Correspondence: If Muslims ruled the US. . .
I found it hard to suppress a smile while reading your historical fantasy "If Muslims ruled the world..." (See: THE BASE) I take it the twist on the old right-wing paranoia novel of "inter-racial" warfare, a la Heinlein and others of his ilk, was consciously interwoven into the piece? In any case I'd like to consider something a bit different: What would be some of the likely effects of Muslims gaining a stronghold in the current US?
First a bit of history. When the Muslims overran the Christian Near East in the 7th century, within two generations they had a serious problem on their hands: millions of their new subjects converted to Islam, primarily (it seems) to avoid paying the poll tax levied on Christians. Since Islamic law forbade taxation of Muslims (they later found neat ways around that), Muslim rulers had to actually support Christian churches in an effort to stem the tide of conversion and maintain the tax rolls.
Given the average American's pathological unwillingness to pay taxes, I can envision a scenario of mass conversion: millions of Americans saying, "Huh? All I gotta do is pray to Mecca five times a day and say I believe in Allah, and Muhammad is his prophet? Woah, dude, why not?" The SUVs would slide neatly over from the Baptist parking lots to the huge parking lots around the brand new mosques, and the new converts would scarcely be able to tell the difference between the ranting of their old pastor and the ranting of the Wahhabi mullah. Indeed, their old pastor might actually be the new Wahhabi mullah, attracted to the new faith by its staunch and effective opposition to the rights of gays and women. Faced with all of this, the Saudis would do everything they could to strengthen good old hypocritical mainstream Christianity. It would be a great day for Catholicism. But Muslims might prefer it more if people all became Anglicans, believing only in 18th century music and gothic architecture. They would probably want to keep us just as we are, so they could continue to look down on our corrupt and lifeless culture with haughty disdain. They wouldn't want Islam messed up by the influx of too many American converts. After all, the Muslims inherited Aristotle (Aristu Jah), and we have what? Fox News?
Of course, if Muslims ruled the US, there would also be a de facto end to the whole abortion issue, since Islam recognizes the legality of abortion through the first trimester, and through the second in some of the more liberal schools. Oh, and we would all faithfully give at least six percent of our income to help the poor. All sorts of terrible things like this would happen.
If Muslims ruled the US, we would get to see Iranian films made by French-trained directors, and we would actually be able to talk about meaningful cinema again. Alcohol and drugs would be banned. Racial harmony would be the norm throughout society. There would be a lot less violence on TV, and no more Hooters billboards. Britney Spears and Christina Aguilera would be retired from public life. Like I said, horrible things would ensue.
I do have one criticism of your piece: Do you really think someone as spineless as "W." could ever become the leader of some sort of partisan movement? I think it more likely that he'd be ensconced in some cozy position while the rest of us suffered. Rumsfeld, meanwhile, would be head CEO of the American branch of the Islamic Empire's chemical weapons industry. He would have received the position as a favor from his old buddy, Saddam Hussein, and the two of them would play golf together, once a year, Saddam wearing his nifty Alpine hat and jacket.
Of course I'm being a bit flippant here. The semester is over; my grades are in, and the seniors graduated. In less than a week, I'm off to India for three gloriously relaxing months in a Republican-free zone.
University of Wisconsin - Slim Point
May 28, 2004
This page is at http://www.necessaryprose.com/