Friday Fillip

Posted on August 28, 2006


Had an inconsequential last few days, but feel pressured to extract noteworthy events from them for your delectation.

Well then, Friday night. I took a taxi to meet some friends in Zamalek. As I sat in the taxi I noticed that he had a bunch of stickers pasted to the inside left window, all proclaiming edifying Islamic messages about the evils of fornication, eyebrow plucking, and of course the usual exhortations to take the veil. The taxi driver didn’t look like that kind of guy at all; he was all cool and jokey and eye-contacty. So I asked him if he was the one who stuck the stickers on, and he said yes. I asked why, and he said he thought someone might be led to enlightenment and then he would (and I translate roughly) gain credit for good deeds with God (thawab). This, of course, is the usual pat babble beloved of intrusive, officious cretins.

So I went off at him from a variety of angles, and managed in the end to get him to agree that unsolicited advice about personal matters is rude, and bad for business; that he should wait until he is asked; that his selection was sexist; and that yes, we kuffar are already aware of our kufr and are not to be swayed from it by stickers. Of course he tried to discredit me by inferring that I must be a Christian, but I managed to fend off that plunging thrust of well-reasoned rhetoric. Don’t you love the air with which people triumphantly proclaim your supposed bias? As if you should crumple into a pile because of a mere accident of birth which must clearly fetter your ability to form an opinion worth listening to. Anyway, so he’s taking them off the window. Apparently other people have complained also, which cheered me up immeasurably, although of course I rocked the hardest (or so he said!). Seriously, it is difficult to even suppose that you can be condemned to eternal hellfire and damnation for removing the odd stray facial hair from your eyebrow region – but not any other facial region! – let alone be willing to have this laughable belief thrust at you from the confines of a vehicle for which you have paid, while you simmer in the pollution and heat.

OK, so that wasn’t very funny. And I seem to have undertaken some pretty daring risks regarding punctuation. Let me know. More to come later, but must leave work now.

Posted in: facial hair, religion