Spooked, A Short Story

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Source: Liberato, by Tober Mory, February 2018

Banaz
“Ouch, that hurt!,” Saif Mahaz yelped as he stubbed his toe, rushing to get out of town to give yet another speech at yet another conference.  There was no rest these days for the weary General Secretary of the Council of Caliphitic Collaboration. “Where’s my suitcase?” he bellowed to his second wife.  “Right where you left it,” she answered, rolling her eyes.

Saif found his suitcase and plopped it on the bed.  When he opened it, a young woman, a shimmering rainbow all around her, popped out and stood on the floor next to him. Face to face with the woman now, he was startled to see she wasn’t wearing a hijab. He couldn’t help but be aroused by the sight of so much exposed female flesh.  He was ready to submit to his desires, but she broke the spell.

“You don’t know me,” the woman said.  “But I know you and your every thought before you even think it.”  She told him her story:  Her name was Banaz.  She divorced her husband from an arranged marriage and found a boyfriend, Rahmat.  After the two were seen kissing, she was raped from behind and tortured by her father, uncle, and cousins.  They strangled her to death with a plastic cord, dumped her body in a suitcase, and buried her in the backyard.  Dozens of Muslims helped cover up the crime, many offering to lie to the police when family members were arrested.

Rahmat later hanged himself.  “There have been lots of stories like mine all over the world since the 7th Century, untold numbers of honor killings,” Banaz said.  “We – the victims – have a little surprise planned for you and your friends at the Council.  In the meantime, you’ll remember me every time you open your suitcase.  Good luck getting me out of your head now.”

“What surprise?” Saif asked.  “You’ll see,” Banaz answered.  “It’s about justice.”

“That’s impossible, you don’t exist,” Saif said as the image wafted back into his suitcase and disappeared.  “THERE’S NO SUCH THING AS GHOSTS!” he shouted.  “Are you crazy? Pipe down!” his fourth wife, who lived in his house with all the others, called from the kitchen.

“You’re not to yell at me, woman, or I’ll ….”  “Your ride’s here,” she said, submissively.

Omar
Saif’s flight was uneventful. “It was Allah’s will,” he muttered as he exited the terminal in search of a cab. A driverless taxi pulled to the curb right in front of him and he hopped in the back.

The vehicle was soon in the flow of traffic.  Saif looked at a wreck that had been cleared to the side of the road.  When he looked ahead again, his heart leapt out of his chest.  A rainbow-edged man was in the driver’s seat.  His arms were outstretched as if he were reaching toward a steering wheel, but HE HAD NO HANDS.

“My name is Omar,” the man said. “I want you to bear witness.  I stole some stuff from a man’s house, but what happened to me next is why I’m here.”

Omar was taken to a park where a sharia court rendered judgment.  “For stealing 10 pairs of pants, 10 shirts, a bag and some other items – total value $90 – the punishment is amputation,” the court pronounced.  The court had faithfully quoted the punishment as prescribed in the Quran.

Hundreds of Muslims had gathered to watch.  Omar’s hand was held up to the crowd, then laid on a table.  The blade came down.

CHOP! 

Off came the hand which was lifted up for all to see.

“I was taken to the hospital,” Omar said. “The pain was excruciating.”

Guards from the sharia court kept him from talking to the media.

“So this is the first chance I’ve had to tell my story.  Good thing for driverless cars, I can still find gainful employment, ha ha – no thanks to Islam.”

“How about I chop off YOUR hands, Saif, and reattach them – left for right and right for left? While I’m at it, I’ll chop off your feet and put them on you backwards. You won’t be winning trophies at Wimbledon any time soon.”

With that, Omar was gone.  Saif looked at the meter to see what his fare was, but all it said was, “Banaz is waiting for you.”

Michael
Arriving at his hotel, Saif got out of the cab and went through the revolving door. As he entered the lobby, a woman ran out of the hotel restaurant and rushed past him, blood pouring down her body.

“In case you’re wondering what that was about, come sit with me and listen to my story,” a man called out, patting an overstuffed chair next to his.

“My name is Michael.  I was a doctor on foreign holiday when Elizabeth and I were jihadded.  We both left behind children who, thankfully, weren’t with us on this trip.”

As Michael related, ten Islamic terrorists trained in a neighboring Muslim country came ashore in inflatable speedboats and launched a military-style assault on 12 sites throughout the city – the country’s financial center – over a period of four days.  The sites included two hotels, a restaurant, a Catholic College, and a railroad station.

The attackers took hostages at the hotels, where explosions were heard.  The attackers went from room to room, pretending to be the police.  People hid in cupboards or jumped out of windows. One victim, a filmmaker – broke his spine in the fall.  Some of the hostages were marched to the roof.  The men were lined up and shot dead.  The attackers weren’t sure what to do with the women but, eventually, only the Muslims among them were spared.  “When this is over, there will be much more fear in the world,” a terrorist commander said.

Hostages were also taken at a Jewish community center where the rabbi and his pregnant wife were slain.  Hostages showed signs of torture and deliberate disfigurement.

There was evidence of coordination with elements of the adjacent country’s government.  The other country finally admitted that a terrorist group inside its borders had plotted and financed the attack.  Planning was elaborate and involved retired military officers, as well as dozens of other Muslims .  The attackers were given blueprints, surveillance videos, and GPS data on locations to be attacked.  The assault was directed by satellite phone from the other country.

In all, 164 people from ten different countries were killed and another 300 were wounded.  The attackers smiled and looked happy as they slaughtered their prey.

Some say the attack was motivated by the other country’s military to upset the peace process between the two countries and to wage jihad on its neighbor.  The other country’s army even has the word ‘jihad’ in its motto (Jihad Fi Sabilillah!).  The economy of any secular democratic country is an attractive target for jihadists, it was observed at the time.

“After my death, my colleagues put up a little memorial for me at my hospital back home,” Michael said.  “People would kiss their fingers and touch my photograph as they walked by.”

After pausing, he went on.  “You know, I was a good doctor.  Patients said I was kind and understanding.  I always put my patients first, even if it meant bending the rules a little.  But I can’t help anybody now, can I, Saif.

“When you see me again, Banaz will be with me.”

Hawas and Salamah
It was near nightfall by the time Saif checked in and went up to his room.  He turned on the TV and opened his suitcase slowly, opening one eye to peek.  “Whew!” he let out. No Banaz.

He turned off the TV and decided to go up to the roof for a smoke. “Why not?” he thought to himself. “It’s not specifically forbidden by the Quran and I’m entitled to a few perks as the leader of a successful global enterprise,” he reasoned.

It was dark when he got to the roof. He looked out over the city lights and reached for a cigarette.  Suddenly, two rainbow-enveloped figures grabbed him by the legs and dangled him head-first over the edge.

“My name is Hawas. I want you to remember that,” one of the figures said.  “My friend Salamah and I were thrown off a rooftop just for being gay. It was a four-story hotel, a lot like this one.”

It had all started when Hawas’ father began to suspect Hawas was gay.  The older man called Hawas a shame to the family and stopped talking to him.
Then he started beating his son.  Hawas fled because he feared his father would turn him over to sharia vigilantes.  Hawas lived in constant fear, haunted by the realization that any Muslim he encountered, including his own friends and relatives, could turn him in.  Many Muslims who don’t believe in terrorism still think gays should be killed.  Gays are rounded up in some towns, with loudspeakers at the local mosque blaring messages about how the town is being cleansed of sinners.   Nightmares of being hurled off a roof regularly woke Hawas up in a cold sweat.   “There was no way I could live a normal life,” Hawas told Saif who was still just a plunge away from death.

Friends of Hawas – some gay, some only suspected of being gay – had been captured and tortured to give up names.  Their laptops and mobile phones were searched.  Sure enough, Hawas’ name turned up, along with Salamah’s.

They were brought before someone who called himself a judge, then pronounced guilty and sentenced to death.  They were to be thrown off the roof of a nearby hotel.  The judge cited a hadith, a saying  of Muhammad that gays “should be thrown from tremendous height then stoned” as authority for the court’s ruling.

“Please, just shoot me in the head,” Hawas pleaded.

Request denied.  On the roof, Hawas and Salamah were blindfolded.  Hawas was tied to a chair (so he couldn’t resist) and thrown over the edge, as has happened to many other gay Muslims.  He was still moving after he hit the ground, so they gave him the bullet he had prayed for.

Salamah was next.  He died instantly after landing on his head.  But the crowd of Muslims who had gathered to watch the executions was not to be denied their ritual stoning, even though Salamah was already dead.

Their bodies were strung up in the plaza for two days, each with a placard on his chest proclaiming:

  • “He received the punishment for practicing the crime of Lot’s people.”


Hawas’ father smiled and said it was good.

“So, I ask you: do you prefer to be dropped head first or tied to a chair?” Hawas asked Saif. “Chair,” Saif squeaked.

Hawas and Salamah hauled Saif back up. “Never knew us gay guys could be so strong, did you,” Hawas joked.  On his feet again, Saif saw both figures turn into pulsating rainbows from head to toe and fly from the roof, together, hand-in-hand.

“Tonight you live, but we’ll see you again soon – with Michael, Banaz, and the others,” Hawas called from the dark.

Fatima
Saif returned to his room, turned out the lights, and crawled into bed, completely drained. Suddenly, the TV turned itself on and a rainbow orb floated off the screen towards him.  A woman’s face came into focus. “Yep, I’m a real TV talking head,” she said with a giggle.

“Saif, my name is Fatima.  I was born Muslim but fell away and took up another faith.  I was working at an orphanage – an ORPHANAGE, Saif – when they kidnapped me and took me to the executioner.”

The executioner, whose name happened to be Muhammad, was very proud of doing Allah’s will. He didn’t lose any sleep over it, no matter how many people he dispatched in a day.  He was a happy father of seven and gratified that his oldest son was following in his footsteps.

His sword was a gift from the government, an Islamic republic that systematically purged all non-Muslims from its territory.  Muhammad kept the sword razor sharp.  His children helped him clean the gore off of it from time to time.

Fatima was tied hand and foot, then blindfolded.  “Renounce your faith and return to Islam!” Muhammad demanded.  Fatima refused.  Her head was off with one swift stroke.  It rolled several yards before coming to a stop in the dirt.

The head was held aloft while elders prodded children as young as six to gather around, so they could see what happens to apostates.

Fatima’s remains were not returned to her family.  The Muslim government did not permit a single cemetery for infidels in the entire country.

“That’s my story.  If you’ve been wondering where Banaz has been keeping herself, you will see her soon enough.  But first, there’s somebody I’d like you to meet,” Fatima said before floating back into the TV, the screen going blank.

Mayar
Mayar was standing at the foot of the bed, glowing colors tracing her outline.   She began to float upwards, her feet leaving the floor.  She flew under the bed and started shaking it.  Then she flew out again and sat herself on Saif’s stomach.

“Ooh, baby, I wanna ride the horsey,” she said, rocking back and forth suggestively.  Saif was starting to like this, when she grabbed his private parts and gave them a twist.  She held up a piece of broken glass and Saif’s eyes widened.  “Now that I have your attention, I want to tell you what Islam did to me.  I was just a girl.”

Mayar’s mother told her they had to go see the doctor.  When they got there, a nurse was arranging instruments on a tray.  The doctor and his wife came in.  The wife held Mayar’s hand so she wouldn’t squirm.   “They gave me a shot but I still screamed when the doctor started cutting me down there.”

“Afterwards, I could barely walk I was in so much pain.  I had pain all the way down to my ankles.  I was told to keep this horrible thing that had been done to me a secret.  Who was I going to tell?  I had been betrayed by my own mother, and everyone close to me was in on it.”

Female genital mutilation was against the law where Mayar lived.  So everything was done in secret and the doctor told everyone to deny everything if investigators came around.

In fact, the whole community was continually told not to say anything about the practice and never to cooperate with authorities.  The men in the community refused to marry any woman who had not been cut.

“Everyone supported this system,” Mayar said.  “They had no choice as Muslims.  Female cutting is required by the manual of sharia law and other Islamic writings.”

“But sometimes things go wrong, horribly wrong, like they did in my case, Saif.  Some women have a lifetime of complications, but I died quickly, as have others.  My parents kept quiet, so my cause of death was not recorded.”

Mayar began to lower the broken glass inch-by-inch toward Saif’s groin.   “How about a little ‘nick’ or ‘scrape’?  Isn’t that what Islam tells little, defenseless girls?  You won’t ever be able to enjoy sex again but, hey, join the club.  No more ‘sexual emergencies’ for you.  No more temporary marriages, either.”

Saif closed his eyes, not wanting to see what was going to happen next.  But when he opened them, Mayar was gone.

Exhausted, Saif fell asleep.

The Judgment
He didn’t feel any better when he woke up.  It was a quick shower, then off to the conference.  He arrived just as they were calling him to the podium.  He pulled out his notes, set them before him, and readied himself to begin his speech.

“Peace be upon you,” he started, but then the auditorium opened to the sky, the walls fell away.  Instead of the regular audience, there were hundreds of millions of shimmering beings, as far as the eye could see.

He was now in a courtroom, looking up at a panel of judges – Omar, Michael, Hawas, Salamah, Fatima (minus her head), and Mayar, with Banaz in the middle addressing him.  “Miss me?” she asked.

“You stand before the world court of human history,” Banaz intoned.  “Islam’s victims have assembled here today as your judge and jury to put Islam on trial for crimes against humanity.  You see before you the 270 million who have been killed in the name of Islam – every one of them someone’s child – and hundreds of millions more who have been raped, enslaved, forcibly converted, and worse, over the centuries of Islam’s crimes. We victims hereby call Islam to account and demand justice.  You have judged others harshly.  Now we judge you and all of Islam.  You will submit to the jurisdiction of this court.”

“No, I will not.  I don’t know if you’ve drugged me or what, but THERE ARE NO GHOSTS IN ISLAM.”

“Don’t be too sure about that. Plenty of Muslims believe in jinn, creatures who live alongside humans on earth.  There’s a special type of jinn – the ifriti – who impersonate the spirits of people who have been murdered.  Ifrits seek justice for the victims, and won’t leave earth until they get it.  An ifrit and an assembly of jinn are described in the Quran.  Ifrits are also mentioned in the hadith and a narration.  So, whether we are the souls of the departed or jinns impersonating them, it makes no difference to the strength of our case or our desire for justice.”

“Well, I’ll just recite a Du’a and you’ll be toast.”

“Go ahead and try. You’d have to recite it hundreds of millions of times to get rid of us all.  The only way you can make us leave is by repenting and renouncing all of Islam’s crimes. Only when you are in a pure state will you have nothing to fear from us.  So, I repeat: You will submit to the jurisdiction of this court.”

“No, I will not.”

“We, Islam’s victims, DEMAND YOU SUBMIT!

“I … will … submit.  Islam submits,” Saif said robotically.

“The clerk will now read the indictment and bill of particulars.”

“The Council of Caliphitic Collaboration and the entire dar-al-Islam are hereby charged with crimes against humanity.   In particular:

“That’s enough for the first day,” Banaz said.  “Saif for the defense, how do you plead?”

“Not guilty!  All those things come from extremists.  They have nothing to do with real Islam.”

“Really?  Muslim atrocities are rarely condemned by imams and the umma does nothing to prevent them from happening.  That’s because jihad against all non-Muslims is core doctrine according to the three sources considered authoritative in Islam – the Quran, the hadith sayings of Muhammad, and scholarly consensus.  Islam is rotten to the core.  It cannot be reformed or reconstructed.  Jihad is supposedly the word of Allah and cannot be changed or airbrushed away.  Islam is a cancer afflicting all humanity, and every observant Muslim is complicit.  Endless atrocities in the name of jihad, as well as the imposition of sharia law, are supported by large percentages of aiding and abetting Muslims the world over.  Because jihad is core doctrine, Muslim atrocities will never stop.  Islam will claim more victims, by the tens of millions, until Islam is no more.”

“Jihad is just a spiritual struggle.”

“Nice try, but you and I both know it’s not true.  So quit with your taqiyya already – you know your lies won’t work on anybody who knows all the various ways Islam justifies lying.”

Michael interjected: “Just a spiritual struggle?  Your holy book says 164 times ‘slay the infidel’.  You attack women.  You attack children.  And you have the nerve to claim God made you do it?  That’s preposterous.”

“You’re an outsider.  You can’t criticize Islam.”

“That’s like saying you have to be a fascist to criticize fascism. That’s just crazy.  I may not be a chicken, but I know more about ovaries than any damn chicken does.  You can’t tell me that the glee on my attackers’ faces was some kind of sacred mystery known only to Muslims.  Anyone in my situation would know exactly what my attackers were feeling – religious ecstasy. Real Islam.”

“Muhammad was the perfect man – the Al-Insān al-Kāmil.  We are only following his example.”

Banaz replied, “Muhammad personally blessed the beheadings of hundreds of people. Who in their right mind would follow that example?  Besides, the case for Muhammad being the perfect man is pretty thin. It goes back to one hadith in which Muhammad talked about being a prophet at the time of Adam.  That sounds like a claim of divinity, not perfect humanity, to me.  The whole ‘perfect man’ thing was built up later by others.  Muhammad didn’t claim it for himself in the Quran.  So, turning his every utterance and everything he ever did into a command goes way beyond your brief.

“And, as the theory goes,” Banaz continued, “every imam is perfect and everyone human being can be perfect, too, because God is in them.  You know, they believe the same thing in India – that God is in everyone.  That’s why they bow to you in greeting.  They don’t behead you or bury you in a suitcase in the backyard when you come for dinner.”

Saif fell silent.

“Cat got your tongue?” Banaz asked.  “While you’re chewing on that, you might as well start preparing your defense to the second set of charges we will bring against Islam tomorrow, starting with Islam’s pretensions to world domination.   Your supremacist doctrine calls for the subjugation of the entire human race.  You will not stop until the entire dar-al-harb falls under the dar-al-Islam.  You are no different than Stalin, Hitler, or Genghis Khan and every other monster that has tried to conquer the world throughout history.  Tomorrow’s indictment will include the things that go along with Islam’s conspiracy against the human race – things like deliberate hijra colonization everywhere and second-class citizenship for non-Muslims – dhimmitude.  The religious duty to prepare the ground for jihad – dawa.   Islam being the only religion to subject nonbelievers to its laws.  The Quranic requirement that Muslims interfere in everyone’s life, believer or not, under the rubric ‘command right and forbid wrong.’  The attempt to silence all criticism of Islam through your blasphemy laws.

“But back to today’s proceedings.  How does Islam plead to the first set of charges – guilty or not guilty?”

Saif tried to gather his thoughts.  He didn’t know how much time had passed, but the room was back to normal.  Banaz and her legions were gone.  The regular audience was back, waiting expectantly, then growing increasingly alarmed at Saif’s lengthening silence.

For the first time in his life – after all the speeches he had given, after all the conclaves he had chaired – Saif Mahaz, leader of the global Council of Caliphitic Collaboration, was speechless.  He didn’t know what to say.  A lifetime of certitude melted away.  He was completely spooked.  “Rainbows… suitcase….” was all he could manage before they led him off the stage.

Then came a voice, a voice only Saif could hear.  It was Banaz: “Today, we were your judge and jury, delivering the judgment of the dar-al-ifriti.  The next time you see us, we’ll be an army – hundreds of millions strong.  The departed victims of Islam will assemble and overwhelm your pitiful attempts at world domination.  Our cries for justice are stronger than any force Islam can muster. You created us, but we will devour you.  In the end, the dar-al-Islam will submit to the dar-al-ifriti.  Islam will atone for its atrocities.

“Until then, we will haunt your mosques,” Banaz went on.  “We will mess with your foot baths, so the temperature will never be what you expect. We will move your Qurans so you can’t find them.  We’ll be in the shadows every Friday, watching you pray.  Maybe you’ll see us when you bow in rukoo and look back between your legs.  If you spin around to catch us, we will walk back through the walls and vanish.  Muslims won’t know for sure why these things are happening or why they’re getting the creeps late at night, but they’ll wonder if it’s us, ready to strike.  And we’ll be perched on the shoulder of every Muslim on pilgrimage to Mecca.

“Your children will come out of their bedrooms at night, crying, because they see someone there.  Your women will have bad hijab days and wonder why.  You men will never know which of your wives are really jinn – maybe the one who rolls her eyes at you, Saif?  You know we jinn have a rebellious streak.

“Muslims will see these all things happening around them and have to continually wonder, “Is today the day?  Is our time finally up? Is this the day Islam is brought to an end, as the dar-al-ifriti promised?

“So you just go right on creating more of us, Saif, you and your Muslim friends.   The more you create, the stronger we will be when justice catches up with you.

“One day, it will be OUR time, Saif.  When we’re done watching and waiting, the army of the dar-al-ifriti will gather and come for you all.  All your victims will be arrayed before you, invincible.  No more crimes against humanity, then, Saif.  You will all submit to justice and Islam will be no more.

“Oh, and don’t forget your suitcase on the way out.”