Power-Hungry, Hungry Hippos

Written by: Hamzah Moin

Yeah, we got our weaknesses as Muslims. Ideally we’d look at our great history for some examples of how we used to lead with justice and honour. But reading requires getting out books which could result in nasty paper cuts so I recommend to avoid reading real history and start reading some great ways to get into power in insignificant positions (because that’s what life is all about)

The Prayer Line

This is where power corruption begins. Its one thing to be vigilant about prayer straightness and another thing to become a Prayer Line Nazi about it. Some folks almost seem like orchestra conductors with their frantic hand-waving to keep lines straighter than humanly possible. The Line Nazis are so insane with keeping the line straight that even rulers blush.

To do it the entire prayer reeks of power-hungriness. One time I could have sworn I heard that instead of saying “ameen” after Surah Fatiha, a Line Nazi shouted “THIS LINE IS NOT STRAAAAIIIGHT!”

MSA Executive

Oh, what’s that young MSA enthusiast? Why do you look so sad? Oh… due to some backroom dealings and vote pandering did someone take over your MSA and you’re distraught / think that this is the end of your MSA (as we know it) / think the world is gonna end? I got news for you… nobody gives a damn. If your MSA gets taken over by hardcores/terrorists/gays/all-of-the-above then just make a new club called Kmuslim Students Association (K is silent). Pretend you’re a different sect and away you go.
MSA politics is is for babies when compared to what happens in the Sisters Section …

Sisters Section

Ever seen The Godfather? Well, that’s kind of like the Sisters Section. There’s usually a head Sister boss and things like marriage proposals, choosing your baby’s name or the decision to adopt a hamster need to go through her or you’ll find a giant camel’s head beside you when you wake up.

She will also correct your prayer, no matter how ‘accurate’ you’re praying. She’s done the research. She is so good, she will correct your hand and feet postures in mid-prayer. That takes a lot of skill.

This sister is probably married to the Prayer Line Nazi which would make dinner-time conversations so riveting.

“Honey, the lines today weren’t straight at all. I felt like we were almost praying in a circle and was face-to-face with the guy in front of me.”
“They must have married all the stupid sisters in the storage room-I mean sisters section. I mean some sisters prayed with hijabs that had floral patterns!”
“We need to take over this mosque and destroy the corruption!!”

The Masjid

This is the carrot at the end of the stick. This is the mother of all corruption in the Muslim scene. Masjid politics somehow bring the worst in people. From verbal wrestling matches to actual wrestling matches… masjid politics aren’t for the faint-hearted or those with pacemakers.

Oh no… some Somali guy just got elected. That’s a bit scary since they eat bananas for appetizers rather than samosas… time to make a new mosque.
Oh no… some African-American wants to create a youth group. He just wants to “urbanize” all our precious youth with his sexy Barry White-sounding voice… time to make a new mosque.
Oh no… a woman just walked in the mosque. She wants to … wait what? She wants to PRAY inside the mosque? What will she think of next? That they have rights to vote in elections? Insanity. Time to make a new mosque.

The good thing with all these mosques is that sooner or later we’re going to need to start filling them up with … what do you call those things … oh right. People.

Local Government

Running for a local government position is the next logical step after a mosque. Running a city or a ward is like running a masjid without worrying about carpet maintenance or triple parking.

The problem with local government is that it forces us Muslims to interact with spooky, scary non-Muslims. Why do that when you can simply go to your mosque with your main campaign plea:

“Assalamu Alaikum. I have prayed beside you for many years. It’s time for me to become the mayor. I can even pronounce Assalamu Alaikum properly. Can the other candidates do that?”
“But how will you help the city…”
“Because I’m Muslim and so are you and so you should vote for me. We need to take over this planet, city by city. Allahuakbar!”

You got my vote Iqbal. If there is anything we need more of, it’s Muslims who don’t know what they’re doing in high-up government positions. Speaking of which…

Big Government

Whoa… found yourself as leader of an entire Muslim country? Well, there are only three ways to run a Muslim country nowadays since we sort of put true Shariah on the back-shelf:

1) You have taken over your corrupt government via military coup with the promise of creating stability only to then feel comfortable in the Prime Minister’s fine vibrating, heated leather chair and declare that no elections will be held because they’re a waste of time as you’ll just win by a landslide/rig them anyway.
Its a time of national crisis so you decide to erect a 11 million dollar statue of your late wife to cheer people up… They don’t like it though. Perhaps a larger statue would have made them happier? Or a statue that sings Sami Yusuf songs? Your thoughts are interrupted by another military coup taking your government over with the promise of creating stability again…

2) You’re in the middle of the desert and you somehow inherited your power- Lord-of-the-Rings-style and realized you’re the leader in one of the most powerful Muslim countries on the planet. Other countries look up to you and you don’t really know why, after all you’re putting a mutated version of Shariah on display. You decide to declare Eid on days that are scientifically impossible to see the moon just for the hell of it and/or your own amusement.

3) You rule a government that is so corrupt that any form of opposition are silenced and critics will automatically be taken away by scary people who will come to the writer’s house and -