Sunday, February 15, 2009

أشهد أن لا إله إلاَّ الله و أشهد أن محمد رسول الله

Here in the UK, many people (usually non-Muslims) complain about the sound of muezzins calling the faithful to prayer from the minarets of mosques. For their part, the Muslims say that this a bit of a double-standard, because the sound of church bells can be equally off-pissing, too, particularly if you happen to live directly alongside an establishment that boasts an Extreme Campanlogy Unit. A big cathedral giving it large, for example, can really fuck up your morning, whether you’re Christian or Muslim.

For my own part, I’ve never seen the point of either. Declaiming “I assert that there is no god but ‘Allah and Muhammad is ‘Allah’s prophet” is a bit redundant: If that actually isn’t your point of view, you’d presumably be a bit of dick climbing to the top of a mosque in the first place. You’d be better off in a church, synagogue, Quaker meeting, or whatever. By the same token, if you really do need a bell to get you in to prayers, surely that hints at a certain lack of commitment to the religion on your part.

I suppose a compromise could be reached. Maybe priests should be encouraged to go to the top of their steeple or church tower each Sunday morning and shout out the Nicene Creed over a loudspeaker, while minarets could be equipped with bells, with the muezzin himself acting as the clapper. This would probably produce a much duller “Bong!” than the conventional brass or iron clapper but, seeing as he’d have to do it five times a day, you’d at least be certain that the guy really was giving it his all for the faith.

The only disadvantage I can see to having Muslim bell clappers is that the tinkle of something like an ice cream van might then easily outdo a mosque in volume. So people could come to believe that ice cream vans were, in fact, closer to God. But which one? Would adherents of, say, Mr Whippy start wearing suicide vests and self-detonating amongst customers queuing up to buy a 99 from Mr Softee, and vice versa? Could an ice cream wafer accidentally transubstantiate and usurp the place of Our Lord, Jesus Christ?

I fear for our future, I really do.

1 comment:

K. McEgan. said...

See yer man in Belfast?The Islamic Centre?Puts in the bevels.Nae clear "La ha'ill'allah..." its maire "Laaaaaa'ooooh baybeee hahaha illlllaaaarrrgh.."Fucking puts me right off duwah.