professor Richard Dawkins.”
“Did you know that London Transport refused the original ad?”
“And what was the wording there?”
“The original ad was presented as follows: There is no God, so stop worrying and start enjoying yourself।" But London Transport refused it on the grounds that it would be preferable to have a slight grey tone in the question of there being some such entity as God. So a compromise was made the word PROBABLY was inserted – it was a WIN/WIN situation and the billboard is now being sported on buses in several European cities.”

“Do you think Mr. Obama used the atheist word in the January 20, 2009 inaugural speech because he had knowledge of the London billboards?”

“It is not easy to fathom anyone’s reasons, particularly those of the President of the United States – human nature is so, so complex – “

“Please hazard a guess.”

“Since you insist, let me confess I do have a theory –“

“And …?”

“It is called CHOICE THEORY.”

“Is that the one introduced by William GLASSER?”


“Originally Glasser called it Reality therapy or Control theory, but it sounded well, just too controlling.”

“What did Glasser do and what did he teach?”

“He changed the title to CHOICE theory and basically it says that everyone has a choice.”

“I do not agree.”

“Why not?”

“What choice does the small child have when the malaria parasite is injected into him or her by the female Anopheles mosquito?”

“Are you a MCP (male chauvinist pig)?”

“No – it is the female alone which carries the malaria parasite”.

“You are doing it again.”


“You started with Obama and you lateralise it to Malaria!”

“Are you mad?”

“One Medical Post editorial said WE ARE ALL BORN MAD – some of us remain so ….”

“Woody Allen.”

“What about him?”

“Woody Allen was mad according to his ex wife Mia Farrow.”

“What did he do?”

“He seduced his own step-daughter, Mia’s adopted daughter – Soon-Yi Previn.”

“Mia was legitimately mad.”

“She ought to have been.”

“Most of Woody Allen’s movies are about sex and death.”

“Did he have a theory about either of these topics?”

“Actions speak louder than words – his actions I just mentioned and his words are as follows: “I am not afraid of dying – I just do not want to be there when it happens.”

“Choice theory again!! He first chose Mia Farrow, then he chose her daughter Soon-Yi and finally he wants to be away when the angel of death visits him.”

“Please stop.”

“Please go back to Obama’s inaugural speech,” my other half says in exasperation.


“Words can reveal a lot, they can also conceal a great deal more.”

“In his inaugural address the middle name of Mr. Obama, which is HUSSEIN was spoken confidently and clearly both by the swearing judge and especially forcefully by B.H. Obama himself.”

“Why does the world, at least the Western world, seem so allergic to this President’s middle initial?”

“It is not the initial “H” but what it signifies.”

“And pray tell us what it signifies?”

“We, each of us choose (Choice theory) to apply our own meaning to every word in this case “H” for Hussein … suppose it were Hugh or Harold – would we have made such a fuss about it?”

Quoting William Shakespeare: “There is nothing either good or bad but thinking makes it so.”

“That is wisdom.”

“Hussein to the post-George Bush America reminds one of the cruel tyrant Saddam Hussein – why did he have to be so violently executed that his head literally flew off from his body resulting in a huge gush of blood reminding one of the head of John the Baptist being sliced off, when King Herod was obeying his girlfriend, Salome’s command. I have seen the paintings in several European art galleries where John the Baptist had been separated from his body and the blood is spewing out from his trunk. But my analogy is totally inappropriate as John the Baptist was a messenger of God who baptized the young Jesus and is not in the category as applied to the tyrant of Baghdad in recent history.”

“Did any of you know these factoids?”

“Saddam was a CIA-backed dictator of Iraq. We in Canada sent him specially built General Motors automobiles which were called Iraq mobiles – does anyone remember?”

“Saddam used these $7,000 American cars to reward his officers when they got shell- shocked fighting Khomeini’s Iranian lads.”

“The Iraqi soldiers broke down utterly and wept openly - grown experienced soldiers who hated to mow down the young boys that Khomeini was sending in wave after wave against Saddam Hussein’s American supplied army.”
Those boys were wearing a key around their neck and the key was Khomeini’s guarantee that they would be able to open the gates of paradise when they were martyred. So great was their faith.

“Was this the time that Saddam gassed a whole town in his own country IRAQ?”


“So we should all hate the name?”

“You must dislike Saddam and his actions but when you hate the Hussein part of the name, there is a confounding difficulty.”

“What do you mean?”

“The name Saddam meant this was going to be a person who was opposed to everything and in medical parlance we would call it an oppositional disorder. He opposed everything and everybody according to that name, which seemed to have fitted. But the name Hussein is almost as sacred to the Muslims as the name Jesus is to the Christians.”

“How come?”

“The name evokes emotion – devotion – love – admiration for the courage of Imam Hussein.”

“Please enlighten me about the name Hussein?”

“This is a history lesson and I must be sure that you really want to know this.”

“I have been so patient and quiet while you ramble on, you had started with the London school buses and the billboards about there being no God –

“So what about the Hussein middle name of President Obama?”

“Obama’s father was a Kenyan who studied economics at Harvard.”


“His name was exactly the same as that of the son; I will abbreviate them as BHO (Barack Hussein Obama) the son and BHO the father.”

“Shouldn’t Obama use the name JUNIOR?”

“I’m not even going there.”

“OKAY! Tell us the history of Hussein and be done with it – I am getting sleepy.”

“The IMAM HUSSEIN is revered as a martyr in the Muslim world –“


“He was the son of the Lady Fatima – the beloved daughter of the Messenger of God – let me call him NEBI KARIM – the word naba means news and nebi someone who brings news. In this case he brought the Holy Quran which was news and it took him twenty three years to dictate it.”

“Are you saying that Muhammad was a JOURNALIST?”

“In a way yes – the second part of the Nebi title is Karim which means blessed.”

“Doesn’t Barack also mean blessed?”

“WOW! You are perceptive.”

“A rose by any other name …”

“Who said that?”

“I forget but mostly things like that were said by the Bard William Shakespeare, who else?
I am just trying to tell you the reason that Imam Hussein is so revered.

It was not just his noble lineage – his father Ali was the first cousin as well as the son-in-law of the Nebi Karim. He was the first male person to accept the message of Islam and the first human to accept his message was the beloved wife of the Nebi Karim, the Lady Khadija the mother of the Lady Fatima. Incidentally Ali was only 12 when he accepted the message of Islam and Muhammad (the Nebi Karim) at that time, when he was addressing the city and inviting them to Islam, Nebi Karim was around 40 years of age. The real history of Imam Hussein is one of betrayal and suffering caused to him by the people of KUFA. At first these people invited the Imam, the noble grandson of the Nebi, to Kufa, paying allegiance to him as their ruler and asking him to come and rid them of the cruelties of the Caliph Yazeed who ruled them from Damascus in Syria.

When the Imam Hussein along with his entire family arrived, after an arduous journey across Arabia, all the way from Medina to Kufa, the people of Kufa betrayed him in the sense that they failed to protect him from the army of the Caliph which was arrayed against the Imam.

The cruel Umayyad Caliph Yazeed, son of Muawiya, one of the scribes of the Holy Quran, had dispatched a large force from Syria and this force was instructed to interrupt the journey of Imam Hussein near the Euphrates River and to destroy the Imam which they did. They denied them access to the river water, the family of the Imam, except for one baby boy who was sick and in arms and they were utterly wiped out – massacred.
The Imam’s full story is too painful to tell you today but he himself was slain on the battle field and his head was severed by a sword stroke, put in a leather goat skin pouch and taken to the Caliph Yazeed in Damascus. This cruel Caliph was toying with the noble head rolling it from side to side with his shoe and placing a pointed stick on the eyes, when one of the courtiers who could no longer stand the scene, wept out loudly “I have witnessed the messenger of god kissing this face and those eyes.”

“Memory of the slain Imam Hussein resounds in the Muslim world in the month of Muharram (except in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia).”

“Why not in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia?”

“Because the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, at that time, was a different Kingdom from the one that President Obama is encountering. This Kingdom is based on Wahabi ideology and follows the prescription of an Imam who does not tolerate women’s freedom to the extent that moderate Islam permits and that type of Islam is prevalent in other parts of the Islamic world rather than in Saudi Arabia.

The Salafi ideology is the one that was in the minds of the 9/11 attackers of the twin towers on 9.11.2001. Osama Bin Laden, although born to a Yemeni father, belongs to an elite Saudi family, which made its considerable wealth in construction in Saudi Arabia.”

“So is it not commendable for President Obama to mention Christians and Muslims, Jews and Hindus in the same breath as nonbelievers?”

“The first U.S. President to say such things at his Tuesday January 20, 2009 was Mr. Obama and I end my dialogue with myself with the musing that our Western world needs to have an understanding of Islamic history made simple, perhaps under the title of Islamic History for Idiots. Maybe one has to open one’s mind and heart to half the inhabitants of this planet who are on this little spaceship, Earth, and need to know the backgrounds of the names of other important people on that side of the little spaceship Earth.

I have many words to say to you and quoting Jesus, but I cannot bring them forth right now, so, by and by I will try to give you more of the story. My thoughts go back to Napoleon’s advice to his son, to read and study history, which of course the son never took. As Anton Chekhov, the famous Russian writer and physician said, “Advice is seldom welcomed except by those who need it the most.”

“More to come in another conversation. Bye.”