Tales from a Mosque (12): No One Like You

The power of the modern mass media is devastating. Only one well crafted pamphlet of ‘Heavy Slander’ tabloid magazine, distributed freely into the center of an Austrian city under the Alps, where Imam Faraj’s mosque was standing, was enough to spoil the famous wedding between Anthony, an American business tycoon, and Kathrin, a reputated visual artist with aristocratic roots.

Anthony was marked as a new, extremely powerful and wealthy follower of Islam, who fell in love with a Muslim woman, a devoted servant of Allah, who inspired him to submit to Allah’s will, and now, the man will aspire for political power in the city, to assert both Islamic interests and to promote his own plan for ‘The Glass House’, an unique construction project at the main square, changing the balance of political and social power in the city, and most likely forcing the current mayor of the city to abdicate quickly.

Needless to say, that the wedding was spoiled. The telephones started ringing, as all that assistants, advisors and aides started calling their VIP masters to retreat, as the wedding changed from the Austrian event of the the year to an ultimate embarassment, and if you are a VIP, you have to protect your reputation, by being where you should be and on the contrary, avoiding places, which are questionable: like the baroque chateau of Von Mandorff family right now.

But not all guests left. The last party, consisting mostly of experienced and devoted drinkers, party goers and tired aristocrats, remained by the last opened outdoor bar, under a large parasol, where an overweight man in his late 30s, Joseph Svejk, allegedly a Czech military hero, was narrating his endless beer tales in the small remaining social circle.

“Such sad cases of spoiled weddings happen all the time, and everywhere, within VIPs or poor people, so there is no reason to be disappointed, at least we can tell a good tale to our curious friends home,” he waved his hands, like nothing happened, and ordered another round of rum for him and his new friend, an old aristocrat from Graz, Baron Von Schwarzenberg. “I remember this Tonda, a neighbour from my street in Prague-Liben, a car mechanic with his both arms left, improving his modest salary as a car thief during the nights, and an aspiring alcoholic, who met a common village girl, dumb, naive, but with a good heart, from some lost mansion near Svijany, and she, to the deepest surprise of all Tonda’s pub friends and even himself, agreed to marry him, when he proposed her during one wild, hot sleepless summer night, when their bodies interconnected in one endless moment of passion.

So, after a year of careful preparations, it was the fateful morning, the whole city quarter gathered festively, to be touched witnesses of a new love tale, the bride dressed in bright white, of course, with her father so proud and mother crying the ocean of tears from the dawn already, everything was perfect, the sun was shining and the sky was blue, looking perfectly on the wedding photos… but the groom was nowhere to be foumd.

At first, they suspected him, that he betrayed the heart of the poor girl, and left with family jewellry for a vacation somewhere very far, so they alerted the police, which started a search operation in all pubs of Liben, all local jails too, and then, they tried the hospitals.

Eventually, Tonda was found successfully, also dressed in white, and with a very good excuse to miss his own wedding: the day before, he was stabbed ten generous times, when he visited a very questionable bar, where he discussed his righteous share from the last shady business deal with his companions in crime, and they couldn’t find a suitable solution for all of them, so instead of soft words and hard arguments, sharp concealed knives started talking… and the result was an extra shift for the sleepy doctors, and one deeply sad young bride with her faithful devoted heart broken, who had to escape the country from embarassment, and today, I heard that she married a plastic surgeion from Beverly Hills, and she is very happy,” Svejk noticed Countess Von Laubringen, leaving the chateau discreetly, and he called her to join the rest of them, in the interesting and entertaining discussion, compensating the spoiled evening a little.

“I am 95 years old and if I should count all weddings I was present at… no, I won’t even try it, I would fail anyway, I am not a bright schoolboy anymore, as you may have noticed,” the dried-up aristocratic grandpa with white hair took the word and everybody around laughed. “And most of them I don’t even remember already anyway. But one very nice wedding still remains in my mind: when an unnamed princess from Liechtenstein found, just hours before the ceremony, that she is pregnant with her secret lover: a half-time gardener from their chateau.”

“And did she tell the groom the joyful news, or did she keep the small innocent unimportant secret from him, not to hurt his feelings and devotion to their faithful love, not to ruin the approaching wedding day, which cost a fortune?” the idiot Svejk had another long draught, and another volley of laugh resonated the garden. “Let me assure you, that we, men from my famous city quarter, we are no intellectuals, rather criminals, gamblers, thieves, tramps and drinkers, but we all know one basic and most important rule of law: ‘The mother of a child is always sure, but the father most uncertain’. Even the state media reported, that we are a location with the most executed DNA tests statewide. Those are horrible times, when lovers don’t trust each other, I am telling you! And trust, it’s the firm foundation of real love!”

“Well, she was raised as a good girl, who always says the truth,” the old man sighed. “But the truth sometimes hurts, you know the rules. So, when the groom heard the dubious news from her, he froze for a minute, and then, he asked her, what she expects from him to do. To continue, to keep his noble face? Or to cancel the wedding, as a normal man would do, and to embarass both famous families?”

“Or to curse her ten times, that was another suitable option of honor for a real aristocrat,” some drunk German aristocrat added, and then he fell on the grass.

“Women are no saints, that is the truth,” the Countess Von Laubringen finally joined the discussion, and accepted a glass. “But this failed wedding will have much larger consequences, than only a cancelled evening party, believe me. I was informed about the content of the pamphlet of that tabloid media idiots, and I will also have to return to the U.S. most likely, when the press will find out, who was standing behind the attempt to stop Islam here.

So I confess publicly to all of you, to make my conscience clean: it was me, who organized that plan to raze the mosque, and to substitute it with a public park, so the Chinese could build a shopping mall there in the near future. But I never expected what will happen. This was really not a part of plan, poor Kathrin…” she sighed in despair.

“Don’t worry, Countess,” Svejk tried to comfort Theresa. “Tomorrow, the world will have another problems, this affair means nothing. And if both bride and groom ran away, not even trying to deny the slander… then maybe it’s the truth, what was written there, in the newspaper!

And what bad did you do, anyway? You believed in something, so you followed your vision, your heart. Who can judge you? All that losers, who never did anything for others, only criticizing from their convenient sofas at home? I swear, I will punch anybody, who would try to condemn you!”

“The citizens should even thank you, they know the truth now, so they will be grateful. One mayor more or less means nothing… and the Muslims are the last who would blame you of anything, on the contrary,” a clear female voice with foreign accent resonated behind the group suddenly. It was Fatima, who also stayed yet, listening from the distance.

“We are speaking about wolves in the wood… and the biggest wolf is just behind the fence,” Svejk smiled innocently. “Listen, woman… it was not you, who made a Muslim from Anthony? You must be something, let me tell you…” he said with open admiration, watching her luxurious abaya and all that Cartier jewellry, counting, how much rum and beer could be bought for such big money.

“As the Countess just confessed, then I will do it too, it doesn’t matter now, anyway,” Fatima also resigned. “I wanted to save the mosque, and the most efficient way was to inspire the Countess to convert to Islam, to make an ally from the enemy. I also did, what I had to do… and I will let only Allah to judge me, not any people.”

“Of course, that we knew from the beginning, that it was you, who stood behind it all, Countess,” Fatima looked into the eyes of the other woman firmly, but without any hostility. “Only me was sent to save the mosque, against your army. But if we would know, that in the end, you will bring us so ultimate gifts on a silver plate… what can I say? I think, that in the end, we all won, and the mosque is saved, I am the most certain.”

“Every good tale must have a good ending,” Svejk said with joy, and the rest of group agreed. “Let’s celebrate, that we are alive, that we are here, on the famous day, the bar is still opened and well supplied with rum… well, what do we miss right now? We have just everything, including good company, regardless of religious differences or political opinions.

Now, I think that those two women have much to talk about together… and in the mean time, the Baron could tell us, what happened with that unfaithful princess, and the brave gardener, of course!”

Fatima and Theresa moved to a table, ordering two cups of coffee. They both knew, that the tale is over, at least for now, and it will be a good time for them both, to disappear from the eyes of the public, at least temporarily, until the sharpened situation will fade naturally.

“As a token of good relationships, I expect you to hand me the ‘lost’ NATO document,” Fatima asked the blonde woman.

“Of course, I won’t need it anymore,” the Countess agreed. “Why shouldn’t I help your Intelligence career? You won, the mosque will be preserved, Islam and your community will prevail. But why should I care? This country is not my home anyway. The people in the city will determine their own destiny. And if they will become Muslims, praising Allah? Their decision, their reasons. Not my responsibility.”

Both women were looking at the distant Alpine peaks for a while.

“You call it a big victory, but I feel just tired,” Fatima resumed the conversation. “In Islam, the life is much easier, that all these nasty affairs of you, infidels. Now I see, why you are so exhausted, why you are collapsing, eating all that chemical pills from the doctors to calm you. You lives are simply too much complicated, and it destroys you, that overwhelmed minds, full of worries, thoughts and endless analyses. And everything ends differently, than you planned… like this time.”

“Yes, it’s an irony that in the end, I only helped you,” the Countess sighed. “Anything I would do… you would use it to your advantage in the end.”

“At least you can see the immense power of Allah,” Fatima said with devotion, and love. “You were the witness of His ultimate might, sitting at the first row. This is not a surprise: this is, how it always ends.”

“Oh no, please, don’t start with this, you are so wrong,” the Countess said quite emotionally. “Do you know, what that NATO document suggests? That the Chinese are the ones who pull the levers from behind secretly, who send all parties against each other, who use all these clashes and hatred to their advantage, so they can become number one world superpower.

And I believe this theory: if two are fighting, the third is always laughing. Why is China not fighting anywhere, like the Americans? They sit calmly, waiting for the West to get exhausted with all these neverending wars against terrorism the West created itself, plus the spread of Islam is beneficial for their interests, and then, the Chinese will take over the world, without firing a single shot, without a single warning article in the media.

And if you want a clear proof, how inconspicuous they are… just have a look at that overweight fool right there, narrating his endless dumb beer tales. Who would suspect him to be a top paramilitary operative, with deep ties with China? We all became their pawns in the end.”

“Who knows, where the truth lies,” Fatima replied, watching the mountain peaks on the horizon again. “This is a thinking of a non-believer, who always has to explain the world events as conspiracies, as he or she has no firm central point of life, living like an animal, a mere object of history. But any Muslim, he or she is a direct part of it, feeling her or his importance and purpose. No sacrifices are forgotten, and Allah knows everything, what you do, rewarding all your good deeds.

But who takes care of you, infidels? That people around pretend to love you, only because you are an asset to them. They are no brothers and sisters, you all are only wolves, smiling at each other, but always ready to betray, and always afraid of betrayal. This is the reason why you die early: not because of bad health, your worries and too much thinking simply kill you, as you can have no rest, day or night, always afraid to be left alone, to be disappointed.

Praised be those of you, who find Allah on their way, who return into the submission and protection of their Creator.”

“Your propaganda is simply beautiful,” the Countess appreciated. “Just talk a little bit more yet, and I will submit to Allah myself. What other option would I have, anyway? You say, it’s Allah or nothing.”

“That will happen eventually, Countess,” Fatima agreed with her complete heart. “There is no other option for you. You came too close to us, you are soaked with our religion now, not able to get it from your mind, having to keep thinking about it.

Whoever confronts their beliefs with us, he or she won’t keep the original mindset too long. The open door to freedom, liberation and fulfillment of life are simply too tempting for anybody. And everythng what is demanded from you, is to acknowledge Allah as the only god, and Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, as His messenger. Can this get even easier? Allah makes everything easy and without difficulty.”

“You sound different, than Imam Faraj,” Theresa remarked. “He speaks softly, with understanding, leaving options, having respect. But you are ruthless, like a man. Now I see which kind of beast I woke up. If it wasn’t me, you were still sitting in the corner at the mosque, silent and passive. And now, look at you: you are a complete, modern woman. Aggressive, obsessed, selfish, using elbows nicely.”

“Maybe you are right this time,” Fatima admitted. “Even I don’t like completely, what I see in the mirror now. It was better to be silent: now I speak too much. It was you Americans, who infected this women’s rights movement into Islam, who tried to corrupt us with the social media, selfies and shiny Apple toys, to disrupt unity, to obsess us with alleged equality with men, to create a ‘fifth column’.

But for us, it’s a good way, how to lure traitors, renegades and deviated souls into the foreground, to be seen and identified. Plus, we can infiltrate Western environment, pretending to be modern and progressive, promising you to modernize, improve and alter Islam to your liking. But how can be the only perfected and complete religion yet improved? In the end, you will lose anyway: and Islam will prevail.”

“Sounds nicely, indeed… but listen. There is an old proverb, ‘keep your friends close and your enemies yet closer’. As I understand, you will leave the city now, and me too. Maybe you could join me, to accept my invitation into America, you can befriend Hillary Clinton there, and make an Islamic pawn from her, if she is not already,” the Countess smiled to this vision. “We are not enemies, after all, and you have your interests. Maybe I can help you… and like Imam Faraj to my father, you will maybe repay me one day. So accept this offer as a matter of mutual business advantages.”

“I will think about it,” Fatima replied. “But only if you will take that Chinese pawn with us. I want to study his malicious methods, to find countermeasures to this dangerous toy, hidden perfectly under the deceiving shadow of unseen stupidity and primitivism. In the past, NATO was sending heavily armed mercenaries against us, backed by overeducated masterminds… but this is something different, not to be underestimated.”

“I am sure, that we will become good friends, after all,” the Countess smiled sweetly. “And the future will belong to us.”

At the same time, Imam Faraj was sitting on a bench at the mosque’s courtyard, watching the mountains, under the blue sky, accompanied by brother Saad from AAIC (=Association of Austrian Islamic Communities), discussing the latest developments.

“This is the dawn of a new epoch of Islam in Austria, in the whole Europe,” Saad said firmly. “We are receiving countless statements of support and congratulations to the latest achievements from everywhere, and the right wing is suprisingly silent, not able to react.

Our real, factual power was revealed, and everybody understands now, that we are heading into politics in large, using our own Islamic assets, not only our infidel friends from the Greens Party. This is the Islamic revolution!”

Saad raised his palms, looked up and said with devotion and admiration: “Oh, Allah: thank you thousand times for the generous help You granted us, so we can serve You yet better! Now, we can spread Your fame and might, we can show the world, what is Islam: the religion of peace, mercy, forgiveness, freedom and morality, perfect for everybody, Arabs or Non-Arabs!

Soon, Islam will be a common religion between Austrians, and nobody will wonder! We belong here firmly, into these lands, substituting the old, decadent and outdated with the new, clean and better for the local citizens!

We are now moving inevitably from the periphery of power circle, where we were perceived only as assets for the interests of others, into the center, influencing and creating rules, to the benefit of all.

Oh, Allah: You lead us to victory wisely, and we follow Your guidance faithfully and obediently!

Forgive us our sins, doubts and bad thoughts, occasional resignation and weakness: You show us, that You are the most trustworthy Leader and Protector, the Remover of Obstacles, the Ever Accepting Repentance, the Ever Merciful and Ever Gracious, the All-Seeing and All-Knowing. We bow and prostrate in front of You and You only, as there is no one like You.

Oh, Allah: accept our prayers, accept our worship towards You. Protect us from all harm, and lead us to our destiny!”


Prev part: Anthony’s Decision
Next part: Matter of Love

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